Jazz Club 90

Gig reports 2011   

(from Jan.2nd.)

The Harp Hotel, Albrighton,Shropshire.

WV7 3JF

email: jazzclub90@live.co.uk

 

 

We thank Shropshire Council for their help in funding  the regular running costs of Jazz Club 90 during 2011.  

 

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And so on to 2012!

Tuesday, December 20th.....Robin Mason's Apex Jazz and Swing Band provided an entertaining last gig of 2011 with their own mix of Dixieland and Big Band numbers which ranged from "Sweet Georgia Brown" to "Jive at 5" and "Jones".

Harp regular  Margaret sang a couple of numbers for the first time with the band as a rehearsal for a big "do" on Friday night. "Am I Blue?" and "Don't Get Around Much Any More" should go down very well at the Holiday Inn!

As always Jon Stone on trumpet (complete with Christmas tinsel), Don Gwinnett on piano, Bob Boucher on bass, Jim Harney on drums and the superb Graham Woodhouse on trombone were very well led by Robin on saxes and clarinet.....the banter between Robin and Jon added to the enjoyment of the evening as did Jon's song sheets handed out with the words of "White Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".....the Festive decoration of the song sheet included a cartoon of a featherless turkey begging everyone to "Eat More Fish!"

The audience participation in the singing added even more to the occasion (I think!).

Robin and the gang will be back on February 7th.


Sunday, December 18th....take a full house, book a brilliant young piano player with three slightly more senior musicians, add in a little food and the Harp's great beer....what do you get?....a super Christmas Party!

The full house overflowed in to the bar, proof if it was needed, of the pulling power of Carl Sinclair on piano, aided and abetted by his drummer Howard Smith, his dad Kenny Sinclair on guitar and vocals, and Harp favourite Terry Roberts on sax and clarinet. The music gave us everything from "Sweet Home Chicago" to "Winter Wonderland" and "Mona Lisa" to "Jingle Bells" á la Winifred Atwell! Community singing to other festive numbers further helped the party atmosphere.

The interval refreshments must have been to everyone's taste, there wasn't a scrap left over to take home for my Sunday tea!

The 22 prize raffle proved very popular and I suspect solved a few last minute present problems for some people(!) as well as adding funds to the jazz kitty. Grandson Adam desperately wanted to win a box of Christmas Crackers and guess what, his ticket was drawn much to his delight....then, totally unexpectedly, another ticket with his name on was picked out of the tub and Marie suggested he could have chocolates for his Mom but "No"...he'd seen another box of Crackers!

A great party which no one wanted to end was a fine way to finish the Sunday sessions of 2011 (we've still got Tuesday as the last gig of the year), thanks were said to everyone concerned...especially Donna and Dave and Russell for their continued backing of Jazz Club 90 and to Marie for her unstinting efforts to raise the extra funds we need, and to our audiences for their support.

Keeping our fingers crossed that the Harp will still be "home" for Jazz Club 90 we have booked Carl and the gang for next Christmas....how's that for being optimistic?!

 

Carl and Co in full flow

Click photos to enlarge

 

 

 

 

Adam waiting for his raffle prize(s)

 

Tuesday, December 13th...it is six month's since Ben Holder was last in the Harp but tonight's session was well worth the wait.

With Ben were Bill Smith on bass, John Smith on guitar and Robin Mason on sax/clarinet who make up BB Swing, plus guest Rob Milburn on guitar.

One of the finest young jazz talents around today Ben's enthusiasm and brilliant technique quickly reminded everyone what we had been missing.

"Running Wild", "Nagasaki", "All of Me", "Tiger Rag" (yes, on the violin!), even "Jingle Bells" to get in the Christmas mood, and "Royal Garden Blues" were just a few of the numbers which made the 2½ hours of jazz pass very quickly.

The experience of the four other musicians enabled them to cope brilliantly with everything that Ben threw at them to make a great evening of superb jazz.

Ben and the boys(!) will be back on January 31st.

There are now videos on YouTube.


Sunday, December 11th...today's visitors were New Orleans Heat with Barry Grummett on piano, John Scantlebury on clarinet/alto, Gwyn Lewis on cornet, Mike Taylor on trombone, Tony Peatman on tenor banjo, Harry Slater on bass and Colin Bushell on drums...together they make up what is surely one of the finest bands around.

The very first number, "Smile Darn Ya', Smile", with Gwyn's vocal, set us up to smile all through the session. "Tin Roof Blues", "Move That Body Over", "Bluebells Goodbye" and "Algiers Strut" (just for Marie!) were just a few of the brilliantly played numbers.

Mike Taylor gave us a superb "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" whilst a John Scantlebury medley included "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Burgundy Street Blues"...with John talking the seldom heard words...superb.

My comments at the end of the session were easy to remember "Just B....y brilliant" was a perfect description of yet another NOH gig which had everything....great music played by musicians who really enjoy entertaining the audience

The band will be back on March 18th.

There will be videos on YouTube soon!


Tuesday, December 6th...another of our slightly(!) more senior jazzmen, John Everett, brought in his Red Dragon Jazzmen today.

With Ruth Frith on vocals the music ranged from "Canal Street Blues" to "Some Day You'll Be Sorry", to "Tishomingo Blues" and "Breeze". Drummer Ron Smith also chipped in with the vocal on "Darktown Strutters' Ball" while the rest of the line-up was John Bodenham on clarinet and soprano, Phil Probert on banjo/guitar, Mark Johnson on bass, Dave Margaroni on trombone and of course John on trumpet.

Once again an excellent session at the Harp and the Dragons will be back next year.


Sunday, December 4th...."Big Eric's" Old Comrades Jazz Band were in today with Alan Hill on bass joining Dave Sherwood on cornet, Dave Coles on clarinet/sax, Griff Thomas on banjo, Mike Wall on piano and Dave Andrews on drums and of course Eric Dodgson on trombone.

With soon to be 85 years young Eric in fine voice we were treated to several of his inimitable vocals including "Hush, Hush,  Somebody's Calling My Name" (with repeats by Mike Wall) and "Somehow My Burden is so Hard to Bear" with "Rent Man Blues", "Moose March" and "Bouncing Around" being just a few of the numbers played during the session.

As always our octogenarian band leader made sure we all enjoyed our Sunday lunchtime jazz played by seven excellent musicians.

The Comrades will be back on February 12th. by which time the forever young Eric will have reached his 85th. birthday.


Tuesday, November 29th...with Mike Hayler still undergoing chemotherapy Wabash Jazzmen had Eric Newton on clarinet joining Howard Worthington on bass, Pete Ainge on trumpet and leader Mark Challinor on banjo.
Apart from his usual excellent solos and vocals Howard also took on the duties of MC/frontman with the announcements while Pete and Eric made a very entertaining front line with Eric regaling the audience with several jokes we hadn't heard before.....the three other members of the orchestra pointed out that it was about the seventeenth time they had heard them!

From the opening "Old Miss Rag" to the final "Weary Blues" (with "Get Out of Here and Go Home" played about 45 minutes too early) we had four superb musicians playing great music, Wabash will be back in February.

 

Eric Newton

Click to enlarge


 

Sunday, November 27th....Mike Lovell's SIX-IN-A-BAR with Rosie is one of the most sought after Dixieland bands in the North West so it was a privilege to have them back for their second visit to the Harp.

The line-up for this band is: Willy Entwistle, reeds (clarinet, alto, flageolet etc.), Mike Lovell, trombone, Rosie Harrison, vocalist & reeds (clarinet, soprano, tenor etc.) Chris Howse, banjo / tenor guitar, Colin Turner, bass sax / Bb tuba / Andy Henderson, Cornet and Pete Eddowes, drums.

With tunes which ranged from "Black Bottom Stomp" to "Ain't We Got Fun" (this was where 5 year old Adam put his hands over his ears!), "Candy Lips" with the two clarinets of Willie and Rosie, ""King San of Senegal" with Chris on vocal, "Whistling Rufus" with Willie on flageolet (looked like a penny whistle to me!) and Pete on bones there was great music and entertainment for everyone. "Georgia Bobo" and "Beedle Um Bum" were a couple of numbers I don't think I had heard before.

Every one in the band played superbly, vocals and solos were excellent and Rosie's ability to sing both contemporary songs and the earlier jazz and blues numbers added enormously to the appeal of the band.

Mike expressed his hope that jazz would continue at the Harp when a buyer is found (see the notice on the "Welcome" page) and that the band would be back next year.

Click on photos to enlarge

Rosie Harrison

Mike Lovell

Andy Henderson

Willie Entwhistle

Colin Turner

Chris Howse

Sorry, Pete Eddowes, I just couldn't see you!

 

After being forgiven for covering his ears Adam took

 ..........this photo of the band

and this.....

of our very young audience!

 

 

Tuesday, November 22nd....it was July 17th. 2000 when the Antique Six Jazz Band first played at the Harp....today was their last gig for us as they are stopping touring at the end of this year.

Over the intervening years the Antique Six have become one of the most popular and sought after bands in the country and have entertained the Harp audience every time they have played for us.

The present line-up with Richard Leach (trombone), Chris Pearce (reeds), Chris Mercer (trumpet),  Clinton Sedgley (banjo/guitar) and Graham Smith (drums) came together in the autumn of 2005, with Ian Parry (bass) joining the band last year.

Tonight's session was as entertaining as ever with numbers ranging from "South Rampart Street Parade" to "Swinging the Blues", "Joe Avery's Piece", "Smokey Mokes" and "Over in the Gloryland".

The occasion of Marie's 65th. birthday (on Friday) was marked in advance by "Happy Birthday" by the band and a speech from John Hill who presented Marie with a bouquet of flowers, chocolates and a card signed by our audience.....words and deeds which show how much everyone appreciates Marie's hard work in raising the necessary funds to keep the jazz going at the Harp.

We look forward to seeing Chris M, Chris P, Richard, Clinton, Graham and Ian playing with their own or other bands in the future.

So that you don't get withdrawal symptoms you can see several videos of the band on YouTube, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" will be added soon.

Thanks again, fellas!


Sunday, November 20th....once again a full house was entertained by the one and only Carl Sinclair with Howard Smith on drums and a surprise guest, Carl's dad Kenny Sinclair, on guitar.

A brilliant lunchtime of blues, boogie, rock and roll and standard ballads with the inevitable Winifred Atwell along the way delighted the audience of reminiscing rockers whose short term memory might be a bit dodgy but who remembered all the words from many years ago!

Howard's vocal contributions included "My Babe" and "Can't Buy Me Love" with Kenny excelling on "Diana" and "A Teenager in Love" amongst others. Other highlights were "Honky Tonk Woman", Kenny's "The Wonder Of You" and the rousing rock and roll finish which featured all three musicians and even Carl's walk round the piano as he was playing.

An extra bonus during the interval was a couple of numbers from 15 years old Louis Coupe who's piano playing and rock and roll singing was very much appreciated by the audience.

Carl will be back for our Christmas Party on December 18th...again with Howard and Kenny plus Terry Roberts on reeds.

 

 

.....The Trio, Carl, Howard and Kenny

Interval guest Louis Coupe....


Tuesday, November 15th....Brian Mellor and Dave Wilkinson made a very speedy return to the Harp when they appeared with Richard Leach's Clubhouse 5 for tonight's gig.

Also in the line-up were Gordon Whitworth on trumpet, Howard Worthington on bass and of course Richard on trombone.

From start to finish this was another excellent, entertaining session with superb solos, assorted vocals and great music along the way.

We will be arranging more gigs for next year.


 

Sunday, November 13th....Baby Jools' All Stars certainly lived up to their name when this once or twice a year gathering of six superb musicians paid another visit to the Harp.

With Julyan "Baby Jools" Aldridge on drums the line up was Denny Ilett on trumpet, Mick Cooke on trombone, Dave Wilkinson on clarinet and alto, Brian Mellor on banjo and the irrepressible Annie Hawkins on bass.

Watching and listening to the videos which are on YouTube will give you a very good idea of how brilliant the session was...much better than any wordy description by me!

Click on any of these to see the videos...... "Algiers Strut"...."High Society"..."Running Wild"...."June Nights" and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus".

Getting together five slightly(!) more senior members of the jazz fraternity is an indication of the high regard in which Jools is held, surely one of the best young drummers in the country.

Hopefully Jools will be on the phone to the gal and guys pictured below to arrange a gig next year.

Click photos to enlarge.

Annie Hawkins

Denny Ilett

Baby Jools

Dave Wilkinson

Mick Cooke

Brian Mellor


 

Tuesday, November 8th...tonight saw the first appearance at the Harp of the slimmed down Millennium Eagle Jazz Band....in the absence of Jack Cotterill and his drums the rest of the guys played as a quintet, with Pete Brown on trumpet and valve trombone, Matt Palmer on clarinet and saxes, Andy Holdorf on trombone, Brian Lawrence on sousaphone as well as bass, and Chris Etherington on banjo.

"How Can You Face me?", Riverside Blues", "Le Marchand De Poissons" and "Roses of Picardy" were a few of the first set numbers with the second half starting off with "Happy Birthday" for Pete Brown and including "Come Back Sweet Papa", "Hiawatha Rag" and "Under the Double Eagle" (on YouTube here).

This superb band will be back on February 14th.

 

Birthday Boy

The Quintet

Click photo to enlarge

Brian's Sousa

 

Sunday, November 6th...Mike Carnie's Jazz All Stars were in today and managed to get through the session without being attacked by a Jack Russell terrier! (see the July 10th report).

With drummer Mike today were Jon Critchley on trumpet, Laurie Cooper on trombone, Ed Rees on clarinet and tenor sax, Derek Harrison on piano and Dave Margaroni on bass.

"Canal Street Blues" (played again for the unfortunate John Hill who is not allowed to forget his dip in the canal!), "Muskrat Ramble", "Gone Fishin'" and "Royal Garden Blues" were just a few of the offerings which were interspersed with jokes from Derek Harrison.

Another entertaining session from All Stars who will be back next year.


Tuesday, November 1st...Carole Westwood and the Archie Cotterell Trio gave us an evening of more "gentle " jazz with Carole's vocals being brilliantly backed by Archie on piano, Derek Brown on bass and Barry Watts on drums.

"Summertime" and "Jinjy" were just two examples of Carole's vocals with Archie contributing "Take Five" amongst his solos.

A very pleasant way to spend Tuesday, or any other evening!


Sunday, October 30th...sessions by the Five Towns Footwarmers are always a good way of spending Sunday lunchtime and today's gig was no exception, in fact it was commented that it was a most enjoyable and entertaining two hours.

With Gerry Owen on reeds and vocals, Glyn Bennett on trumpet, Laurie Cooper on trombone, Terry (no relation) Cooper on bass and sousaphone, Mike Haslam on drums and leader Keith Garner on banjo the music was bound to be good.

The varied programme included "Algiers Strut" (that pleased Marie!), "Mama's Gone Goodbye" and "June Nights". A beautifully choreographed "Smile" which started with a banjo/bass duet and then first the clarinet, then trumpet, then trombone passing through the audience from the back of the room and finally the drums joining in to complete a very different start to the second set.

An excellent session by the Footwarmers from the Potteries....next years gigs are in the book!


Tuesday, October 25th....June 2009 was the last time Steve "Big Man" Clayton was in the Harp but it was well worth the wait. Together with Chris Lomas on bass guitar and Mick Barker on drums the "Big Man" gave us his own rendition of blues, boogie and rock & roll with superb piano playing, brilliant bass guitar and excellent drumming from "new brushes" Mick and his minimalist drum kit....proof that you don't need a truck load of kit to drive a band along!

From "Where did you stay" to "Boogie Woogie Stomp" and "Blueberry Hill" it was vintage "Big Man" who also got the audience going with "My Ding a' Ling" and Sweet Little 16".  Steve also included some of his own music including "Going Back to Birmingham".

Hopefully it won't be another 2½ years before a return visit.

 

Chris Lomas

"Big Man"

Mick Barker

 

Sunday, October 23rd...21 years ago a weekly jazz club was started in Albrighton and the rest, as they say, is history.....a history of which we are now very proud as the Harp, for the last 18 years the home of Jazz Club 90, is now known throughout the jazz world by musicians and fans alike. We have been privileged to have some of the top names in jazz to entertain us as well as all our regular bands who have been behind the success of the Harp.

These regular bands were represented today by JB's Jazz & Blues Band who have played for us since 2004.

Led by John Beckingham on piano the line up of this popular band was Roger Manwaring on sax and clarinet, shoes and hat, Andy Wood on guitar, Tony Capaldi on bass and Paul Holder on drums. With all the band also being very good singers the music contained something for every one, including "Happy Birthday" to the Harp, and helped to make a most enjoyable session.

Today was also my opportunity to thank everyone who has helped to make the Harp such a well known venue....not least Donna, Dave and Russell,  who, after Terry's sad death four years ago, have not only continued their financial support of the jazz but have also made many improvements to the pub and supported us in every way they can. We have also at times had grants from Shropshire Council, Bridgnorth District Council, Albrighton Parish Council, the Arts Council and Lottery....unfortunately many of these are now victims of the economic situation and becoming harder to come by.

Our thanks also to the many musicians who have played for us and the audiences who have turned up to hear them.

Final mention had to be for Marie who works tirelessly to raise the necessary extra funds....it doesn't cost to come in but Marie makes sure you pay before you get out!!!!!

We look forward to the next 21 years.....I will only be 99 by then!


Tuesday, October 18th...as Ben Holder couldn't make tonight's gig we had a superbly entertaining trio led by Derek Harrison on piano and including Graham Ashley on drums and the inimitable "Mad Ed" Lloyd Hughes on bass.

Ranging from "Chimes Blues" to "The Joint is Jumpin'" the programme also included TJ Johnson's "The Brightest Smile in Town" and "You've Got a Friend in Me", a number played for sax player Mike Hayler who has health problems which have stopped him playing for a while.

A most entertaining session which had everything from superb music, excellent solos, stories from Derek, vocals(?) from "Mad Ed" (as well as excellent bass playing) and fine drumming from Graham.

Derek and the boys will be back next year.


Sunday, October 16th...Chris Carmell's Jazz with Bob Smith were today's visitors and as always gave us well known and not so well known numbers to take our minds off the football result from the Hawthorns....the Albion's win over Wolves giving much more pleasure to Chris than it did to me!

However, the music did go a long way to brighten my day with the band playing probably their best session for us since Chris got them together earlier this year.

Numbers included "You Don't Understand", "Flat Foot", "Red Eye, Bourbon and Rye" and Humphrey Lyttleton's "It's Over Now".

Great music superbly played by Chris on cornett, Bob Smith on clarinet and baritone sax, Dave Braidley on trombone, Len Thwaites on bass, Phil Probert on guitar and banjo and Dave Andrews on drums.

The band are booked in for several sessions next year.


 

Tuesday, October 11th...another excellent session from Robin Mason's Apex Jazz & Swing Band with much of the music coming from the big band repertoire and the varied styles of Duke Ellington.

Amongst the numbers were "Mood Indigo", "St. Louis Blues", "Black Beauty" and "Good Queen Bess". A fine "Autumn Leaves" featured Graham Woodhouse on trombone with "Route 66" and "Take the A Train" closing the session.

Robin and Apex will be back for our last session before Christmas.


Sunday, October 9th...."Bring Me Sunshine" was one of the numbers played by the New Charleston Footwarmers on their first visit to the Harp, and that is exactly what they did!

Leader Neil Upton, on trombone and megaphone, brought in Bill Ridley on trumpet, Rick Hughes on brass bass, Ted Smith on banjo and Bill Basey on clarinet for what turned out to be a very different and most enjoyable session.

With not a microphone in sight (until I had Dave supply one for me to use in the interval!) the announcements and vocals by Neil were made through a very high tech piece of equipment...the aforementioned megaphone which added a touch of reality to many of the numbers the band played.

These included "The Charleston", "June Nights", "Curse of an Aching Heart", "Lily of the Valley", Somebody Stole My Girl" and "Breeze".

On top of their undoubted musical ability the band won many new friends with their enthusiasm for their music and desire to please the audience....even one member of the audience who was treated to a rendition of "Canal Street Blues" to commemorate his perfect "10" dive into the canal whilst helping to turn a narrow boat! This is the second such incident in a few weeks involving different members of the audience, if it continues at this rate I will have to start naming names!

A very appreciative audience thoroughly enjoyed the band's first visit and their calls for "more!" brought a second playing of "The Charleston", a very fitting end to the gig.

"Bring Me Sunshine" is on YouTube and the band will be back by popular demand!


Tuesday, October 4th...for a lot of reasons several regular members of our audience were missing tonight but fortunately we had a few groups of people in for the first time and they were suitably impressed with both the welcome they received and the music of Martinique Jazz Band who played their mix of jazz standards, blues, big band numbers and ballads, the latter mostly sung by bassist Dave Boxold.

With the band numbers and solos swinging along nicely it was a very pleasant way to spend a Tuesday evening.

Martinique Jazz Band will be back in the New Year and the new visitors we hope before that!


Sunday, October 2nd...with The Old Comrades Jazz Band today was a newcomer to the Harp, Peter Livesy on piano who joined the regular members of Big Eric Dodgson's orchestra to provide us once again with a most entertaining Sunday lunchtime.

As always we heard some slightly less well known numbers such as "Ain't Nobody Got the Blues Like Me", "This Sporting Life", "Storeyville Blues" and "Blue Blood Blues" which together with the more familiar "Chattanooga Stomp", a superb "Milenburg Joys" and "Thriller Rag" helped to make up a programme for everyone.

The gig was further enhanced by the fact that Eric was fully recovered from his health problem which put a damper on his performance last time he was in.....this week our octogenarian trombone player was in fine form and also singing again as well as ever!

The Old Comrades will be back on December 4th.


Tuesday, September 27th...with bass player Ed Lloyd Hughes missing the Derek Harrison Trio became the DH Duo with Derek on piano and Graham Ashley on drums.

Derek used his piano to good effect to minimise the loss of the bass and also to give the impression of a much larger orchestra at times! Changing from "Tiger Rag" to Victoria Wood's "I Can't Do It!", to touch of Winifred Atwell with "Black and White Rag" and then "Misty" thrown in for good measure meant there really was something for everyone.

Driven along superbly by Graham on drums Derek showed not only what a superb pianist he is but also his ability to entertain an audience with both his music and jokes and stories...none of which I can remember!

The Derek Harrison Trio will be back on October 18th.


Sunday, September 25th...little did we know when Laurie Chescoe decided to venture North with his Re-Union Band what a superb session it would turn out to be.

The sheer enjoyment they derived from playing their music and entertaining the audience was enough to get our regulars asking for more, add on their brilliant musicianship and it was easy to see why.

The line-up of Dave Hewett on trombone, Alan "Lord Arsenal" Bradley on trumpet, Duncan Hemstock on clarinet/sax, Colin Bray on piano, Peter Skivington on bass guitar, Jim Douglas on banjo/guitar and of course Laurie on drums had the Harp swinging from start to finish as well as laughing socks off at some of Alan Bradley's comments as "band announcer" for the day.....one was when he remembered the last time he was in the Harp, 13 years ago and said he recognised the dress a lady in the audience was wearing!

Solos from everyone were all as you would expect from such experienced players in a programme which varied from "Old Miss Rag" to "Pennies from Heaven", "A Man Without a Woman (Silver Dollar)" and "Woodpecker's Song" and finished with "Fidgety Feet". The Harp's "Mexican Wave" during "Panama Rag" surprised even these experienced (slightly older!) jazzers!

Hopefully we can arrange a return visit by the band next year.

There will be videos on YouTube soon.

Laurie Chescoe

Alan Bradley

Duncan Hemstock

Peter Skivington

Jim Douglas

Colin Bray

Click on photos to enlarge.....sorry Dave Hewett, your photo was out of focus....?too much Harp beer for the photographer!

 


Tuesday, September 20th...fresh from his success with Sarah Spencer and her TransAtlantic Friends last week Mark Challinor brought in his own Wabash Jazzmen for tonight's session.

Regulars Mark on banjo, guitar and tenor ukelele (!), Mike Hayler on clarinet and tenor sax and Howard Worthington on bass were joined by Pete Ainge on trumpet to make one of the most popular quartets to play at the Harp.

Numbers ranged from "Give Me Your Telephone Number" to "Precious Lord, Take My Hand", "Rent Party Blues" and "Shout 'Em Aunt Tillie".

Each of the musicians had their own feature spot with "Porter's Love Song For a Chamber Maid" by Howard, "Limehouse Blues" by Mike, "Georgia" by Pete and "How Deep is The Ocean"" by Mark.

Of particular interest was the playing of "Canal Street Blues" especially for an un-named, but very well known, member of the audience who had inadvertently missed the narrow boat he was boarding and found himself getting slightly wet in the "cut"!

An excellent session ended with "Just a Little While to Stay Here" and "Weary Blues".

Wabash will be back on November 29th.


Sunday, September 18th...as always Carl Sinclair and Howard Smith delighted our audience as they transported them again back to their mis-spent youth with a superb session of blues, boogie, rock and roll and the inevitable touch of Winifred Atwell!

Carl's superb piano playing and singing was backed by the equally entertaining drumming and singing of Howard....the two of them work so well together and obviously enjoy the sessions as much as we do.

Not your usual "traditional" jazz but good enough to pack the venues at Upton, Keswick and Bromyard Jazz Festivals....if you haven't seen him look out for this very talented young man next time he is anywhere near you...with Howard, his Trio or his Boogie Band.


 

Tuesday, September 13th...There is no truth in the rumour that I booked Sarah Spencer and Friends just because today is my birthday (78 years young!)...although I must admit I was rather pleased when asked if Sarah could play at the Harp on the 13th of September!

It was 2001 when Sarah first brought her TransAtlantic Friends to the Harp and we are delighted that she has been back almost every year since. The line-up of the Friends has changed a little over the years and today saw Steve Graham on trumpet, Derek Galloway on trombone, Annie Hawkins on bass, Bill Evans drums and Harp favourite Mark Challinor on banjo playing with the band for the first time.

A full house heard the inimitable tenor sax playing and singing of Sarah superbly backed by the rest of the band with everyone contributing their own excellent solos.

The programme ranged from "My Memphis Baby" to "Tie Me To To Your Apron Strings Again", "Listen To the Mocking Bird", "Love Songs of the Nile" and "Mary Wore a Golden Chain" and many more.

Steve Graham was making his first visit to the Harp and will be welcome back any time, it was great to see Annie Hawkins again and Mark appeared to enjoy his first appearance with the band. Band regulars Derek Galloway and Bill Evans were at their best as always.

Hopefully Sarah and the gang will be back next year.

See Sarah's  videos on YouTube.

My thanks to everyone, especially John and Pat Hill, for the card and most welcome bottle of a slightly alcoholic liquid!

Sarah Spencer

Derek Galloway

Bill Evans

Annie Hawkins

Steve Graham

Mark Challinor


Computer problems means there have been no gig reports for about 4 weeks....suffice to say that Carole Westwood, New Orleans Heat, Richard Smith, John Smith, Bill Smith and Tom Moore (instead of Ben Holder), the JTM Band, Red Dragon Jazzmen, Millennium Eagle, Chris Carmell Jazz and Dene River Jazzmen all gave us their usual excellent interpretations of the jazz music we all appreciate. Look out for a couple of videos  on YouTube soon.


Sunday, August 14th....."Big Eric" Dodgson on trombone brought in his Old Comrades Jazz Band today with Tony Caldicott on drums and Harry Christian on clarinet and alto joining regulars Dave Sherwood on cornet, Mike Wall on piano, Steve Slater on bass and Griff Thomas on banjo.

The music varied from the "Working Man's Blues" to the "Postman's Lament" and from "Mabel's Dream" to "Lead Me Saviour". Other's included "Salutation March", "My Life will Be Sweeter Some Day" and "Let the Light From the Lighthouse Shine on Me" with the vocals all by the band's  octogenarian leader, and very good they were too!

Although Eric hadn't been very well just lately he still made sure the session was as enjoyable as ever with the Comrades and they will be welcome back on October 2nd.


Tuesday, August 9th....The Graham Woodhouse Swing Band brought a swift return for Graham after his stint with Apex last Sunday! This band from the East Midlands had Graham on trombone and vocals, Peter Wraight on trumpet, Frank Tyler on piano, Wally Watts on bass and Mick Saunders on drums.

The mix of numbers included "It Don't Mean a Thing", "Here's That Rainy Day" played as a rumba for the dancers(!), "Flamingo", played for the first time by the band and "What a Wonderful World" which gave us something for everyone.

A different style but still enjoyable, the band may well be back next year....but whether pianist Frank will be buying another cheese and onion roll is doubtful as he told us at the end of the evening that the one he bought had no cheese in it ....just onion on a buttered roll...Marie brought him another one to find that was also lacking in the cheese department! It turned out that I, as chief C and O roll maker for the day, had missed the cheese off all of them with our very kind regulars making no complaint whatsoever, either they thought it was very mild cheese (non-existent) or strong onion! I have now been banned from making cheese and onion rolls...I'll have to see what I can do with the tuna next time!


Sunday, August 7th....Robin Mason's Apex Jazz and Swing Band had two guests today with Bill Smith on bass and Graham Woodhouse on trombone joining regulars Jon Stone on trumpet, Jim Harney on drums and Don Gwinnett on piano, with Robin of course on assorted reeds.

"Good Queen Bess", "Moonglow" by Robin and the rhythm section, "My Lean Baby" with vocal by Jon Stone which had Graham "dancing" with his lean baby..the microphone stand....were typical of the musical offerings by this highly entertaining band.

Great music by superb musicians who so obviously enjoy playing...what more could you want on a Sunday lunchtime?

Apex will be back on October 11th. while Graham Woodhouse will be back with his own band on August 9th!

Robin did suggest it would be worth searching on YouTube for Fascinating Aida singing "Dogging"....if you are over 18 (aren't we all?), broadminded  and like a good laugh find it here.!


Tuesday, August 2nd...this turned out to be another rather special gig at the Harp when Malcolm Hogarth and Friends, now to be known as the 3Ms, were our band for the evening. The 3Ms are Malcolm (Hogarth) on piano, Mike (Hayler on clarinet/saxes) and Mark (Challinor on banjo/guitar) and it was the latter who asked me if his daughter Kirsty could sing a couple of numbers with the band......that "couple" turned into several as this very confident young lady had our audience calling for more...and more!

We expected, and got, a superb session from these three very popular musicians with numbers such as "I've Got Rhythm", "Harlem Bound", "Cie Lito Lindo" and "Once in a While" while Malcolm gave us the "Swannee River Boogie" and Mark shone his "Light From The Lighthouse" down on all of us. We even had a song from bass player Howard Worthington who had called in with his wife and told us all about "The Porter's Love Song for the Chambermaid""

I'm sure the 3Ms will forgive me if I say the evening really belonged to Kirsty who sang at least seven songs including "Big, Bad, Handsome Man", "Ring Dem Golden Bells", "Down By The Riverside", "Why Don't You Do Me Right" and "Papa De Da Da". Some of these and others will be on YouTube before long, look out for them....all backed superbly by the 3 Ms.

An attractive young lady with a superb voice and rapport with the audience, no wonder Mark was a very proud Dad, he can bring Kirsty back any time!

Follow 3 Ms and Kirsty to see them on YouTube


Sunday, July 31st...Martinique Jazz Band were today's visitors with their blend of mainstream and Dixieland jazz further enhanced by Dave Boxold's vocals. The whole session was given a certain "Royal" feeling with the news that leader/trombone player Bobby Johnson had been "up to London to see the Queen"......through an invitation to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party to recognise his services to music over many years.

Martinique will be back on October 4th.


Tuesday, July 26th...John Everett's Red Dragon Jazzmen were tonight's visitors and added their musical touch to the new look lounge...a further example of Donna, Dave and Russell's commitment to making the Harp an even more welcoming venue....new carpet, re-upholstered furniture and the dreaded pillar totally changed have completed the improvements in the lounge.

With the "Isle of Capri" and "Basin Street Blues" showing the wide variety of numbers in their repertoire we also had "Dans Les Rues D'Antibes" with a superb bass solo from Dave Boxold, "So Do I" with the vocal from Ruth Frith, drummer Ron Smith's "Everybody Loves My Baby" and many more , ending with "Running Wild".

The Dragon's will be back on August 30th.

.

Relaxing in the "new look" Harp before the start of the gig.


 

Sunday, July 24th...the always welcome JB Jazz & Blues Band once again gave us a truly swinging entertaining lunchtime.

JB is, of course, John Beckingham on piano and with him are Roger Manwaring on tenor . alto and clarinet, Andy Wood on guitar, Tony Capaldi on bass and Paul Holder on drums.

Superb music included "Stan's Dance", "Every Day I Have the Blues", "Fly Me To the Moon" and the Mills Brothers' classic "Cherry" whilst others such as "Dr. Jazz", "How High the Moon" and "Caldonia" are from their excellent new CD "We Love Being Here with You".

Great musicians and singers every one, it's no wonder we always say "we love having you here with us!"

John and his boys(!) will be back on October 23rd.


   

.

   
Tuesday, July 19th...Chris Carmell's Jazz with Bob Smith were again very popular visitors to the Harp and today's line-up was Dave Braidley on trombone, Len Thwaites on bass, Dave Andrews on drums, Phil Probert on banjo and guitar with of course Bob on clarinet and baritone sax and leader Chris on cornet.

This excellent bunch of musicians were joined at various times during the evening by our two friends from Holland, Tonn Damm and his wife Zenya, who are on holiday in this part of the world. Tonn's alto sax and Zenya's vocals added even more variety to the usual assortment of well known, never heard before, risqué and standards that we have come to expect from Chris's band.

Worthy of note are "All the Quakers are Shoulder Sakers Down in Quaker Town", a superb baritone/alto duet by Bob and Tonn during "She BrokeMy Heart in Three Places", the cheeky "I Want to Play Piano For The Ladies" by Dave Braidley, Zenya's "Basin Street Blues" and one of Humph's tunes..."It's Over Now".

With the rhythm section driving everyone along this was another cracking session and the band will be very welcome back on September 6th.

 

....The "Big Band" front line

 

Alto and baritone duet......

 

 

Sunday, July 17th....this report really doesn't need anything other than

<<<<<<<"Carl Sinclair and Howard Smith">>>>>>>

as this piano and drums duo as always provided everything we could want for an entertaining Sunday lunchtime.

Blues/Boogie/Rock and Roll/Winifred Atwell/Jules Holland/Steve Clayton...it was all there with even, for some odd reason, a diversion in to "Jingle Bells"!

Ending with "Johnny Be Good" Carl sent a full house home feeling extremely happy, if you missed them this time don't miss Sept. 18th.


 

Tuesday, July 12th....Derek Harrison, having avoided the attentions of the dog last Sunday, was in today to entertain us with the Derek Harrison Trio who had Derek on piano, vocals and jokes, "Mad Ed" Lloyd Hughes on bass and vocal and Graham Ashley on drums and vocal. The band were joined by Tonn Damm from Holland who played a couple of numbers with the Sunday band and also by Tonn's wife Zenya for several vocals.

The music varied from the opener "The Joint is Jumpin'" to"How High the Moon", "Big Butter and Egg man" with Tonn on alto, "Me Myself and I" with Tonn and Zenya and Derek's tribute to Tommy Burton with "Somebody Else Not Me" and "12th. Street Rag". Today's classic vocal contribution by "Mad Ed" was his inimitable version of "Flat Foot Floogie"...not for the faint hearted! Graham on drums kept everyone in order from the back.

This is just a selection of the numbers which entertained us all evening with Tonn and Zenya adding variety to an already excellent trio.

Derek and the boys will be back on September 27th.

"Mad Ed" Lloyd Hughes

Derek Harrison

Graham Ashley


Sunday, July 10th....what a pity the News of the World no longer exists....they would surely have had the headline:
 

"Dog savages trumpet in the Harp!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or    

"Jack Russell plays (trom)bone!"

 

No, I haven't gone bonkers, this was the glorious moment when a very friendly but obviously anti-jazz Jack Russell decided to put a stop to the superb session we were enjoying with Mike Carnie's Jazz All Stars. The look on the faces of the musicians when he first appeared were a sight to behold, fortunately his owner grabbed him by the tail and removed him and was immediately banned from the lounge by Dave the boss!

See "Lady Be Good" and the dog here!

Prior to this most unusual diversion we had started the session minus Stan Williams on trumpet as Mike had given him our home postcode which meant he found himself outside our front door not having a clue where he was! Various other delays meant he missed a lot of the first set but when he duly arrived his first appearance at the Harp was a a great success with his trumpet playing and vocals being appreciated by the audience. Frank Slater on trombone also made an impressive Harp debut.

Mike Hayler completed the front line, having managed to avoid the attentions of the Jack Russell, and Mike on drums was accompanied in the rhythm section by Dave Margaroni on bass and Derek Harrison on piano, vocals, announcements and jokes!

During the third set the All Stars became a big band when they were joined by Tonn Damm from Holland on alto sax, to the delight of the audience and the band, his sax playing was excellent.

Listing the tunes they played isn't really necessary, needless to say this was a most entertaining Sunday lunchtime, the interlude with the dog was just a minor diversion from superb music brilliantly played by musicians who enjoyed what they were doing, guaranteeing that we also would enjoy it.

Mike calls his band the All Stars and that is just what they are, they will be back on November 6th....don't miss it, you never know the dog might turn up again!

Click photos to enlarge

 

The Band

 

 

Tonn Damm

Mike Hayler

Derek Harrison

Frank Slater

Stan Williams

Sorry, Mike and Dave I didn't get your photo this time.


Tuesday, July 5th...what a super session right from the start with Richard Leach's Clubhouse 5 with Richard on trombone joined by regulars Gordon Whitworh on trumpet, Dave Wilkinson on alto and clarinet, Howard Worthington on bass and Brian Mellor on banjo.

With "Mahogany Hall Stomp", "Marching Through Georgia" and "Climax Rag" being some of the instrumentals we had vocals from all members of the band including "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" from Howard, "Take Me To the Electric Chair" from Brian, "I Can't Get Started" from Gordon, "Lonesome Road" from Dave and (with the doors locked!) "Louisian-I-A" from Richard....all good stuff.

It was nice to see a full house enjoying this superb band who will be back on November 15th.


 

Sunday, July 3rd....a different line-up but still a rather nice sound from Five Towns Footwarmers when the bass of the absent Terry Cooper was replaced by the tuba of Laurie Cooper who, with Glyn Bennett on trumpet, Gerry Owen on alto/clarinet, Mike Haslam on drums and leader Keith Garner on banjo, completed what Keith said should now be called the Five Man Footwarmers.

A programme which ranged from ""When You're Smiling" to "Royal Garden Blues" and "Careless Love" also included "June Nights" for two of our regulars, Gordon Fryer and Barbara Bosworth, who both have birthdays on Monday.

A most enjoyable lunchtime, the band will be back on October 30th.

The photo of yours truly below is when I was laughing at my own "senior moment" having announced that Laurie Cooper would be in again next week with Mike Carnie, even though Mike had told me only on Sunday morning that he had Frank Slater ( of Sid Lawrence fame) on trombone....bring on the men in white coats!!!

Gerry Own

5 Man Footwarmers

Keith Garner

Laurie Cooper

Mike Haslam

Glyn Bennett


 

Tuesday, June 28th...with no gig on Sunday because we were at the Upton Jazz Festival it was back to normal tonight with the Millennium Eagle Jazz Band.

The band are always popular so it was a surprise to have a disappointingly low audience, for all sorts of reasons several regulars were missing and in a small place like the Harp this can be very noticeable. Those who were present and correct were treated to the usual high standards which the band have set for themselves.....features for all the front line with superb backing from the rhythm section included Matt Palmer's "Over the Waves" and "St. Philip's Street Breakdown", the two trombones of Andy Holdorf and Pete Brown in "East Coast Trot" and Pete's virtuosity on the cornet was apparent in many numbers. The rhythm section of Brian Lawrence on bass, Jack Cotterill on drums and Chris Etherington on banjo drove everyone along.

Jelly Roll Morton's "Sidewalk Blues", complete with hokum start was dedicated to the Jelly Roll beer on sale at the bar!

The band will be back on September 4th.


Tuesday, June 21st....Wabash Jazzmen, with Mike Hayler on sax/clarinet Howard Worthington on bass and leader Mark Challinor on banjo/guitar were joined by Pete Ainge on trumpet for the Midlands version of the band.

Numbers ranged from "Milenburg Joys" to "Bobby Shafto" and "How Deep is the Ocean" with "Jackass Blues" and "Tight Like That" along the way.

A return visit was guaranteed when "Algiers Strut" was played for Marie and confirmed when the finalé was a rousing "Running Wild" with vocal by Howard.

The return visit for Wabash will be on September 20th....Mark and Mike will be in on August 2nd with Malcolm Hogarth on piano and Mark will be a guest with Sarah Spencer, over from the States, on September 13th.


Sunday, June 19th....a most entertaining Sunday lunchtime is almost guaranteed when "Big Eric" Dodgson brings in the Old Comrades Jazz Band and today they lived up to our expectations.

Superb music, some which we don't hear very often, excellent solos, vocals from Eric and great rapport with the audience all added up to a very nice Sunday further enlivened by an interval appearance by 17 year old Louis Coupe who played three numbers on the old Harp piano and astounded everyone with his talent...and confidence. We will have Louis back one day.

The Old Comrades will be back on August 14th.


Tuesday, June 14th...Apex Jazz & Swing Band were in again today with Don Gwinnett on piano alongside Jon Stone on trumpet, Jim Harney on drums, guests Bill Smith on bass and Graham Woodhouse on trombone and of course Robin on assorted reeds.

"I've Got Rhythm", "Good Queen Bess", "I Double Dare You" and "Royal Garden Blues" were just a few of the numbers which made for a very successful session which also featured Robin with "Memories of You" on clarinet and Graham with a trombone version of "Misty".

Requested by Jim Harney "Stevedore Stomp" made sure no-one was nodding off and the gig ended with "Take the A-Train".

Another most entertaining session by one of our regular bands...Apex will be back on August 7th.


Sunday, June 12th...RAF Cosford Air Show usually means travel problems for the band and the audience as well as distraction by the brilliant low flying displays almost directly over the Harp....today, unfortunately for the plane enthusiasts, the continuous heavy rain curtailed both the traffic and the flying which meant early arrival at the Harp for the band and the audience and virtually no "noises off" during the session.

This all meant that Chris Carmell's Jazz with Bob Smith on clarinet and sax actually started 15 minutes early and once again gave us a most entertaining session of well known numbers, almost unheard of tunes and the inevitable jokes from Chris. The rhythm section of Bob Pearce on bass, George Linder on banjo and Jim Denham on drums backed the front line of Chris on cornet, Bob on clarinet and baritone sax and Dave Braidley on trombone.

 The band return on July 19th.


 

Tuesday, June 7th...at last, a gig report on time! Today's session featured the superb violin talents of Ben Holder with BB Swing regulars John Smith on guitar and Robin Mason on alto sax and clarinet....the absence of Bill Smith meant that we had another excellent young musician, Tom Moore, making a return visit on bass.

As always the rapport between our audience and Ben and the trio contributed enormously to a most entertaining evening. Robin, John and Tom did a great job of backing Ben on numbers such as "Crazy Rhythm", "La Mer" and "Sweet Georgia Brown" with a brilliant "Tiger Rag" featuring Ben and the rhythm section while Robin was featured with Tom and John  in "Nuages".

Two very talented young men, and two equally talented but slightly more senior musicians, made sure everyone enjoyed the evening and went home full of praise for the band.

Ben Holder and BB Swing will be back on August 23rd......don't miss it!


 

June 6th....my apologies to bands for the lack of gig reports since May 15th...major hard drive failure on my computer caused just a few problems...and that is putting it very mildly!

Needless to say Carole Westwood with the Archie Cotterell Trio, Baby Jools' All Stars, The Albion Jazz Band, Red Dragon Jazzmen, Five Towns Footwarmers and Dene River Jazzmen all entertained us superbly and all will warrant a lengthy report next time they are in!.

Normal service will be resumed from now on.


 

Sunday, May 15th...with Gwyn Lewis having to return to Sweden New Orleans Heat arrived today with John Everett on trumpet. John joined the regulars John Scantlebury on reeds, Mike Taylor on trombone, Tony Peatman on banjo, Harry Slater on bass and Clarence Nugent on drums with leader Barry Grummett keeping everyone in order.

The absence of Gwyn meant that most of the vocals fell to John Scantlebury and included "Dr. Jazz", "Dallas Blues" and "Up a Lazy River" with Clarence doing his version of "Who's Sorry Now". Mike was featured in "Waiting For the Sunrise", John Everett in "Back Home in Indiana" and John S in "I Walked in the Garden Alone" and "Alice Blue Gown" with the band going to town on "Battle Hymn of the Republic", "Milenburg Joys", and "Oh, Marie" and ending with audience participation in "Goodnight, Irene" and "Kansas City Boogie". There just had to be an encore to end this superb session and just by chance it happened to be one of Marie's favourites, "Panama".

We look forward to the return of New Orleans Heat on August 21st.


 
Tuesday, May 10th....Take Kevin Grenfell on trombone, Richard Leach on trombone, Roger Heeley on piano, Roger Davies on bass and Graham Smith on drums and what do you get?....an evening of sheer pleasure with Slide By Slide. This pleasure came not only from the superb musicianship of all concerned but also their real enjoyment of the music which came over from the band to the audience.

The music varied from "Back Home in Indiana" to "Mood Indigo" and "Night Train" (superb!) and Richard and the rhythm section in "Embraceable You", Kevin and Roger with their trombone/piano version of "Stranger on the Shore" and the two Rogers and Graham with "One Morning in May"....all very different but all superbly played.

Richard and Kevin took care of the vocals with Kevin also adding in many little anecdotes to the amusement of the assembled multitude.

Slide by Slide are not just a brilliant jazz band...they are dedicated to giving everyone two hours of sheer pleasure.....and they succeed very well! There will be videos on YouTube soon.

Come back next year please!

Leader Kevin

Well suited at the start

soon too warm for jackets

ditto

casual but smart rhythm section


 

Sunday, May 8th....how to really enjoy Sunday lunchtime....book John Shillito's Select Six and while the band are playing have the Wolves beat the Baggies (3-1) and as a bonus move out of the Premier League relegation places!!!!!!

Their first Sunday appearance at the Harp meant more new fans for John's superb band from the West Country which had Bobby Fox-trombone, John Wurr - clarinet, alto & baritone saxes, Derek Maughan - drums, Bob Jarvis - bass guitar, "new boy" Simon Banks - piano and of course John himself on trumpet & vocals.

 Starting with a new one to me, "Take a Ferry Boat to New Orleans", the scene was set for a most entertaining session. Further numbers included "Exactly Like You", "Hesitating Blues", "I'll Fly Away" and some which I videoed such as "St. Thomas", and "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler".

Solos by every one were excellent as were John's vocals, sometimes with Glee Club backing from the band and the massed choir of the Harp audience! Various rhythm instruments which John passed to the audience were put to very good use while John donned his "washboard" tie and waistcoat and Simon's piano accordion made its first appearance at the Harp.

I started off saying "How to enjoy a Sunday lunchtime"....the Select Six lived up to their name and made this one just brilliant, with the music we like and a great rapport with the audience......the Wolves result was the icing on top of a superb cake!

John and the Gang will be back next year.

 

....John Shillito

and the Select Six....

 

 

Bring back memories....

 

Christine Tyrrell

......at the Harp.

Sunday, May 1st....Christine Tyrrell today turned the clock back about eight years to the last time that Phil Mason's band and Christine were in the Harp! We had a full house, Christine was superb, as always, and The Yacht Club Four backed her brilliantly.

It was some months ago when we saw adverts in Jazz Guide for gigs by "The Yacht Club Four with Christine Tyrrell" and Marie said we should see if they would all come to the Harp one Sunday....one phone call later and Christine, very surprised to hear a voice from the past, thought it was a great idea, left the sorting out to Linda Robins from YC4 and thus today came about.

The Yacht Club Four, in the Harp for the first time, had Tony Karavis on cornet and vocals, Josh Robins on clarinet, tenor sax and C melody sax, Dave Cummings on G banjo and Linda Robins on forward-facing tuba.

Once the music started the eight years ago suddenly seemed like yesterday with the band starting off with "Second Line" and "Bogalusa Strut" before Christine really brought back the memories with "I Get the Blues When it Rains" and "Down in Honky Tonk Town" and later "How Great Thou Art" and "Jazz Me Blues" and then making Marie's day complete with "Running Wild".

Other numbers by the band included "Dippermouth Blues", "Beer Barrel Polka", "St. James' Infirmary Blues" and "Fidgety Feet"...all excellent.

I took videos of Running Wild, It is No Secret, Dark Town Strutter's Ball, My Mother's Eyes, Big Butter and Egg Man, Royal Telephone Line and Dr. Jazz and they are all on YouTube. They all show Christine's love of the music and her obvious enjoyment in being back at the Harp. This enjoyment was shared not only by our more mature audience but also by the Harp's youngest fan, our 5 year old Grandson Adam who seemed to enjoy every minute!

There is no doubt that Christine and the Yacht Club Four will be back early next year.

Tony Karavis

Josh Robins

Christine Tyrrell

Linda Robins

Dave Cummings

 

Yours truly, Adam and Christine

Yacht Club 4

Adam

 

 

Tuesday, April 26th.....familiar faces in a new line-up brought us Chris Pearce's Frenchmen Creek Jazz Band with Chris on clarinet and sax joined by Tony Davis on trumpet, Richard Leach on trombone, Graham Smith on drums, Len Thwaites on bass and Phil Probert on banjo and guitar.

A brisk start with "At the Jazz Band Ball" and "Avalon" was followed by a slower "Smiles", allegedly for the non-existent dancers but more likely to give the band a chance to recover!

The programme then ranged from "Blue Skies" to "Battle Hymn of the Republic" with along the way features for Richard on "Out of Nowhere", Tony on "I Can't Get Started" and Chris with "Georgia Cabin". A video of "Texas Moaner Blues" will be on YouTube soon.

Superb music by excellent musicians, they will be back early next year.

Graham Smith

Chris Pearce

The band

Richard Leach

Tony Davies


 

Sunday, April 24th....the irrepressible Ben Holder with his now amplified violin was in today with John Smith on guitar and Bill Smith on bass to give us their superb rendition of a wide variety of songs.

These varied from "Crazy Rhythm" and "Autumn Leaves" to "Stompin' at Decca" and "Tiger Rag". The latter I videoed only to find the wrong setting on my camera resulted in a very grainy film, nowhere near good enough to do justice to a brilliant performance of a song not normally associated with the violin!

Drummer "Sir" Alan Buckley, of Upton on Severn Jazz Festival fame, sat in with the trio and helped the rhythm section keep up with young Ben, not an easy task!

Ben, Bill and John will be back on Tuesday, June 7th. with BB Swing when you can hear more of this extremely talented young man and his slightly(!) more senior accomplices, who will no doubt have us again amazed by their brilliance. We should also never forget that it was bass player Bill Smith who introduce Ben, a few years ago, to the music of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt....an introduction which brought a superb new talent to the jazz world

Alan Buckley took the opportunity to tell people about his new venture, the Bromyard Jazz Festival which is on August 19/20/21 at the Falcoln Hotel....Ben will be there......see more details here.


Tuesday, April 19th...the Antique Six Jazz Band were tonight's visitors and once again showed why they are one of the most popular bands around.

A brilliant front line of Chris Mercer on trumpet, Richard Leach on trombone and Chris Pearce on  clarinet and saxes were driven along by the equally brilliant Clinton Sedgley on banjo and guitar, Ian Parry on bass and Graham Smith on drums.

"Running Wild", Sandy Brown's "Go Ghana" and King Oliver's "Riverside Blues" were just three of the numbers which helped 2½ hours pass by very quickly.

The Antique Six Jazz Band have decided that after 17 very successful years 2011 will be the last year that the band will be touring so their next gig at the Harp will be their last......put Tuesday, November 22nd at 8.30 in your diary now so that we can give them a great send off!


Sunday, April 17th.....Derek Harrison brought his usual excellent musical enjoyment to the Harp for our Sunday session. He was ably assisted by Graham "Rocket" Ashley on drums and "Mad Ed" Lloyd-Hughes on bass.

Derek on piano and vocals gave us numbers such as "New Orleans" and "Your Feet's Too Big" with his piano solos featuring "12th Street Rag" and "Bad Penny Boogie".

Unforgettable vocals from "Mad Ed" included "Dr.Jazz" and "Flat Foot Floogie" which once again made sure no-one was dozing off, and if that didn't work the shirt certainly did!!

 Superb music with the bonus of Derek's jokes (all very clean!) meant everybody went home very happy.

Derek and the boys will be back on Tuesday, July 12th.    

 

.......Derek Harrison

The Trio complete with shirt!.......

 

Tuesday, April 12th...."Chris Carmell's Jazz with Bob Smith" gave us six well known musicians under a new band name.

The musicians were Dave Braidley on trombone, Len Thwaites on bass, Dave Andrews on drums, Phil Probert on banjo and guitar with of course Bob Smith on clarinet and baritone sax and leader Chris on cornet.

A highly entertaining programme varied from "I Never Knew What a Girl Could Do" to "Alabama Jubilee" and "Louisiana Fairy Tale" which featured Bob Smith on the clarinet and baritone. A lighter note was introduced with Bob's version of "My Little Bimbo Down on a Bamboo Isle" and Dave Braidley's "The Old Sultan's Harem" as well as Chris's jokes!

"Birth of The Blues" and "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues" were amongst the many superb numbers in the second set of what was a most enjoyable session.

This newly formed band will I'm sure soon become very popular and will be back at the Harp on June 12th.

 

........Chris Carmell

The front line.....

 

Sunday, April 10th...as always a superb session by JB's Jazz & Blues Band with a good crowd in. Andy Woods on guitar, Roger Manwaring on sax and clarinet, Tony Capaldi on bass alongside Paul Holder on drums,  and the boss, John Beckingham on keyboard.

Great music, "Pennies From Heaven", "Jive at Five", "Bare Necessities of Life" and "Blueberry Hill" are just a few examples with "Caldonia" and "Jump, Jive and Wail" rounding off the session. With all the band members being excellent singers we had vocals and solos from everyone...all played with very obvious enjoyment and with a great rapport with the audience.

Sunday, July 24th. is the next time you can see this most entertaining band at the Harp.


Tuesday, April 5th...The Dr. Teeth Big Band were tonight's visitors with their mix of swing/jive/jazz and blues led by American singer Steve Steinhous. The seven piece line-up gave us a superbly played and sung programme ranging from "One Woman Man" to "Minnie the Moocher" and on to "St. James' Infirmary Blues" with "Jump, Jive and Wail" and "Rock the Joint" for good measure.

All in all an entertaining evening spoilt for some by the rather excessive volume.


Sunday, April 3rd...another of our regular bands, Apex Jazz & Swing Band were in today with Don Gwinnett on piano alongside Jon Stone on trumpet, Laurie Cooper on trombone, Jim Harney on drums, Bob Boucher on bass and of course Robin on assorted reeds.

"Sweet Georgia Brown", "Good Queen Bess", "There will Never be Another You" and the finalé "Royal Garden Blues" were just a few of the numbers which made for a very successful session, once again further enlightened by Robin's jokes and banter with Jon and the rest of the band!

A very pleasant diversion was the presentation of a bouquet of flowers and a card to regular jazz supporter Gladys who will celebrate her 80th. birthday next Thursday. The flowers were carried to Gladys by our 5 year old grandson Adam who is becoming quite a jazz fan, so much so that he even announced the raffle and football card winners and the coming attractions at the end of the session....bringing forth comments from the audience that I could soon become redundant!

Apex Jazz & Swing Band will be back on June 14th.

? new promoter!


Tuesday, March 29th...Martinique Jazz Band with their range of Traditional, Mainstream and Swing music were tonight's visitors. Dennis Taylor on sax and clarinet joined regulars Tony Billingsley on trumpet, Bobby Johnson on trombone, Dave Boxold on bass, Reg Reid on piano and Jim Harney on drums for a programme including "Honeysuckle Rose" to "Jazz Me Blues", "Out of Nowhere" and "Hello Dolly".

A pleasant evening of popular and well known tunes played unfortunately to a smaller than usual audience...football on TV might have a lot to answer for!

Martinique Jazz Band will be back in May.


Sunday, March 27th...the return of the Old Comrades Jazz Band also saw another visit by leader Eric Dodgson's grand-daughter Alice Beavan.

"Big Eric" on trombone was joined as usual by Dave Sherwood on cornet, Dave Coles on clarinet/sax, Griff Thomas on banjo, Mike Wall on piano, Dave Andrews on drums and Steve Slater on bass.

"Mandy, Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" and "Marching Through Georgia" got us off to a good start which just got even better as the session progressed. Eric contributed vocals on "If You Never Needed The Lord Before" and "Bir Mis Du Schön" and instrumental numbers included "Mabel' Dream", East Coast Trot" and "Spanish Shawl" with "Far Away Blues" played in remembrance of Frank Pardoe who loved to hear the Old Comrades.

 17 year old Alice brought her own Bessie Smith style singing to the gig and did great justice to numbers such as "Salty Dog", "Nobody Knows You When You Are Down and Out", "Black Mountain Blues", Cakewalking Babies" and "Jailhouse Blues". The fact that Eric and Alice live about 120 miles apart and "rehearsals" were by e-mail and text message made the success of these vocals even more astounding!

Alice's "Jailhouse Blues" is now on YouTube

The day was complete for the Dodgson family when they won both bottles of wine in the raffle...Eric did pick the tickets!

The Comrades will be back on June 19th.


Tuesday, March 22nd....tonight saw a very rare Tuesday booking for New Orleans Heat, a band who normally come to us on Sunday lunchtime as part of a tour, and a very full house showed again how popular the band is.

The line-up was Gwyn Lewis on cornet, Jon Scantlebury on clarinet and alto, Mike Taylor on trombone, Tony Peatman on banjo, Harry Slater on bass, Colin Bushell on drums and leader Barry Grummett on the Harp's resident piano.

As always the music was swinging from the very first note to the last. Excellent solos from everyone, a Mike Taylor/Jon Scantlebury duet on "Lady Be Good" accompanied superbly by the rhythm section, the inimitable Gwyn Lewis vocals during  "Don't Sweetheart Me" and numbers such as "Bluebells Goodbye" and "Panama" all contributed to a very successful evening. Tony, Harry, Colin and Barry were the driving force behind a great front line.

As a tribute to Frank Pardoe we once again had "Sheikh of Araby", this time the Gwyn Lewis version and the session ended with "Goodnight Irene". Videos may follow on YouTube!

We are indebted to the Albrighton Local Joint Committee for their help in funding this evening of top class jazz.

Gwyn Lewis

Barry Grummett

New Orleans Heat

Jon Scantlebury

Mike Taylor


Sunday, March 20th....Dene River Jazzmen were in fine form today with Peter Roberts back on banjo after being in hospital for the band's last appearance and the rest of the line-up was Brian Bates on cornet, Rod Williams on alto, clarinet and vocals, Dave Braidley on trombone and vocals, Keith Prescott on bass and John Nicholls on drums.

From "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" to "Royal Garden Blues" and "Moose March" the programme was varied enough to please everyone. "Mandy, Mandy", "Black and Blue" and "Out In the Cold Again" together with "Rose of Washington Square" were some of the vocals which added variety to the session.

Particularly poignant was Brian Bates singing "Sheikh of Araby" as a tribute to Harp regular Frank Pardoe, 84 year old Harp regular who sadly died suddenly yesterday. The "Sheikh" was one of the numbers Frank would play on his tenor when he sat in with many of our bands, complete with his own interpretation of the words. Popular with musicians and audience alike Frank will be very much missed.

With excellent contributions from everyone in the band this was a great way to spend Sunday lunchtime and they will be back on June 5th.

...........Dene River Jazzmen front line

Brian Bates' "Sheikh of Araby"....


Tuesday, March 15th....Millennium Eagle Jazz Band had Tony Bagot on bass in place of Brian Lawrence who was on holiday. Tony joined regulars Matt Palmer on reeds, Pete Brown on cornet, trumpet and valve trombone, Andy Holdorf on trombone, Chris Etherington on banjo, and Jack Cotterill on drums.

Opening with "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" the band went on to play something for every one with the likes of "Steam Boat Stomp", Andy Holdorf's "Everything is Peaches Down in Georgia", an superb alto feature for Matt on "Misty" and Pete and Andy on two trombones for "East Coast Trot". "St. Philip's Street Breakdown" and "Red Sails in the Sunset" led on to the finalé, "Climax Rag".

Millennium Eagle Jazz Band will be back on June 28th.

 

...Matt Palmer

Millennium Eagle Jazz Band

The Glee Club!....

 

Sunday, March 13th....the annual visit by Bob Dwyer's band is always something to look forward to and today was no exception.

Bob's Bix & Pieces had Max Emons on trumpet, Duncan Hemstock on reeds, Hugh Crozier on piano, John Bayne on bass/bass sax, Nick Singer on banjo. Laurie Chescoe on drums and of course Bob on trombone.

The guys gave us a lunchtime of highly entertaining jazz ranging from "Black Cat on the Fence" to "Weary Blues", "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" (with vocal from Nick Singer) and "Me and the Devil" by Max Emons on trumpet, harmonica and vocal. The ladies were happy when Hugh Crozier played "I Would Do Anything for You" and, later, "Pine-Tops Boogie". John Bayne played a superb "Elephant Stomp" on the bass sax.

A very popular birthday boy was Harp regular Frank "Smooth-Head" Pardoe who was 84 today.

A superb session by a popular band who will be back next year on March 25th.


 

Tuesday, March 8th....with several enforced changes John Everett's Red Dragon Jazzmen had a very different look tonight. Leader John Everett on cornet and Ron Smith on drums were joined by Dave Margaroni, now almost a regular, on trombone, Keith Garner on banjo and guitar, Dave Boxold on bass and the ever young Bob Smith on clarinet with of course Ruth Frith on vocals.

"Tishomingo Blues", Ron Smith's vocal on "Everybody Loves My Baby", "Just a Gigolo" by Dave Boxold, "1919 March" and Bob Smith's Milenburg Joys" were just a few of the excellent numbers in a very varied programme. Ruth's contribution included "Georgia on my Mind" and "Careless Love" whilst Bob played a superb "Hushabye" on clarinet with the backing of the rhythm section.

The evening ended with a storming "Running Wild" and my regret that I had forgotten my camera to record the rare appearance of two octogenarians in the same band at the Harp.....John Everett and Bob Smith are both 80 years young and still as entertaining as ever.

The Dragon's will be back on May 29th. and Keith Garner will be in with his Five Towns Footwarmers on May31st. while Bob Smith will be back with Chris Carmell's Jazz on April 12th.


March 6th....another brilliant, entertaining session today from the Ben Holder Trio with John Smith on guitar, Bill Smith on bass and of course Ben on violin.

As always Bill and John did a superb job of accompanying the wonderfully  talented Ben Holder who never ceases to amaze, not only with his violin skills but also his obvious love of the music he is playing.

With the choice of numbers being mainly from their CD, "This Is For....", we were treated to "Nagasaki", "Exactly Like You", a tribute to sax player Mike Turner with "Que Reste T-Il De Nos Amours" ("I Wish You Love" has the English words), "This Can't Be Love" and "Stompin' at Decca" to name just a few of the tunes which once again helped two and a half hours fly by.

His rapport with Bill and John as well as with our audience is another reason why Ben Holder is always more than welcome at the Harp and why we look forward to their next visit on April 24th.

See videos of "Putting All My Eggs in One Basket" and "This Can't Be Love" on YouTube.


Tuesday, March 1st....Wabash Jazzmen were tonight's visitors with Malcolm Hogarth on keyboard joining regulars Mike Hayler, Pete Ainge and Mark Challinor.

"Maryland, My Maryland", "Algiers Strut", and "Dippermouth Blues" are just a few of the numbers which kept everyone happy with features for Mike Hayler on clarinet in "Si Tu Vois Ma Mere", Malcolm Hogarth on piano and Mark Challinor on banjo in "Somebody Stole My Gal" and Pete Ainge on trumpet in "Bad Penny Blues".

An excellent quartet who entertained for every minute of the session which ended with a rousing "Climax Rag".

Wabash Jazzmen will be back on June 21st.


Sunday, February 27th....today's session started on a sad note with the news that Mel Hill's son had died unexpectedly so obviously Mel was unable to be with us as leader of the Old Fashioned Love Band.

Ged Hone was on trumpet, at very short notice, and joined the regulars Mike Pembroke on trombone, Moe Green on drums, Harry Forelius on bass, Jake Reeves on banjo with new boy Willie Entwistle on clarinet and sax.

Click to enlarge

"Black and Blue", "Wabash Blues", "Nobody's Sweetheart Now" and "S'Wonderful" all showed off the talents of the band with vocals from Jake with "From Monday On" and "Louisiana Fairy Tale", and Ged with "Lady Be Good" and "All of Me" adding a little variety. There was something very different when Mike played a Beiderbecke number, "Rhythm Kings", on his trombone...superb. With Moe Green on drums there had to be a drum solo, this time during "China Boy"....a solo that grabbed the attention of everyone in the Harp....just great!

Mel Hill was never far from our thoughts during this Sunday lunchtime and I am sure everyone would like me to express our condolences to Mel and his family.

The Old Fashioned Love Band will be back some time in the future.


Tuesday, February 22nd....another excellent session from Richard Leach's Clubhouse 5 with Gordon Whitworth on trumpet, Dave Wilkinson on clarinet and sax, Howard Worthington on bass and Brian Mellor on banjo...the boss of course was on trombone.

The music varied from "East Coast Trot" to "Buddy's Habit", "Cornet Chop Suey", "Black Cat On The Fence" and the finalé "Weary Blues".

See videos of "Muskrat Ramble" and "Old Rocking Chair here.

Richard and the Boys(!) will be back on July 5th.


Sunday, February 20th....turned out to be one of those days when almost everything gelled together to give us a superb lunchtime session. A really packed Harp heard for the first time the Carl Sinclair Trio, who for two hours took everyone back to their miss-spent youth via their great mix of rock and roll, blues, boogie and the occasional ballad. It was Terry Roberts on tenor and alto sax who increased the usual duo of Carl on piano and Howard Smith on drums to a trio.

Starting with a Steve Clayton number, "You Know What I Mean", we then had "Let's Go Jitterbug", Howard Smith's vocals on "My Babe" and "Bebop a Lula", audience participation in "The Wonder of You" and Blueberry Hill" and Terry even rolling up his sleeves and crossing himself for "C'est la Vie"!

Piano solos, vocals, drum solos and sax solos all added to an excellent session.

Carl played a superb "Bumble Boogie" and the session came to an end with a rousing "Great Balls of Fire", again with help from the audience!

Mere words on a page can't really describe the atmosphere in the Harp whenever Carl Sinclair is at the piano....apart from his enormous talent he has a wonderful rapport with the audience who appreciate and enjoy every minute, he has superb backing from drummer and singer Howard Smith and today had the extra bonus of one of the Harp's favourite sax players, Terry Roberts.  Considering Terry and Carl had never met before today the result was quite something!

A date for your diary...Sunday, July 17th. when Carl and Howard will be back, sorry it can't be sooner but we just don't have the dates available...what it is to be popular!

The only thing that didn't gell to make a truly perfect day was the result from the Hawthorns...Albion 1 Wolves 1 !!!

 

Carl Sinclair

The Trio

Terry Roberts

 

Tuesday, February 15th...another of our regular bands, Apex Jazz & Swing Band who had Don Gwinnett from Derby on piano alongside Jon Stone on trumpet, Laurie Cooper on trombone, Jim Harney on drums, Bob Boucher on bass and of course Robin on assorted reeds.

"Basin Street Blues", a small big band version of "Oh, Baby", a slow "At the Jazz Band Ball" along with "Motem Swing" and "Royal Garden Blues" were just a few of the numbers which made for a very successful evening, further enlightened by Robin's jokes and banter with Jon and the rest of the band!

Apex will be back on April 3rd.


Sunday, February 13th....following the youngsters of last Tuesday we had the slightly more senior Old Comrades Jazz Band in today. Led by probably the oldest trombone player in the UK, "Big Eric" Dodgson who is 85 years young, the band entertained a very full house with their programme of well known, and not so well known, tunes.
Ranging from "Jamaica March" to the cheeky "Sweet Patootie", "Bouncing Around" and "Storeyville Blues" there was something for everyone with also an abundance of spirituals such as "I Will Fly Away", "Let the Light from the Lighthouse Shine on Me" and "Precious Lord".      It was a great pleasure to see Mike Taylor, trombone player with New Orleans Heat, in the audience with his wife and their friends enjoying one of our very popular regular bands.

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 Eric's enjoyment of his music is very infectious and spreads to both the band and the audience who were full of praise for the session.

The Old Comrades will be back on March 27th. with the possibility that Eric's grand-daughter, Alice, may be with him to treat us to a few vocals.


Tuesday, February 8th....another four piece and again a very different sound when singer Jon Salt brought in his Wall Street Renaissance with a line-up of Tom Moore on bass, 13 year old Wesley Morgan on drums, Ben Holder, this time on piano instead of violin and of course Jon on vocals and harmonica.

Four very talented young  musicians playing some of the music of our youth made a very refreshing change, with "Gee, Baby", "You Make Me Feel So Young", "Summertime" and "Isn't She Lovely" being just a few of the well known songs associated with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.

As for the musicians we know Ben very well from his violin playing exploits....tonight we found out he is also equally talented on the piano, not just a couple of numbers on the old upright but a full session backing Jon superbly. Tom Moore, a newcomer to the Harp, impressed everyone with his excellent bass playing and young Wesley Morgan on drums did a superb job without ever drowning out the other three.

Jon is one of a rare breed, a male singer who is at home with standards, jazz, show tunes, jump jive and the Blues Brothers!.....he is also rather good on the piano and harmonica!

Not our usual style of jazz but an excellent session with a nice crowd who were full of compliments, they will be back!


Sunday, February 6th....another 4 piece band but a very different sound when Daniel Smith's Blues Band paid their annual visit to the Harp.

Unfortunately Jon T-Bone Taylor was ill in hospital so the guitar spot was taken by a newcomer to the Harp, Al Vincent who joined the regulars Pete Miles on drums, Andy Jones on bass guitar and of course Daniel on piano.

A mix of blues and boogie gave us numbers such as "Chewing the Fat", "Preachin' the Blues" (one of Daniel's compositions) and "Moondance", with vocal from Andy. Daniel couldn't resist playing the old upright piano and "Barrel House Boogie" and "Honky Tonk Train Blues" made it sound rather good!

The brilliant piano of Daniel Smith was admirably backed by Andy Jones and Pete Miles with Al Vincent earning himself a lot more fans for his superb guitar playing.

The session was further enlivened by nearly five year old grandson Adam who was wearing his mini version of the Jazz 20th. anniversary polo shirt, complete with logo. Boss Dave was so pleased that he had to have his photo taken with Adam who later entertained (?!) the audience during the interval!
 

Dave and Adam

Showing off the logo

The Entertainer!

 

Tuesday, February 1st....we had a very different style of jazz when Carole Westwood came in with the Archie Cotterell Trio (it was nice to see Archie back after his recent illness).

Carole, together with pianist Archie Cotterell, bass player Derek Brown and drummer Barry Watts  gave us a evening of jazz and popular standards sung and played superbly.

Click to enlarge

The likes of "Lonesome Road", "A Foggy Day in London Town" and a delightful "Autumn Leaves" were just a few of Carole's songs with ""Tea for Two" and "Walk in the Black Forest" being features for Archie, Derek and Barry.

Glyn, one of our Harp regulars, surprised us when he joined the trio to sing a couple of numbers including an excellent "Summertime".

A very pleasant evening came to an end with a swinging "Perdido"

Carole and the Boys(!?) will be back on May 17th.


Sunday, January 30th....like the previous visit of the Derek Harrison Trio this one was just as "different" to say the least with the dulcet tones of "Mad Ed" Lloyd Hughes adding a certain charm to the proceedings!

Derek on piano and drummer Graham Ashley together with Ed the bass player played excellent entertaining jazz which ranged from "Shine" to "St. Louis Blues" and "12th Street Rag". Derek said how much he admired T. J. Johnson and played one of his numbers, "I'm Having a Good Time" as well as a nice version of "Misty".

Tenor sax player Alan Taylor joined the band for a few numbers including "Ain't Misbehavin'" (now on YouTube) and "Avalon" whilst "Mad Ed" once again shattered the peace of Albrighton with "Dr. Jazz" (also on YouTube) and "Flat Foot Floogie"....Sunday lunchtimes will never be the same again!

A most entertaining session with plenty of laughs, occasional jokes and above all some superb jazz, what more could you want?

Derek and the gang will be back on April 17th.


Tuesday, Jan. 25th....only a week ago Mark Challinor and Mike Hayler were in the Harp with Malcolm Hogarth, tonight they were with Mark's Wabash Jazzmen. As always Howard Worthington was on bass and Pete Ainge on trumpet.

A rousing "Old Miss Rag" got us off to a fine start and the rest of the session followed suit with "Little Lisa Jane", a vocal by Mark, "Goodnight Sweet Prince" which featured Mike and Pete, "Over in the Glory Land" with audience participation and the banjo/bass speciality by Mark and Howard in "Waiting for the Sunrise".

"Shout 'Em Aunt Tilley", "Storeyville Blues" and "Milenburg Joys" continued the entertainment in the second set and Wabash sent the audience home happy.

The band will be back on March 1st.

Wabash Jazzmen


Sunday, Jan. 23rd....Led by Mike Lovell on trombone Six in a Bar from the North-West were here for the first time with the line-up being Andy Henderson on trumpet, Willie Entwistle on clarinet, sax, penny whistle and violin, Chris Howes on banjo, guitar and vocals, Colin Turner on bass sax and Peter Eddowes on drums and bones!....with the delightful Rosie Harrison on vocals, soprano, alto and clarinet.

Once again two and a half hours passed by much too quickly with a band who so obviously enjoy their music and who, like many before them, enjoyed the welcome and appreciation they got from our audience.

Opening with "Struttin' With Some Barbeque" Rosie soon joined the band to sing and play "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" and was on clarinet with Willie to play "Copenhagen". Chris Howes was featured on several vocals including "Changes" and "Lady Be Good". Numbers such as "Black Bottom Stomp" and "Jambalaya" went down very well as did the speciality act by Willie on penny whistle and Peter on bones during "China Town".

"My Melancholy Baby" sung by Rosie and played by Willie on the violin showed the versatility of this superb band, with Andy doing a great job on trumpet and vocal in "Whispering". All the way through the rhythm section of Peter, Chris and Colin drove the band along without a falter.

Apart from being an excellent trombone player and announcer Mike has got together a band of superb musicians and in Rosie has one of the best lady singers we have heard in the Harp.....she won herself a lot of new fans, and not only the men!

"The Right Key But The Wrong Keyhole" and "After You've Gone" are now on YouTube

We hope to have Mike and Six in a Bar (and Rosie of course!) back again later this year.

 

Andy Henderson

Rosie Harrison

Mike Lovell and 6 in a Bar

Willie Entwistle and Peter Eddowes

Willie on sax

Chris Howes and Colin Turner


Tuesday, Jan. 18th...tonight's band was a trio got together by Mike Hayler but which, in view of the fact he is an up and coming young pianist, we decided to call Malcolm Hogarth and Friends. This grand title Malcolm knew nothing about until shortly before he left for the Harp!

The "Friends" in the title were the brilliant Mark Challinor on banjo and guitar and of course Mike Hayler on clarinet and tenor sax. I suppose it was inevitable some-one would suggest they could also have been called the "3 Ms"!

The photos show that Malcolm is not quite such a "young pianist" and he has long since passed the "up and coming" stage to become one of the best and most entertaining jazz piano players around and with Mark and Mike gave us a memorable evening.

With everything from "East Coast Trot" to "Walk On" and "Lover Come Back to Me" through to features for Mark with "Don't let nobody drag your spirit down" and "Walking Blues" and Malcolm on "Bad Penny Blues" and "Joyride" there was again something for everyone with Mike adding his talent on sax and clarinet.

Altogether a superb evening which we would be very happy to repeat in the future...until then you can watch two videos of Malcolm playing "Joyride" and "Bad Penny Blues" on YouTube.

  Malcolm Hogarth  

Sunday, January 16th....John Everett's Red Dragon Jazzmen were today's visitors and once again gave us a most entertaining Sunday lunchtime.

Neil Upton on trombone joined regulars John Bodenham on clarinet and soprano, Phil Probert on banjo/guitar, Mark Johnson on bass, Ron Smith on drums and of course John on trumpet with vocals from Ruth Frith. The programme varied from "Hindustan" to "Basin Street Blues" to "Dans Les Rues D'Antibes" and vocals which included "You May Not Be an Angel" from Ruth, "Dr. Jazz" from Ron, "Gigolo" from John Everett. One of the highlights was a superb guitar solo from Phil Probert which started with "The Way You Look Tonight", went to "I'm in the Mood For Love" and ended with "Don't Blame Me"!

Marie's request for "Panama" prompted the now compulsory "Mexican Wave" from the audience with our nearly 5 year old grandson, Adam, joining in very enthusiastically....he loves coming to the Harp, even announcing the football card and raffle prize winners!

The Red Dragons will be back on March 8th.


Tuesday, January 11th.......the music on the night of our belated "Christmas Do" was provided by Ben Holder and BB Swing, which as usual included Bill Smith on bass, John Smith on guitar and Robin Mason on clarinet and alto with vocals and a little harmonica playing by Jon Salt.

With the backing of three very experienced and talented musicians Ben is like a breath of fresh air with his enthusiasm and amazing talent, tonight not only on the violin but also again on the upright piano in the Harp....add to that his singing and you have all you need for a perfect evening.

Jon Salt is a superb singer of "standards" and jazz numbers with the added bonus of excellent blues harmonica playing.

The delayed Christmas raffle and the supper provided by Donna and Dave and Jazz Club 90 as a "Thank You" to all our supporters added to the enjoyment of the session which came to an end all too soon.

Jon and Ben will be back on Feb. 8th. with Jon's Wall Street Renaissance  which features Ben on piano and a 13 year old drummer, Wesley Morgan, who we are told is sensational.

Robin and Bill will be in with Apex Jazz and Swing Band on Feb. 15th. and Ben Holder's Trio will be in on March 6th.


Sunday, January 9th....as always a superb session by JB's Jazz & Blues Band with the Harp nicely full. Tony Capaldi on bass was making a rare appearance at the Harp alongside Paul Holder on drums, Andy Woods on guitar, Roger Manwaring on sax and clarinet and the boss, John Beckingham on keyboard.

Great music, "Satin Doll", "Jive at Five", "Bare Necessities of Life" and "Pennies From Heaven" are just a few examples, excellent vocals and solos from everyone...all played with very obvious enjoyment and with a great rapport with the audience.

Sunday, April 10th. is the next time you can see this most entertaining band at the Harp.


Tuesday, January 4th.....New Washboard Syncopators were tonight's visitors with a very different line-up. Leader Tony Quinn on percussion was joined by Tony Pipkin on trumpet ( at only a few hours notice as Jon Stone was ill) , Harry Christian on reeds, Stan Stephens on trombone, Phil Probert on banjo/guitar and Len Thwaites on bass.

Starting with "At the Jazz Band Ball" and progressing through the likes of "Big Butter and Egg Man", "Old Rugged Cross" and "Savoy Blues" to the finalé, "Royal Garden Blues", the band entertained a disappointingly small audience who all enjoyed an excellent session.


Sunday, January 2nd....the snow and ice before Christmas meant cancellation of two gigs so it was with some relief that we were able to come to the Harp today for the start of our 2011 jazz sessions.

The warm, friendly atmosphere was enhanced by the Christmas decorations and lights, which most of us hadn't seen, and made a perfect setting for a superb session by the Dene River Jazzmen. Leader Peter Roberts has been in hospital with heart problems, but is hoping to be back with the band soon, so for today his place was taken by Clinton Sedgley, always welcome at the Harp with his banjo and guitar. The rest of the line-up was Chris Carmell on cornet, vocals and jokes, Rod Williams on alto, clarinet and vocals, Dave Braidley on trombone and vocals, Keith Prescott on bass and vocal and John Nicholls on drums.

A programme which included "Sensation", "Magnolia's Wedding Day", "Alcoholic Blues" and "1919 March" was the perfect start to the year, enlivened as always by Chris Carmell's anecdotes about the origin of many of the tunes. A very pleasant interlude was when Mary from the audience sang an excellent version of "Summertime" backed by the band who made a superb job of playing it for the first time.

Six excellent musicians playing great music and entertaining a near full house gave us a great start to the year and they will be back on March 20th.

   

Dene River Jazzmen

   

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