October 2023 Concerts

Savannah Jazzband – 29 October:  What a cracker of a performance today by this great band.  Brian “Sam” Ellis on trombone and keyboard is the leader and is joined by Graham Smith on drums, Tony Pollitt on Bass, Chris Marney on banjo, Richard Church on trumpet (and not any old trumpet but one which had belonged to Ken Collier) and vocals and Roger Bird on reeds and vocals.  The house was packed with not a spare seat in sight and boy were they not disappointed.  Some of the numbers included:  ‘Martha’, ‘When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver’, ‘Canal Street Blues’, ‘Whilst We Dance At The Mardi Gras’, ‘You Are My Sunshine’, ‘Honky Tonk Town’, ‘Maryland’, ‘Hello Central Give Me Dr Jazz’, ‘Way Down in Mississippi’, ‘Louisiana’, and probably the best rendition I have heard which had us all laughing was the slightly corrupted ‘St James Infirmary’ with a major chunk being devoted to Sam being eaten by the lion all in his best clothes which vexed his mum.  Smashing, super and many other words to describe the enjoyment, musicianship and fun we have had today.  We look forward to their return.

Bateman Brothers’ Jazz Band – 22 October 2023:  These musicians, who all played in their time with one of the famous bands such as Ball, Barber or Bilk, have come together to present ‘A Tribute to Louis Armstrong and his All Stars’.  Ian Bateman is on trombone, Alan Bateman on trumpet and vocals, Trevor Whiting on clarinet, Craig Milverton on piano, Tom Clarke-Hill on bass and Nick Millward on drums.  As the concert was in celebration of SJS 43rd anniversary there was also a brolly parade.  Some of the numbers included:  ‘It’s Sleepy Time Down South’, ‘Now You Has Jazz’, ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, ‘The Gypsy’, ‘Time After Time’, ‘Pretty Little Missy’, ‘Mack the Knife’, ‘My Bucket’s Got A Hole in It’, ‘C’est Si Bon’, ‘Lonesome Blues’, ‘Twelve Street Rag’, ‘Life Is a Cabaret’ and ‘Hello Dolly’.  We look forward to a return visit at some time in the near future.

Swing 23 – 15 October 2023:  This is the first time we have had a visit from this gypsy jazz and swing band but I am sure it will not be the last.  This concert was reminiscent of Parisian cafes, with rhythm, sensuousness and a delight to listen to.  The band comprises Julian Gregory on the violin, Matthew Compton on accordion, Peter Robinson on bass, Roger Keys on drums and Paul Hartley on guitar.   Many of the numbers were new to me so I had to take a sneak picture of their playlist.  I will not detail them all but will give you a flavour of their music:  ‘Bossa Dorado’, ‘Lady Be Good’, ‘Swing 39’, ‘Manoir de Mes Reves’ (Castle of My Dreams), ‘Padam Padam’, ‘Summertime’, ‘Minor Swing’, ‘Daphne’, ‘Undecided’, ‘Dark Eyes’, ‘Nuages’ and ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ to name but a few of the numbers they played.  I was in seventh heaven with two of my favourite but often missing instruments – the violin and the accordion.  I think I was not alone.

Baby Jools’ Jazzaholics – 8 October 2023:  This amazing band was welcomed back to the White Eagle Club where they are firm favourites.  Leader, ‘Baby’ Jools Aldridge, on drums, Warren ‘Lonnie’ James on banjo/guitar and vocals, Karl Hird on reeds, Mike ‘Magic’ Henry on trumpet/cornet, Mike Owen on trombone and vocals were joined on this occasion by Harold Worthington on double bass.  Some of their numbers included:  ‘Louisiana and Me’, ‘Having Fun on the Bayou’, ‘Since I Laid My Burden Down’, ‘When it’s Sleepy Time Down South’, ‘Some of these Days’, ‘Down by the Riverside’, ‘Jesus on the Mainline’, ‘Ain’t That A Shame’, ‘Down the Mississippi to New Orleans’, ‘All the Girls Go Crazy by the Way I Walk’ and ‘Those Were The Days’.   It was all there, jazz, rock’n’roll, country, spiritual, you name it.  A wonderful concert that everyone enjoyed.  See you soon Jazzaholics.

Dart Valley Stompers – 1 October 2023:   This band’s mission statement is “taking traditional jazz by storm” and they certainly live up to it.  The band consists of leader Jeremy Huggett on reeds and vocals, Kevin Grenfell on trombone and vocals, Howard Williams on guitar/banjo, Keith Tolley on double bass and Steve Street on drums.  Additionally we also had Will Robinson on trumpet to replace Graham Trevarton who is poorly.  They opened with ‘Exactly Like You’ and went on to play numbers like ‘Do I Love You – Oh My ‘Deed I Do’, ‘If Somebody Thinks Your Wonderful’, ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter’, ‘I’m Confessing that I Love You’, ‘I’ve Found a New Baby’, ‘Isle of Capri’, ‘Hello Central Give Me Dr Jazz’, ‘Bei Mir Bistu Schoen (My Dear Mr Shane)’, ‘Maryland My Maryland’, ‘Way Down Upon the Swannee River’ and ‘Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone’.   A better bunch of musicians you’d be hard pressed to find and we would be delighted to see them again.