14 January 2018 – Chris Pearce & Andy Leggett’s Sopranos:  How lovely to see the familiar faces of this well-known band.   It was a mixed programme from blues, to big band to an old jug number, so Aint Misbehaving, Whisky Drinking Woman, The Mooch, Dans La Rue d’Antibes and a brolly parade to When We Were young Molly.   The musicians were:  on reeds were both Chris Pearce and Andy Leggett, on guitar was Phil Probert, on drugs was Roger Watts, on double bass was Tony Sharp and on trombone was Dave Deakin.  Always lovely to hear a group of this calibre and the programme was interspersed with humour throughout.

7 January 2018 – Roy Sainsbury’s Rhythm Chief’s featuring Dave Newton.  This was the first concert of the year and what a concert.   Six musical instruments melted into one glorious sound.  This was modern jazz played with evident enjoyment, enthusiasm and expertise.  It was not so modern that it did not include numbers such as ‘Slow Boat to China’ but also had numbers I was not familiar with such as ‘Corner Pocket’ and ‘My Little Red Top’.   Roy Sainsbury, leader, played guitar, Tom Hill was on bass and also sang, Bryan Corbett on trumpet, Charlie Wright on tenor sax, Mal Garrett on drums and Dave Newton on keyboard.   This group was well received and we look forward to hearing them again.

29 October – Debonaires Little Big Band:  If there was a prize for best dressed band this week’s contestants would win hands down.  The band opened with a brief snatch of the theme tune to Strictly Come Dancing to herald Nick Balmforth in his role as compere  onto the stage.  This led on to songs from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s played in style by Leader and trumpet player – Max Debon, Austin Ralphson on the trombone, Rick Halliwell on the alto sax, Sarah Eastwood on clarinet and vocals, Peter “Pedro” Robinson on double bass, Rob Turner on drums, Peter Wilson on keyboard and Anne Holder on saxophone.  We had it all – Mambo Italiano, The Folks who Live on the Hill, Stardust, Americal Patrol, Tiger Rag, My Baby Just Cares for Me and much much more, ending with an appropriate swing version of The Addams Family.   In line with Strictly’s favourite straight-talking Craig Revel Horwood it was “Fab-u-lous”.  

1 October 2017 – Matt Palmer’s Eagle Jazz Band:  This band is always welcome at the White Eagle Club and they regularly feature in the top ten of our League Table of Band Ratings.  Led by gifted reedsman, Matt Palmer, the rest of the band consisted on Baby Jools on the drums, Pete Brown on trumpet, Terry Williams on trombone, Brian Lawrence on double bass and sousaphone and Brian Mellor on guitar and banjo.  There were also vocals from Matt, Pete, Brian and Terry which added some flavour.  Sadly there were not so many there on 1st October, unusually, but those attended thoroughly enjoyed a smashing concert which ended, as always, with ‘Bring Me Sunshine’.

Sussex Jazz Kings – 3 September 2017

The SJS first concert of the season began with the Sussex Jazz Kings.   This 6-piece band comprised:  Peter Lay (drums), David Price (banjo), Roy Stokes (trombone), Peter Clancy (bass), Bernie Stutt (clarinet) and stepping in for cover today on the trumpet was Gordon Whitworth.  Their New Orleans jazz style went down well with a good crowd in attendance.  This was the first of a longer concert (12.30-3.00), the others being on 22 October and 17 December.   What a welcome back to jazz this was.