Fret & Fiddle – 26 March 2023: Good to see this group back again. Sally Minchin leads on the jazz violin + vocals and in addition there is Andy Bole on guitar, Richard Hughes on piano, Simon Smith on string bass and Steve Street on drums. As a special treat during a number called ‘Suzuki Blues’ composed by Sally she was joined on stage by her two sons Ben (10) and Freddie (8). Their opening number was ‘Stomping at the Decca’ and numbers following included ‘After You’re Gone’, Tiger Rag’, ‘ Misirlou (a fabulous folk song from the Eastern Mediterranean region – performed by Andy Bole)’, ‘It Had to Be You’, ‘That’s Why I’m Riding the Rails’, ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’, ‘J’Attendrai’, ‘Tiger Rag’ ‘Has Anybody Seen My Gal’, ‘Chocolate Jesus’ and ‘I’m Ready (a Spanish piece – marvellous)’. This is not the full programme. If you want to see/hear this group don’t wait until the next time they come to the White Eagle Club find a venue near you where they are playing!
Paul Harrison’s “Over ‘Ere UK Tour” Band – 19 March 2023: Well, was it worth waiting for? You bet! The band consisted of Kevin Grenfell (leader) on trombone and trumpet, Paul Harrison on clarinet and sax, Soren Stausbol on piano and vocals, Simon Smith on double bass and ‘Baby’ Jools Holland on drums. They opened with ‘The King’ and went on to play, in no particular order: ‘Rondo (by Mozart in D major)’, ‘Lips from New Orleans’, ‘Mr Sandman’, ‘Blue Drag (first time I have heard this and I just loved it)’, ‘How Can You Leave Me Now’, ‘Swing 42 (which I also loved)’, ‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schon – or My Dear Mr Shane’, ‘Once in a While’ and ‘Mr Sandman’. They finished with ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’. The audience leapt to their feet to give a well-deserved acknowledgement and express their enjoyment of hearing a virtuoso international performer with his all-star touring band. I really do hope we see these again.
Wabash Jazzmen featuring Nick Ward – 12 March 2023: One of SJS’s favourite bands they play traditional New Orleans style flair in the style of Ken Colyer and early Chris Barber. The band consists of Mark Challinor (leader) on banjo, guitar and ukulele, Richard Leach on trombone, Tony Pipkin on cornet, Richard Vernon on string bass,n Mike Hayler on reeds and Nick Ward on percussion. They opened with ‘At a Georgia Camp Meeting’ and went on to play, in no particular order, ‘Wolverine Blues’, ‘Put on Your High Heel Sneakers’, ‘One Sweet Night’, ‘I Never Knew (that Roses Grew)’, ‘I’m In Love’, ‘Weary Blues, ‘Louisiana’, ‘There’s Yes Yes In Your Eyes’ and ‘Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around in Your Bones’. They received a standing ovation and happy people spilled out to the car park to drive home. I am sure it won’t be long before we see them again.