email: jazzclub90@live.co.uk

 

 

Jazz Club 90

Gig reports 2012   

(from Jan.3rd.)

The Harp Hotel, Albrighton,Shropshire.

WV7 3JF

 

 

 

Tel: 01902 756158

 

 

 

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Click photos to enlarge

Tuesday, November 13th...The line-up for the Brownfield/Byrne Hot 6 is Jamie Brownfield on trumpet, Liam Byrne on tenor sax , Tom Kincaid on piano, Andy Hulme on guitar, Jim Swinnerton on bass and Jack Cotterill on drums.....the only problem tonight was that three members of the band were caught up in the aftermath of an accident on the M6 and delayed by nearly an hour and a half.

This meant that the first set of the evening was played by the Brownfield/Byrne very Hot 3 with Jamie on trumpet, Liam on tenor and clarinet with Jack as the sole rhythm section, and what a good job they made of it, including a version of "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" that Liam had arranged for the Hot6!

The second set, with Tom, Jim and Andy safely in the Harp included "Davenport Blues", a superb "Black and Tan Fantasy", "Sweet Lorraine" played to a very quiet Harp and ended with "Avalon".

The sustained applause and appreciative comments from the audience were all thoroughly deserved by six young musicians who hopefully will be playing "our" kind of music for a long time to come and will definitely be back next year!


 

Sunday, November 11th...Martinique Jazz Band play many types of jazz, from Traditional to Mainstream, from Swing to Blues with popular standards and vocals thrown in for good measure and that is just what we got today.

Dennis Taylor joined the regular members of the orchestra to once again give us a most enjoyable Sunday lunchtime.

Martinique will be back on March 3rd. 2013.


 

Tuesday,November 6th...it is two years since the first visit by Swedish band Jelly Babies but it was certainly worth the wait.

One or two changes in the line-up didn't change the "happy" jazz approach of the band and Jan Trygve on trumpet, Kaj Sifvert on trombone, Hasse Sporre on clarinet, Ulf Dreber on Soprano sax,  Pelle Larsson on piano, Claes Grönberg on banjo, Hans Nyman on double-bass, Anders Nyberg on drums and Per-Arne Lindholm on vocals all combined to give us a most entertaining evening.

The ability to communicate through their music was enhanced enormously by their command of the English language.....how many "Brits abroad" are so gifted?!

The wide ranging repertoire included Per-Arne's vocals in "My Indiana Home" and "I've Found a New Baby", an excellent clarinet feature by Hasse with Fats Waller's "Stealing Apples", Jan gave us trumpet and vocal with "Dr. Jazz", a superb soprano, clarinet and rhythm section version of "As Long as I Live" and even an audience sing-along during "Alexander's Rag Time Band"....all most ably introduced by the Per-Arne.

Harp regular and host at many Saga jazz holidays Margaret Saddington joined the band for a couple of numbers, "Am I Blue" and "Love Nest".

The right music played to a full house by musicians who enjoy themselves...what more could you want on a Tuesday evening?

The evening ended with "We'll Meet Again".....a sentiment echoed by everyone in the Harp, hopefully it will be next year.

Per-Arne Lindholm

Jan Trygve

Hasse Sporre

Ulf Dreber

Hans Nyman

 

Anders Nyberg

Sorry Kaj Sifvert on trombone and Claes Grönberg on banjo....I didn't get a good photo of you!

Pelle Larsson

 

 

Sunday, October 4th...we had a very different line-up for Mike Carnie's Jazz All Stars today with Jeff Matthews on clarinet, Stan Williams on trumpet, Frank Slater on trombone, Barry Edwards on guitar, Dave Margaroni on bass and of course Mike on drums.

Once the jokes about trumpet attacking Jack Russell dogs were out of the way we were treated to a session of numbers ranging from "Buddy Bolden's Blues", with Stan on vocal,  to "Rosetta", "Coquette" with a delightful intro by Jeff and "Honeysuckle Rose".

It is over a year since Stan Williams was with us and it was a great pleasure to hear his superb trumpet playing and distinctive singing style again, similarly the trombone playing of Frank Slater.

A complete newcomer to the Harp was the much younger Barry Edwards on guitar who played quite brilliantly.

Add to this the talent of Jeff, Dave and Mike and it is easy to see why the gig was so enjoyable all the way to the finalé of "Bourbon Street Parade".

Click on the pictures to enlarge

Mike Carnie

Stan Williams

Jeff Matthews

Frank Slater

Barry Edwards

Dave Margaroni


 

Sunday, October 28th...it has been quite a time since the Five Towns Footwarmers had the "A" team on parade at the Harp and how well they played today with leader Keith Garner on banjo, Laurie Cooper on trombone, Glyn Bennett on trumpet, Gerry Owen on alto and clarinet, Terry Cooper on bass guitar and Mike Haslam on drums.

A nicely varied programme included "Maggie", "Curse of an Aching Heart", "June Night", a quieter and steadier than usual "Saratoga Swing" and, with no prompting from Marie, finished with a rousing "Running Wild".

Excellent music played by experienced musicians who like playing for us at the Harp...what more could you want on a Sunday lunchtime?

The Footwarmers will be back on April 21st next year.


 

Tuesday, October 23rd.....it was about this time of year 20 years ago when the late Terry Pibworth agreed to help fund jazz sessions in the Harp, beginning a journey that was to see the home of Jazz Club 90 become a household name in the jazz world both here and abroad.

Our 20th anniversary was celebrated in the company of Baby Jools' All Stars who have become one of the many greatly admired bands who have played for us over the years. Led by Julyan (Jools) Aldridge on drums the line-up was Denny Ilett on trumpet, Warren Latham on reeds, Mick Cooke on trombone, Brian Mellor on banjo and guitar and John Fellowes on bass.                                                                                                           Click on photo to enlarge

Jools started off the proceedings by proposing a toast to "jazz at the Harp" before the band started with "When My Dreamboat Comes Home" and then working through a programme that included "We Will Walk Through The Streets of The City", "Singing the Blues", "Blue Turning Grey Over You" and "Take The A Train".

Denny, Mick and Warren provided the vocals, everyone produced superb solos with the rhythm section driving along the excellent front line.

Finishing with "Lucille" another toast to jazz at the Harp was proposed by Jools who was then encouraged to play an encore  which pleased Marie when they agreed to "Running Wild"...and wild it was!

During the evening the usual "thank you-s" were said to Donna, Dave and Russell for their financial help in funding the bands, to George Sims , one of the founders of Jazz Club 90, to Marie for her sterling efforts on the fund raising front and to our audiences for their continued support...without them the whole exercise would be pointless!

A little light refreshment (sandwiches, black pudding and Spanish onion) was provided during the interval and the larger than usual raffle added extra funds to the kitty.

Jools and the boys(!?*!) will be back on February 17th next year.


 

Sunday, October 21st...today's band, Chris Carmell Jazz with Bob Smith, was led, in the absence of Mr. Carmell, by another Chris, Mr. Mercer, on trumpet. It is a while since Chris M last appeared at the Harp and it was a pleasure to see him alongside regulars Bob Smith on clarinet and baritone sax, Dave Braidley on trombone, Bob Pearce on bass, Dave Andrews on drums and Clinton Sedgley on banjo/guitar.

The music as always from this band was of the highest quality and included lesser known numbers...lesser known to some of the band let alone the audience!

"Canal Street Blues", "Salty Dog", "Drop that Sack", "Gone" by Chris and the rhythm section an d "Hushabye" by Bob and the rhythm section were just a few of the tunes with the vocal renditions throughout the session being shared between Bob Smith, Chris and Dave Braidley. I must mention Clinton's guitar playing, something not often heard with this style of music, which was an absolute delight.

The only downside to the proceedings was when I realised that not only did I have to contend with Clinton's support for West Bromwich Albion (he points out that Albion are a league above the Wolves), but also today I found out that Chris's hometown is Huddersfield who beat the Wolves yesterday!

Nevertheless it was still a superb session and the band will be back in December.

Click photos to enlarge


 

Tuesday, October 16th...Carl Sinclair has been coming to the Harp for 3½ years and still manages to transport our audience back to their mis-spent youth of Rock and Roll, Blues, Jive and Boogie with a little help from Howard Smith on drums. The music of Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Nat King Cole and more up to date numbers and standards were all part of the superb programme played and sung by two excellent musicians.

Carl started the session off by announcing that he was engaged to be married and then sang such songs as "I Can't Stop Loving You","I Got a Woman" and "The Wonder of You", although the latter was played for Marie as was Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline"....Carl knows how to guarantee getting another gig!

Howard's contribution, apart from his excellent drum playing, included the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" and "See You Later Alligator".

"Johnny Be Good" and "Great Balls of Fire" finished off another rocking session in the Harp.

Carl, Howard, Terry Roberts on sax and Carl's dad Kenny, who is a really rocking guitar player, will be with us on

Tuesday, December 18th for our Christmas Party...don't miss it!

 

Carl and Howard obviously enjoy themselves!

 

 

Sunday, October 14th...it is two years since the Limehouse Jazz Band first played at the Harp and today's session was well worth the wait.

They have made their reputation as a Traditional Band playing arranged music acoustically and specializing in Classic New Orleans jazz of the 1920 / 1932 period. Their excellent arrangements of the music of Fletcher Henderson, Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Duke Ellington and others gave us a superb programme from one of the largest bands to play in the Harp, they just about managed to fit in!

To avoid repetition the 10 musicians are all named below their photos!

With the reed section varying from 3 saxes to 3 clarinets or mixes of both the band had a very different sound at times with the arrangements making full use of the 2 cornets, trombone, piano, tuba, banjo and drums.

Just a few of the numbers included "Zulu Walk", "Nagasaki" (vocal by David Lucaks), "Smoke Rings", a short(?) drum solo in "I Need Loving", "Peggy" (which will be on YouTube soon), and "Henderson Stomp" with the 3 clarinets and the session ended with Fletcher Henderson's "Business in F" and an encore of "Three Blind Mice".

Robert Duis is an excellent leader of the band and his, and the other musicians, rapport with the audience contributed enormously to the enjoyment of another excellent Sunday lunchtime at the Harp.

Unfortunately the Limehouse Jazz Band have had to cancel their booking for next year.

Limehouse Jazz Band

 

Attila Korb

Robert Duis


Louis Lanzing

Parick Weeghmans and

Sir Wil van Shaik

Stef Guerts

Alhard Zwart

Rob Radoux

David Lucaks

Jan van der Woord


 

Tuesday, October 9th...The Apex Jazz and Swing Band had a slightly different line-up tonight when Don Gwinnett on piano joined regulars Robin Mason on reeds, Jon Stone on trumpet, Graham Woodhouse on trombone, Jim Harney on drums and Bob Boucher on bass.

From Ellington's big band numbers to the more traditional jazz there was plenty of variety including "Jeep's Blues", "Mood Indigo", "Tea for Two" with Robin, Graham and the rhythm section,"Wave" played as a bossa, "Dippermouth Blues" and The Preacher"

The band's signature tune, "Apex Blues" once again brought an excellent session to a close.

Apex will be back in December


Sunday, October 7th....a rare Sunday appearance by the Wabash Jazzmen saw a slightly different line-up for the band....leader Mark Challinor on banjo/guitar and Mike Hayler on sax and clarinet were joined by Gordon Whitworth on trumpet and Richard Vernon on bass.

The change of musicians still maintained the high standards set by Wabash over the years and they gave us an excellent session.

The tunes ranged from"Come Back Sweet Papa" to "Down Home Rag" and "Jamaica March" with vocals including Mark's "Precious Lord, Gordon's "Old Spinning Wheel in the Parlour" and even Mike's "Yes, Yes in your eyes"! Mike was featured on clarinet in "Hush-a-bye" and Gordon played a superb "Wild Man Blues".

All in all a great way to spend Sunday lunchtime in the company of very talented jazzmen who also appeared to thoroughly enjoy it.

Mike Hayler

Mark Challinor

Wabash Jazzmen will be back next year

Richard Vernon

Gordon Whitworth


 

Tuesday, October 2nd...after four sessions with well established, one could say "older" musicians, tonight's band brought down the average age in the Harp by about 30 years when the Remi Harris Trio came to town for their second visit.

All in their early 20s this wonderfully talented trio are led by Remi Harris on guitar with Ben Salmon on rhythm guitar and Tom Moore on bass guitar.

Based very much on Gypsy music the evening included "Autumn Leaves", "Django's Tiger" and "Swing 48" as well as a very different Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac blues "I Need Your Love So Bad"....just brilliant. Tom Moore's bass solo during "Man from Toledo" was quite outstanding whilst Ben's rhythm guitar kept everyone on the right track.

"Nature Boy", "Putting on the Ritz" and "Bossa Durado" added more variety along with "Montagne St. Genevieve". During the evening a few numbers brought out the vocal talents(?) of the audience with Remi even encouraging community singing during "I Can't Give You Anything But Love"!

Clarinet player Harry Christian joined the Trio on "Swing 39" and "Honesuckle Rose" to bring another slant to the session  and a very nice sound they made too.

The new look (minus pony tail!) Remi Harris is surely one of the most talented young musicians in the country and Ben and Tom a very worthy accompanists.

You can find YouTube videos from their last session at the Harp on our "Videos" page.

Ben Salmon

Remi Harris

The Trio

Harry Christian

Tom Moore


 

I have been very remiss the last few weeks regarding the gig reports, my apologies to the bands concerned  but needless to say Wabash Jazzmen, Big Eric's Old Comrades Jazz Band, New Washboard Syncopators and Dene River Jazzmen all did us proud and showed once again why they have become firm favourites with the Harp audience.
Sunday, September 16th....making her only appearance in the Midlands and all points north Sarah Spencer brought in her TransAtlantic Friends (Northern version!) to give us a truly brilliant lunchtime session. Sarah's inimitable driving tenor sax playing is echoed in her own singing style when she adds a dimension to the blues which is quite extraordinary.

The TransAtlantic Friends were Steve Graham on trumpet, Derek Galloway on trombone, Louis Lince on banjo, Bill Evans on drums and, backing Sarah for the first time, John Fellowes on bass. With a line-up like this it was no surprise that we had such a great session which featured numbers such as "Gettysburg March", "Silver Bells", ""Louisiana Fairy Tale" (with Derek Galloway vocal), "Love Songs of the Nile" and "Et La Bas", both with Sarah's vocal, "Bring It On Home to Grandma" by Steve Graham and a Louis Lince solo with "Breeze".

It was very nice to see John Fellowes and his very shiny bass fit in so well and be applauded by the rest of the band.

It is difficult to describe the air of excitement generated by Sarah and the members of the band during this memorable session which ended with "Redwing" and brought many complimentary comments from the audience, needless to say, if the Harp can be fitted in to Sarah's tour next year she will we welcomed with open arms!

I would like to say a big "Thank you" to Jill Spencer, Sarah's Mum, for arranging this gig, as she does for all the other venues on the tour...not an easy job!

A video of "Et La Bas" is on YouTube.

XXX Next year's gig has now been arranged for Tuesday, September 10th XXX

 

Sarah and the boys(!)

Derek Galloway

Steve Graham

Sarah Spencer

Louis Lince

John Fellowes


 

Tuesday, September 11th...the line-up for Martinique Jazz Band tonight included Harry Christian on clarinet/sax and Pat Bayliss on trombone who joined the regular members of the band Tony Billingsley on trumpet, Dave Boxold on bass, Jim Harney on drums and Reg Reid on piano.

The vocals were shared by Tony and Dave on numbers including "Sunny Side of the Street", "Sugar" and a duet in "Bye, Bye Blackbird" with the highlight (for me!) being "Happy Birthday" for yours truly who is now 79 years young!. "Wabash Blues" and "The Preacher" were just a couple of the numbers in a programme which ended with "Running Wild".

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the rather nice bottle of Glenmorangie and the signed card which Marj, who is recovering very well from her hip replacement, presented to me after the vocal refrain.

Martinique will be back on November 11th.


Sunday, September 9th....Leader Neil Upton, on trombone and megaphone, brought in Bill Ridley on trumpet, Jeff Matthews on clarinet and alto sax, Rick Hughes on brass bass and Ted Smith on banjo for a visit by the New Charleston Footwarmers.

We were treated to an early start as the band were ready and straining at the leash to get going! With not a microphone in sight (apart from 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 Night", "Sunny Side of the Street", "Lily of the Valley", Black and Blue" and "Just a Closer Walk With Thee".  Neils's vocals via the megaphone included "Sheikh of Araby" and "Big Butter and Egg Man".

Finishing with another blast of "The Charleston" the Footwarmers are assured of a warm welcome when they return next year.

Ted Smith

Jeff Matthews

Bill Ridley

Neil Upton

Rick Hughes


 

Tuesday, September 4th...Baby Jools' All Stars certainly lived up to their name and gave us a truly 6 star evening. With leader Jools were Denny Ilett on trumpet, Mick Cooke on trombone, Warren Latham on alto and baritone sax, Brian Mellor on banjo and guitar and John Fellowes on bass.

All the front line provided vocals a swell as their superb instrumental solos with the rhythm section driving them along all evening.

"Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" was one of Mick's songs, Warren gave us "100 Years From Today" and Denny "Streets of the City" with Jools doing a superb solo on "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me".

"Singing The Blues" featuring Denny and "Who's Sorry Now" with a baritone intro from Warren along with "South Rampart Street Parade" were just a few numbers which kept everyone happy, none more so than Marie with the bands "energetic" versions of both "Panama" and "Running Wild"!

Videos will be on YouTube soon and the All Stars will be back on October 23rd....don't miss it!

Click on photos

 

Denny Ilett

 

 

Baby Jools

The All Stars

Mick Cooke

Brian Mellor

Warren Latham


 

Sunday, September 2nd....the Derek Harrison Trio were today's visitors with Derek on piano, vocals and jokes(!), Graham Ashley on drums and "Mad Ed" Lloyd-Hughes on bass and vocals(?).

As always a mix of humour, very good singing, excellent piano playing and bass and drums backing with the added bonus of vocals from "Mad Ed" which probably frightened the cows three fields away!

"Patricia", "Lonesome Road", "12th. Street Rag" and the inevitable "Dr. Jazz" from Ed were just part of a very pleasant way to spend Sunday lunchtime.

The Trio will be back next year...and that isn't really very far away is it?!


 

Tuesday, August 28th....a return visit by the Gary Bell Quartet with Janice Williamson saw a very rare appearance at the Harp by Alan Wilkes on guitar who stood in for Tony Hooper who usually plays piano for this excellent band.....the regular members being Derek Brown on bass, Dave Holmes on drums, Janice on vocals and of course Gary on trumpet with Harry Christian joining in for a couple of numbers on tenor sax later in the evening.

The numbers included "Lady be Good", "Indiana", "C-Jam Blues",  and "Perdido" with songs from Janice including "The Very Thought of You", "Time After Time" and "Summertime". Gary was featured on a superb "I Should Care", Alan and Janice did a delightful "Embraceable You" and the band, together with Harry on sax and Janice on vocal, did an excellent "I Can't Give You Anything But Love".

With fine backing of Derek on bass and Dave on drums this was an extremely enjoyable evening which will no doubt also be the case on November 20th. when the band return.


 

Sunday, August 26th...one of the numbers sung by "Big Eric" Dodgson he reckoned should be called "The Band Leader's Lament" instead of "Ain't Nobody Got The Blues Like Me"!  He needn't have the blues at all about his Old Comrades Jazz Band who once again brightened up our Sunday lunchtime.

Octogenarian Eric's enthusiasm and enjoyment of his music is evident for all to see and the band, with the superb Mike Haslam depping on drums and excellent George Linder on banjo, all contributed to a the success of the session. Dave Sherwood on cornet, Peter Livesy on piano, Steve Slater on bass and Dave Coles on sax/clarinet completed the line-up. The Coles family were very happy when Dave's wife won the £20.00 on the football card!

Big Eric and the boys(?!) will be back on September 23rd.


 

Tuesday, August 21st...with Mike Carnie's Jazz All Stars tonight were newcomer Esmond Selwyn on guitar and Harp favourite who joined Mike Hayler on sax/clarinet, Laurie Cooper on trombone, Dave Margaroni on bass and Mike on drums.

Esmond, a revelation on guitar, joined Laurie for a duet on ", Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and Mike and the rhythm section played "Moonlight in Vermont". Pete's vocal talents were utilised on "Some Day You'll Be Sorry" and the band numbers included "Tangerine", "Muskrat Ramble" and "St. Louis Blues".

A rare Tuesday session for Mike's band and a very enjoyable one, they will return on November 4th.


 

Sunday, August 19th...the line-up for Robin Mason's Apex Jazz & Swing Band tonight was Jon Stone on trumpet/flugelhorn, Pat Bayliss on trombone, Bob Boucher on bass, Peter Robinson on guitar/banjo, Jim Harney on drums and of course Robin on saxes and clarinet.

From the more traditional jazz to Ellington's big band numbers there was plenty of variety including "Darktown Strutter's Ball", "Mood Indigo", "Exactly Like You" with a quartet of Robin on clarinet, Jon on trumpet, Peter on banjo and Bob on bass and another with Robin and the rhythm section on "A Day in the Life of a Fool".

The band's signature tune, "Apex Blues" brought an excellent session to a close.


 

Tuesday, August 14th....as always a session by Chris Carmell's Jazz with Bob Smith brought us new or seldom heard numbers which Chris unearths from the realms of early jazz.

Chris on cornet and Bob on clarinet/baritone sax were aided and abetted by Dave Braidley on trombone, Clinton Sedgley on banjo and guitar, Bob Pearce on bass and Dave Andrews on drums.A couple of the new  to the Harp numbers were "Eliza" and "Have You Ever Felt That Way" while "If My Baby Cooks as Good as She Looks" was a first time also for Bob Smith! That classic  of jazz "Perdido Street Blues" featured, on clarinet, another classic of jazz Bob Smith who also did a superb duet with Clinton on guitar when their version of Monty Sunshine's "Hushabye" achieved the almost impossible...a totally quiet audience!

These numbers and many more provided another most enjoyable evening in the Harp.

The band will be back on October 21st.


 

Sunday, August 12th...the last time JB's Jazz & Blues Band were in the Harp we were celebrating the Queen's Jubilee  and drinking a toast to Ozzy, one of our sadly departed regulars...this time there were no free drinks or sandwiches but the music was up to the usual excellent standard we expect from John Beckingham and the boys(?!).

Playing one of my favourites "Summertime", with Roger Manwaring on soprano sax, is a good way to start any session while Andy Wood on guitar, Mark Howell on bass, Paul Holder on drums and of course JB on piano all contributed to another most enjoyable gig.

From "Rosetta" to "Blueberry Hill", "Caldonia" and "Blue Moon" the music was varied and superbly played with vocals from everyone except Mark.

The rapport between the members of the band and also between the band and the audience is one of the reasons for the success JB's band, the other being their undoubted talent as both musicians and entertainers.

JB's Jazz & Blues Band will be back on December 16th.....don't miss it!


 

Tuesday, August 7th....the very popular Millennium Eagle Jazz Band were tonight's visitors with a five man line-up due to the continued absence of Andy Holdorf, also, in place of Jack Cotterill, the drum chair was occupied by Nick Ward. Pete Brown on trumpet and valve trombone, Matt Palmer on saxes and clarinet, Brian Lawrence on bass and Chris Etherington on banjo were the regular members of the band.

The first half included many early jazz numbers such as "Come Back Sweet Papa", "Ponchetrain Blues" and "Gatemouth". An excellent "Wild Cat Blues" featuring Matt Palmer on clarinet with the rhythm section, a very slow "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone",  and Matt providing the vocal on "My Little Bimbo" Down On A Bamboo Isle" provided variety.

The Harp choir were in fine voice during "Down By The Riverside" and Nick was featured during the "Ice Cream" finalé.

Hopefully, if I have sorted my new camera out, there will be a couple of videos on YouTube soon.

Millennium Eagle are back on November 18th.


 

Sunday, August 5th....superb, brilliant, enthusiasm, sublime, excellent, enthusiastic and talented are just a few of the superlatives I have used over the last few weeks when writing about the the gigs brought to us by the young musicians who we have been priviliged to see and hear....they are all worth repeating for one half today's duo, Carl Sinclair and Howard Smith (Howard will forgive me for not counting him in the "younger musician" category, the comments do apply equally to him!).

Carl has been coming to the Harp for 3½ years and still manages to transport our audience back to their mis-spent youth of Rock and Roll, Blues, Jive and Boogie with more up to date numbers and standards thrown in for good measure.

Two hours passed by much too quickly on a fare of "Mess of Blues", Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl", one of Howard's vocals on "Sea Cruise", numbers from Carl's latest CD including ""Dance with Me Tonight" and "Runaway", a leaning towards the Olympics with "Hey, Jude" and a rocking "C'est La Vie" as a finalé.

From that start as a last minute replacement Carl has become a firm favourite with our audience with Howard also contributing enormously to the success of every session.

The next time you can enjoy their company will be on Tuesday, October 16th and then again on Tuesday, December 18th for our Christmas Party.


 

Tuesday, July 31st...the reaction of the audience when the Brownfield/Byrne Hot Six made their first appearance at the Harp back in January meant they just had to be booked again......and tonight's reaction was even more of the same.

The line-up for this superb band was Jamie Brownfield on trumpet, Liam Byrne on tenor sax (and briefly on clarinet), Tom Kincaid on piano, Andy Hulme on guitar, Jim Swinnerton on bass and Jack Cotterill on drums.

Six extremely talented young musicians gave us their interpretation of numbers such as "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans", "That's A'Plenty", "Nuages", Lester Young's "Tickle Toe" and even "Oh, But on the third day (Happy Feet Blues)" a Winton Marsalis composition.

The brilliant piano playing by Tom, the superb trumpet by Jamie (who first played in the Harp when he was 13), the sublime tenor by Liam, delightful guitar by Andy, the driving bass by Jim and the top class drums by Jack all combined to give a different but totally enjoyable session...a session which drew well deserved applause and complimentary comments from the audience.

The Hot 6 are back on November 13th....don't miss it!

Scroll down to the January 17th. gig to find photos of the band or find videos here.

 

Sunday, July 29th.....another visit by the Dene River Jazzmen meant another Sunday of excellent jazz played by Chris Carmell, Rod Williams, Dave Braidley, Keith Prescott, John Nicholls on drums and the man who puts it all together, Peter Roberts on banjo.

A nice full house, including Mary, a Geordie lass who claimed to have walked from Newcastle on Tyne to see the band(!), it turned out she was staying a few miles away in Bridgnorth with her daughter, were treated to a very varied programme which included "At a Georgia Camp Meeting", "Gatemouth", "My Cutie's Due at 2 to2 Today" with Chris on vocal (he's the only one who knows the words!), "When I Grow To Old To Dream" with Rod on vocal accompanied with heartfelt feeling by the audience, and "Royal Garden Blues" played for Mary.

Once again we had musicians who so obviously enjoy playing together, guaranteeing that we enjoy it...the band will be back on September 30th.


Tuesday, July 24th...tonight's gig brought several new faces in to our audience all coming to hear the rather talented young man on violin....Ben Holder with BB Swing.

Ben's talent and enthusiasm seems to have no bounds and he has the backing of the superb musicians who make up BB Swing...Robin Mason on sax/clarinet, John Smith on guitar, Rob Milburn, also on guitar, and Tom Moore, another very talented young musician, on bass.

"Swing that Music", "St. Thomas", "Minor Swing" and "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" were all numbers which brought the best out of everyone, and left the slightly older members of the orchestra in need of the occasional breather!

Robin and Rob did get a rest when Ben, John and Tom played trio numbers "Tiger Rag" and "That Rhythm Man".

Supreme talent, great personality and the ability to pick excellent musicians to accompany him...Ben will be back in December.

Robin Mason

Ben Holder

John Smith / Rob Milburn

Ben vocal

Tom Moore


 

Sunday, July 22nd...well known faces in a new line-up today when the Chase Jazzmen were our visitors.

Led by Dave Boxold on guitar and banjo the members of this new orchestra were Pete Ainge on trumpet, Alan Yeager on sax/clarinet, Bob Pearce on bass and Jim Harney on drums who gave us a programme which varied from "Doctor Jazz" to "Eh La Bas" (wearing berets!) and "Stranger on the Shore" which featured Alan Yeager.

Vocals from Pete and Dave added to the variety and an excellent session ended with "When The Saints Go Marching In", not played very often these days.

Unfortunately the Chase Jazzmen can't come back until next year as we are booked up for the rest of 2012...they are booked in again, by popular demand, for a few gigs in 2013

Pete Ainge

Dave Boxold

French style

Unusually serious Bob Pearce


 

Tuesday, July 17th...Mark Challinor's brilliant Wabash Jazzmen were our band this evening and they certainly lived up to my "brilliant" description which was on our posters.

The four piece line-up of Mark on banjo and guitar, Howard Worthington on bass, Mike Hayler on tenor and clarinet and Pete Ainge on trumpet gave us a very varied selection of music with Mark on guitar for "Blue Turning Grey over You" and with Mike and Howard in "El Condor Pasa", Mike playing Acker Bilk's "Summer Set" accompanied by Howard and Mark, Pete on vocal for "Every Where You Go" and featured on trumpet in "New Orleans" and inevitably a banjo/bass duet on "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me".

Like many bands who come to the Harp their rapport with the audience adds enormously to the enjoyment of the session.

"El Condor Pasa" and "Blues My Naughty Sweetie" are on YouTube and Wabash will be back on September 18th.


 

Sunday, July 15th...that excellent band from the Potteries, better known as the Five Towns Footwarmers, were today's visitors with Steve Slater on bass joining the regular line-up of leader Keith Garner on banjo, Gwyn Bennett on trumpet, Gerry Owen on clarinet/sax, Laurie Cooper on trombone and Mike Haslam on drums.

Gerry's vocals, as always, charmed the ladies, the music was extremely well played, it had stopped raining outside with the sun making a very welcome appearance....what more could you want on a Sunday lunchtime?

The six members of Five Towns will be back in September.


 

Tuesday, July 10th...a second visit by the "new" New Washboard Syncopators brought back Jon Stone on trumpet, Geoff Goodwin on trombone, Dave Boxold on bass, Clinton Sedgley on banjo and guitar, leader Tony Quinn on percussion and dep John McGregor on clarinet...very welcome after a long illness lay off.

John slotted in extremely well with the regular members of the band to give us once again an evening of excellent jazz.  "Struttin' With Some Barbeque", "Dippermouth Blues", "Honeysuckle Rose" and  "Crazy'Bout My Baby" were just a few of the musical offerings with vocal numbers including Dave Boxold's multi language "Just a Gigolo" and Jon's "It's a Sin To Tell a Lie".

Although he is a West Bromwich Albion supporter I must give a special mention to Clinton Sedgley....known mainly as an excellent banjo player Clinton's guitar playing is quite superb.

Click on "Dippermouth Blues" which is now on YouTube.

This fine band will be back in September.

Clinton Sedgley

Jon Stone

Tony Quinn

John McGregor and       Dave Boxold

Geoff Goodwin


 

Sunday, July 8th....regular Harp visitors over the years Martinique Jazz Band were in again today with their "best of jazz and swing" for our entertainment.

Alan Yeager on tenor sax and clarinet joined regulars Bobby Johnson on trombone, Tony Billingsley on trumpet, Dave Boxold on bass, Reg Reid on piano and Jim Harney on drums.

Tunes such as "Basin Street Blues", "Exactly Like You", "At The Jazz Band Ball" and "Hindustan" showed the veratility of the band with "Crazy" offering a little "Country" music.

A reasonable crowd, in spite of the attraction (?) of Andy Murray at Wimbledon on TV, enjoyed a very pleasant lunchtime.

Martinique will be back on September 11th.

 

An apology!

For various reasons the gig reports have not been updated now since June 12th. so my apologies to all the musicians who have not had their sessions saved for posterity on this page!

Needless to say Carl Sinclair and Howard Smith, Millennium Eagle Jazz Band (albeit only a 5 piece for this gig), Gary Bell Quartet with Janice on vocals, Big Eric's Old Comrades and John Everett's Red Dragon Jazzmen with Ruth Frith gave us very different sessions with their own inimitable interpretation of the music we all enjoy.

Gig reports will hopefully be kept up to date from now on!

 

Tuesday, June 12th....we had heard a lot, all very complimentary, about the Remi Harris Trio but still didn't expect quite the wonderful evening that these three young men gave us.

Remi on guitar was just sheer brilliance and was superbly backed by Ben Salmon on rhythm guitar and Tom Moore on bass.

Django Reinhardt numbers such as "Montagne Saint Genevieve", written but never recorded by Django, "Daphne", written with Stephane Grapelli, "Nuages" and "Django's Tiger" were featured extensively throughout the session.

"I'll See You In My Dreams" brought back memories of Tony Hobson and the tunes also included "Till There Was You", an excellent bass solo by Tom during "All The Things You Are", "Take the A Train" and Remi's "Monique".

No words on paper can describe the musical ability of these three young musicians both individually and as a trio....have a look at the videos when they are on YouTube later...the fast card in my camera just about kept up with Remi's fingers!

What a pity television producers can't look for real talent when making their "entertainment" programmes.

We will all look forward to a return visit by the Remi Harris Trio in October and to the four gigs already booked for next year!

Videos of "Dark Eyes", "All of Me", "Django's Tiger" and "Take the A Train" are on YouTube.

 

The Trio

Remi Harris

The fingers-stopped by the flash!

 

 

Sunday, June 10th....Chris Carmell's Jazz had a very welcome dep on drums today when Nick Ward stood in for holidaying Dave Andrews. With Chris and Nick were Bob Smith on clarinet/baritone sax, Dave Braidley on trombone, Clinton Sedgley on banjo/guitar and Bob Pearce on bass.

Once again we had some not so well known numbers such as "Crying for the Carolines", "Mecca Flats Blues" and "I like Bananas 'cause They Ain't Got No Bones!" with vocal from Dave Braidley. Other numbers included "Alcoholic Blues", "Flat Foot" and "Running Wild" which showed off Nick's mastery of his drum kit.

As always enjoyable music superbly played by excellent musicians who also quite enjoyed the novelty of being on the big screen TV which enables the band to be seen from everywhere in the room!

Videos of "Smiles" and "Running Wild" will be on YouTube soon.

Chris and the gang will be back in August.


 

Tuesday, June 5th...Apex Jazz and Swing Band produced their expected very entertaining evening of Dixieland and big band jazz, at times sounding more like a full blown big band rather than a six piece.

The line up was Jon Stone on trumpet, Graham Woodhouse on trombone, Bob Boucher on bass, Jim Harney on drums, Peter Robinson on guitar and leader Robin Mason on sax and clarinet. Robin played particularly well (even better than usual!) tonight...possibly something to do with the fact that the overseas branch of the family, who Robin and Penney haven't seen for two years, will be visiting the UK in a few weeks time, a dog with two tails springs to mind!

The music was superb as usual with vocals from Jon, a superb intro to "Melancholy Baby" by Robin, a trombone solo by Graham on "Misty" and Robin on baritone sax and Graham on trombone in "Tea for Two", all excellent. Jim, Bob and Peter backed the front line perfectly throughout the evening which also included "Night Train", "Smooth One" and "Good Queen Bess" as a tribute to the Queen.

Apex will be back on August 19th.


 

Sunday, June 3rd.......when Harp regular Ossie died some 12 month's ago he left a bequest to spent at one of the jazz sessions so that his friends could drink to his memory.....today was the chosen date which we then realised was the Queen's Diamond Jubilee so we decided to combine the two events in the company of JB's Jazz and Blues Band. A very full house meant we had a superb session with several new faces in the audience and everyone enjoyed the music and the "light luncheon" during the interval.

Never really needing an excuse to partake of another drink we drank toasts to both Ossie and the Queen.

JB and the boys(!) did us proud with their own versions of many well known numbers from "Blueberry Hill" to "Dr. Jazz and "Until The Real Thing Comes Along". John dedicated "When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful" to the Queen, a decision appreciated by the audience.

Several people noticed that Roger Manwaring had a new hat......apparently the old one, which he had worn probably as long as the Queen has been on the throne, had slowly been worn out and needed to be retired when Roger's hair started growing through the top!

Solos and vocals from the band were enjoyed as always and the band's surprise finalé was their interpretation of the National Anthem, accompanied by the massed voices of the Harp choir.

A splendid way of spending a very wet Sunday lunchtime and the larger than usual raffle put more always welcome funds in to the kitty.

John Beckingham and the band will be back on August 12th.


 

The next few brief gig reports are an attempt to get up to date, the brevity in no way reflects on the performance by the bands!

May 29th....saw the return of the New Charleston Footwarmers, this time with Jeff Matthews on clarinet. Enlivened as last time by the megaphone announcements of leader Neil Upton the music varied from "The Charleston" to "1919 Rag", "June Night" and even a little community singing for "April Showers".

A most entertaining evening that proved Wales doesn't only produce male voice choirs and rugby players!

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May 27th....another band who so obviously enjoy playing their music are the Dene River Jazzmen, fast becoming firm favourites in the Harp. The music as always was excellent.

The only blot on the landscape was that I forgot to pay the band! All was sorted out later with no problem. The band will be back on July29th.

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May 22nd......with Eric Newton on clarinet (Mike Hayler is recovering well from his heart surgery) the Wabash Jazzmen were tonight's visitors. The music was superb, Eric was featured on "Poor Butterfly", accompanied by the  two man rhythm section of Mark Challinor on guitar and Howard Worthington on bass.

                                              Wabash will be back on July 17th.                                Click on photo to enlarge

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May 20th.....Derek Harrison, "Mad Ed" Lloyd Hughes and Graham Ashley make up the Derek Harrison Trio who are always very welcome visitors to the Harp. Their brand of entertaining and enjoyable music brightens up any Sunday lunchtime.

With the music ranging from "Birth of the Blues" to "Dr. Jazz" (with Mad Ed vocal!), "12th. Street Rag" and "Honky Tonk Train Blues" there was something for everyone with the added bonus of the Victoria Wood version of "Let's Do It".

Derek and the Boys will be back on September 2nd.

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Tuesday, May 15th....Just Brilliant!...my comments at the end of the session, echoed by everyone in the Harp tonight after "The Odd Couple" had entertained us so wonderfully for 2½ hours.

Even the more traditional jazz fans were bowled over by the sheer technique and enthusiasm of Chris Quinn, from Shrewsbury and Arthur Ebeling from Holland....both being guitar players and singers with a great talent for entertaining the audience.

Arthur Ebeling is known in Holland as one of the most authentic, awesome and all around rhythm 'n blues

guitarists and singer-songwriters, and this turned out to be very true tonight, as did the statement  "He may be from Holland, but if you didn't know you might think that he had come all the way from New Orleans."

 

Chris Quinn, better known as part of the duo "Hickman and Quinn", has been playing and touring the world for the last ten years (why haven't we heard of him before?!) and together with Arthur gave us an evening of Django, blues, swing, bluegrass and roots music which captivated our audience from start to finish.

 

The tunes ranged from "Georgia on my Mind" to "A Rainy Night in Paris", "Smoke That Cigarette", "Digga, Digga Do" and "Mack the Knife", "Jambalaya" and "Nagasaki" but that is only part of the story as a few unusual musical(?) instruments added to the overall effect....the foot operated reception desk bell, the alarm clock to introduce one number and the amplified shoe heel which sounded like the rim of a drum! (see the photos below).

 

This extraordinary musical duo kept the attention of most of our audience throughout the evening with comments at the end which included "It was a privilege to be here to listen to you tonight" and "How soon can we have them back?"....the latter unfortunately can't be until next year. In the meantime you will be able to see videos on YouTube soon.

 

Chris Quinn

Arthur Ebeling

Click photos to enlarge

The Odd Couple

New musical instrument?

and more!


 

Sunday, May 13th....Martinique Jazz Band today included superb reed player Matt Palmer who joined Tony Billinglsley, trumpet, Bobby Johnson, trombone and the rhythm section of Jim Harney on drums, Dave Boxold on bass and Reg Reid on piano.

The Dixieland and Mainstream programme included "At the Jazz Band Ball", "Apex Blues" and "Take the A Train" with Dave Boxold's vocals including "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone", "Lady Be Good" and "Just a Gigolo".

Nice music, well played = nice way to spend Sunday lunchtime...Martinique will be back on July 8th.


Tuesday, May 8th....The ever popular New Orleans Heat were today's visitors with leader Barry Grummett on piano, , Mike Taylor on trombone, Gwyn Lewis on cornet, Roger Bird on sax and clarinet (depping for John Scantlebury), Harry Slater on bass, Colin Bushell on drums and Tony Peatman on banjo.

As always the music featured superb solos from all the musicians and the inimitable vocals by Gwyn, including "Avalon" and "Last Night on the Back Porch", with Roger providing the vocals for "Girl of My Dreams" and a superb solo with "Over the Waves". Mike Taylor and the rhythm section did an excellent "I Love Paris"...only the second time they had played it!

Other excellent numbers included "If I Had My Life To Live Over"", "Magic is the Moonlight",  and once again "Panama" for Marie, without her asking for it but as always with the usual Harp "Mexican Wave" to embellish it!

New Orleans Heat will be back on Tuesday, November 25th. to help Marie celebrate her birthday.


 

Sunday, May 6th...a visit by the Old Comrades Jazz Band usually guarantees a few of the numbers will be of the "not heard very often" variety or even, as was the case today, the "never heard before" variety!....all of which makes for a most entertaining lunchtime.

86 years young "Big Eric" Dodgson leads the band on his trombone, sings most of the vocals in his inimitable way and regales the audience with information about the tunes, Dave Sherwood is on cornet, Dave Coles on reeds, Griff Thomas on banjo, Steve Slater on bass, Dave Andrews on drums and Peter Livesly is the new piano man. Peter was late arriving today having been caught up in the dreaded car boot traffic!

The number we had never heard before was Jelly Roll Morton's "Primrose Stomp" and the lesser heard ones included "Uptown Bumps" (also known as My Bucket's Got a Hole in It) and "Spanish Shawl".

Whatever the music it was superbly played by the Comrades and the session ended with "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen".

Come on July 1st to see them again....click Eric's photo to enlarge


 
Tuesday, May 1st...today saw a very different line-up for the Mike Carnie Jazz All Stars....with Mike Hayler and Derek Harrison both ill their deps were Jeff Matthews on clarinet/sax and Bill Bickerton on piano whilst Derek Galloway was on trombone, Howard Worthington on bass and, the only regular member of the band, leader Mike Carnie on drums. Jamie Brownfield should have been on trumpet but was unfortunately delayed in Manchester so the All Stars were a 5 piece band.

The beauty of jazz is that musicians who have never played together as a unit can turn out superb music and provide a most entertaining evening.

Derek Galloway was in charge of announcements and most of the vocals as well as his excellent trombone playing. The tunes ranged from "Strutting with Some Barbecue" to "April Showers" (DG's vocal), "Saratoga Swing" and "Paper Moon" with vocal from Howard. Bill Bickerton was featured on his Boogie version of "Down The Road a Piece" and Derek dedicated "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" to the late Norman Thatcher.

Another great way to spend a Tuesday evening, Mike will be back with the All Stars on August 21st.

Howard Worthington

Happy Derek Galloway

Leader Mike Carnie

Jeff Matthews

Bill Bickerton

 

Sunday, April 29th...today's band was the Grand Union Syncopators with a line-up of Pete Brown on trumpet, Dave Wilkinson on clarinet and sax,, Stan Stephens on trombone, Phil Matthews on tuba, Keith Garner on banjo/guitar and Jim Denham on drums.

"Rose Room", "Blue Skies" and "Riverside Blues" were some of the numbers in the first half with a Stan Stephens' vocal in "Everywhere You Go" adding a little variety. "It Had To Be You" featured Phil Matthews on tuba with vocals from Jim Denham in "Sweethearts on Parade" and Dave Wilkinson in the final number "Going Home".

This session marked the last appearance of Phil Matthews who is hanging up his bass and tuba for a quieter life, possibly indulging his hobby of photography.....we wish him a long and happy retirement.


 

Tuesday, April 24th....led by octogenarian John Everett on trumpet the Red Dragon Jazzmen with Ruth Frith on vocals were tonight's visitors.

With John Dickinson as guest on trombone the rest of the Dragons were John Bodenham on clarinet and soprano sax, Phil Probert on banjo/guitar, Len Thwaites on bass and Ron Smith on drums.

"Everybody Loves My Baby" featured Ron Smith on vocal with Ruth's songs including "Just a Little While To Stay Here" (no reference to the Wolves this time!) and "I'll Sing Along With You" while the band did justice to, among others, "Basin Street Blues", Bugle Boy March" and "Panama"...not requested by Marie this time!

The Dragon's and Ruth will be back on July 3rd.


 

Sunday, April 22nd......the Five Towns Footwarmers line-up was leader Keith Garner on banjo, Glyn Bennett on trumpet, Gerry Owen on clarinet/sax, Laurie Cooper on trombone, Mike Haslam on drums and guest Bill Bickerton on piano.

They gave us a very pleasant Sunday lunchtime menu of assorted well known jazz numbers which included "When You're Smiling" "Martha" and "Lily of the Valley" with Bill contributing an excellent piano solo in "Black and Blue". Gerry as always charmed the ladies with his vocals and and Glyn did a great job of playing his trumpet whilst suffering from severe mouth ulcers...Ouch!

Keith chose to dedicate "Just a Little While to Stay Here" to the Wolves, whose impending relegation to the Championship was confirmed a few hours later!

A rousing "Running Wild" brought the session to an end but the Footwarmers will be back on July 15th.


 

Tuesday, April 17th...the eagerly awaited return visit by Christine Tyrrell was everything we hoped it would be with Christine's distinctive voice being superbly backed by the Wabash Jazzmen.....Mark Challinor on banjo, Mike Hayler on clarinet and sax, Ged Hone on trumpet and Howard Worthington on bass.

Spirituals play a great part in Christine's music as was shown by her versions of "How Great Thou Art", "When They Ring Dem Golden Bells", "The Storm Is Passing Over" and "It Is No Secret What God Can Do".  Add on to these songs such as "I Get The Blues When It Rains", "Running Wild" and "Doctor Jazz" to give us the full range of Christine's talent.

The backing given by Mark and his fellow musicians was second to none, especially as they had never played for Christine before tonight....the programme was worked out on the telephone and then re-arranged as the evening went on!

From the Wabash we had, amongst others, "Curse of an Aching Heart", Algiers Strut", vocals from Ged in "What The Good Lord Has Done For Me", from Howard in "Crazy 'Bout My Baby" and Mark in "When I Leave This World Behind". Mike was featured on clarinet in "Hushabye" and Ged on trumpet in "Davenport Blues".

The finalé, "Dr. Jazz", brought the session to an end all too soon but Christine and the band worked so well together we hope to have them back together in the future.

Donna and Dave helped enormously to make the evening a success by making Christine and her husband Fred very welcome in the Harp, not only with accommodation in a newly refurbished room but also taking them to the station the next morning...this after Donna had taken Dave in to hospital for treatment for his crippling back pain!

We should also mention that this evening it gave us great pleasure to give a signed card to Donna and Dave to celebrate their engagement!

Videos of Ring Dem Golden Bells, How Great Thou Art and Running Wild are on YouTube


 

Sunday, April 15th...traffic problems meant that Graham Woodhouse on trombone and Bob Boucher on bass were missing from the starting line-up which consisted of Bill Smith on guitar, Jim Harney on drums, Jon Stone on trumpet and leader Robin Mason on clarinet/saxes.

"Petite Fleur" featured Robin, Bill and Jim, Jon joined in for "A Day in the Life of a Fool" and eventually the "big band" were together for "Take The A Train". Other numbers included "Motem Swing", "S'Wonderfull" as a Bossa Nova and "Sweet Sue" with a vocal from Jon Stone.

"Route 66" and "Beale Street Blues" brought us to the end of another very enjoyable session....the banter between Robin and his "dad" Jon (Robin's words not mine!) always livens up an Apex gig!

Apex will be back on June 5th.


 

Tuesday, April 10th...as always a gig by Chris Carmell Jazz with Bob Smith on clarinet and baritone produced an evening of excellent music with plenty of laughs along the way.

The laughs came via Chris's jokes and the music from six musicians who really enjoy playing together...Chris on cornet, Bob on his reeds, Dave Braidley on trombone, Clinton Sedgley on banjo and guitar, Bob Pearce on bass and Dave Andrews on drums.

"When the swallows come back to Capistrano", "Birmingham Bertha" and "Wedding bells are breaking up that old gang of mine" are just a few of the less frequently heard numbers which the band manage to come up with along with the better known "My blue heaven", "That teasin' rag" and "Singing the blues".

All in all a very nice way to spend a Tuesday evening which can be repeated on June 10th. when the band return for a Sunday session.


 

Sunday, April 8th...With last years gig being cancelled because of snow it is over two years since we last saw the Frog Island Jazz Band.

Now in their 50th. anniversary year and with two original members their playing of the classic jazz of Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver and others is as fresh and entertaining as ever.

The two original members of the cast are leader Rob Fullalove on sousaphone and John Whitehead on cornet with the "new" boys being Jim Hird on clarinet, John Jeanes on trombone, Keith Durston on piano and Dave Price on banjo while Warren Latham did a great dep job on drums.

Opener "The Chant" was followed by "Sobbin' Blues" which gave Keith his first chance to demonstrate his prowess on the Swannee Whistle, following up much later with more of the same in "Buddy's Habit". Keith also did a brilliant job of playing the old piano in the Harp.

Everyone else played superbly, as befits a long established band, with vocals from Rob on "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind", Jon W with "Cake Walking Babies" and Jim on "Some Day, Sweetheart" amongst others.

King Oliver's "Chimes Blues", a duet with Dave on banjo and Keith on piano for "Take your Pick" were both excellent as was "Piggly, Wiggly" by John on cornet, Keith on piano, Dave on banjo and Warren on drums. "Sidewalk Blues" with the added "noises off" added to the entertainment and the session finished much too quickly with the bands signature tune "Froggymore".

A long anticipated gig enjoyed by a nearly full Harp, "classic" jazz beautifully played....we hope to see the "Frogs" again next year.

Videos on YouTube are: "Chimes Blues", "Harmony Blues" and "Riverside Blues".

Click photos to enlarge

Jim Hurd

John Whitehead

Frog Island Jazz Band

John Jeanes

Keith Durston

The Swannee

Dave Price

Whose socks?

Rob Fullalove

Warren Latham


 

Tuesday, April 8th....A first visit to the Harp for the newly formed Downtown Dixielanders, a 7 piece band playing orchestrated Dixieland arrangements in the style of Harry Gold, Sid Phillips and Kenny Ball and others. Led by Trevor Darby on trumpet  the line-up was Norman Phillips...clarinet, Greg Jones...trombone, Dave Stokes...tenor sax, Gary Allcock...drums, Dave Dagley...piano and Keith Prescott….bass.

The programme reflected the description of the band with "Midnight in Moscow", "Bad Penny Blues" and "Chicago" as well as "Stumbling", "South Rampart Street Parade" and "Petite Fleur" amongst others.

Keith Prescott and Gary Allcock were well known to many of our audience and it was nice to hear different musicians, both their music and their complimentary comments about the Harp!


 

Sunday, April 1st....a rare Sunday appearance for the Ben Holder Trio with today a welcome guest, singer/harmonica player Jon Salt  joning Ben on violin, John Smith on guitar and Bill Smith on bass.

As always the music was exceptional, varying from "Lady Be Good" and "Minor Swing" to "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" and a waltz based on the tune "Domino". Along the way we had vocals from Ben with "They All Laughed" and "After You've Gone" and from Jon with "Route 66", "Mack the Knife" and "Moonglow" which also showed Jon's talent on the harmonica. Ben and Jon did a duet for "Straighten Up and Fly Right", there were superb versions of "Body and Soul" and "Dark Eyes" and a finish with "Sunny Side of the Blues".

The "elder statesmen" in the band, Bill and John, did a great job of keeping the two younger jazz musicians in some sort of order, although how they keep up with Ben we will never know!

Click to find these videos on YouTube:  "Body and Soul", "Dark Eyes" and "Straighten Up and Fly Right".

Ben will be back with BB Swing on Tuesday, July 24th.

A very proud grandson, 6 year old Adam, showed off his certificate for raising the most money at his school's Sport Relief mile walk...£95.00 raised with help from our audience, many thanks to everyone.

Jon Salt

Bill Smith

Ben Holder

John Smith

Very proud Adam Marchewka!


 

Tuesday, March 27th....Wabash Jazzmen, led by Mark Challinor on banjo and guitar, gave us another superbly  entertaining evening with very varied programme with the talents of Mike Hayler on sax and clarinet, Howard Worthington on bass and Pete Ainge on trumpet being very well demonstrated.

Mark has tended to play more guitar over recent sessions and tonight was no exception with "Jackass Blues" and "Don't Ever Let Nobody Get Your Spirit Down" being just two of the numbers which showed Mark's mastery of his guitar....superb.

 Mark and Howard did an excellent "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me", Pete sang "My Mother's Eyes" and Mike, near the end, gave us a rare vocal with "Yes, Yes in Your Eyes".

Other numbers included "Milenberg Joys", "Fidgety Feet" and "Get Out of Here and Go Home"....all contributing to a most enjoyable evening in the company of four excellent musicians.

Wabash Jazzmen will be back on April 17th when they accompany singer Christine Tyrrell...not to be missed!


 

Sunday, March 25th...the annual visit of Bob Dwyer's Bix and Pieces saw regulars Bob on trombone, Duncan Hemstock on sax/clarinet, Max Emons on trumpet/harmonica, Nick Singer on banjo, John Bayne on bass/bass sax and Laurie Chescoe on drums joined by Jon Penn on piano in the absence of Hugh Crozier.

Asking the audience not to take it too seriously the band included "Get Out of Here and Go Home" very early in the programme which went on to include "A Hundred Years From Today" (for the second gig running) with vocal from Bob Dwyer and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" with a Nick Singer vocal. Max Emons was featured on trumpet in "Matchbox Blues" did a great job with the vocal in "Rebecca, Rebecca, Get Your Big Legs Offa Me!". Later Max produced his harmonica for "Freight Train Blues".

it is a long time since we heard Jon play at the Harp and he fitted in extremely well both with the rhythm section and as a solo pianist...as we would expect! The other members of the rhythm section, Laurie on drums, Nick on banjo and John on bass provided an excellent backing throughout the session for the superb frontline.

We look forward to another visit by the Bix and Pieces in 2013!

Click photos to enlarge

The Front Line

Bob Dwyer

Duncan Hemstock

Max Emons

Laurie Chescoe

Jon Penn

   

Nick Singer

John Bayne

   

 

Tuesday, March 20th...Martinique Jazz Band had a very different front line tonight when Alan Yeager on sax.clarinet, Gary Bell on trumpet and Mike Blakesley on trombone joined the regular rhythm section of Jim Harney on drums, Dave Boxold on bass and Reg Reid on piano.

The music started with "China Town" and finished with "China Boy" (I think it was that way round!) with a very varied programme in between which included "Crazy Rhythm", "Birth of the Blues", "Autumn Leaves" and "Caravan".

Vocals included "100 Years from Today" by Dave Boxold and "Pennies from Heaven" by Gary Bell with both of them giving their rendering of "Bye, Bye, Blackbird" with a little assistance from Alan Yeager. Alan on clarinet was featured in "Stranger on the Shore", Gary on "Stardust" and Mike on "New Orleans".

As always the rhythm section made sure there was no flagging by the front line and the very entertaining session ended with "China Boy"...I think!

At the end I commented that I think Gary Bell is one of the best trumpet players to come in to the Harp and it is well worth repeating here, and not a bad singer too!

Martinique will be back on May 13th.

 

.....Gary Bell

Martinique Glee Club....

 

 

Sunday, March 18th...The ever popular New Orleans Heat were today's visitors with leader Barry Grummett on piano, , Mike Taylor on trombone, Gwyn Lewis on cornet, Roger Bird on sax and clarinet (depping for John Scantlebury), Harry Slater on bass, Colin Bushell on drums and Tim McGrath on banjo (depping for Tony Peatmann).

As always the music featured superb solos from all the musicians and the inimitable vocals by Gwyn, including "Just a Little While to Stay Here" and "When You're Smiling", with a few more from Roger including "Whinin' Boy Blues".

Other excellent numbers included "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover", "Alexander's Rag Time Band", "St Philip's Street Breakdown" and once again "Panama" for Marie, with the usual Harp "Mexican Wave" to embellish it!

Harry Slater was the most popular member of the band when he won the wine in the raffle!

If you missed this brilliant, entertaining Sunday lunchtime New Orleans Heat will be back on Tuesday, May 8th.

Click photos to enlarge

 

Barry Grummett

Gwyn Lewis

Mike Taylor

Roger Bird

Colin Bushell

Tim McGrath


 

Sunday, March 13th....Chicago Swing Katz, a new band in the Harp tonight, had leader Jeff Matthews on clarinet and tenor sax, Andrew McKenzie on trombone, and Gary Foote on drums who were in the Harp for the first time along with "regulars" Pete Ainge on trumpet,  Derek Harrison on piano and Dave Margaroni bass . Guest singer Russ Latham brought a feminine touch to the proceedings.

"That Da Da Strain", "Canal Street Blues", "Coquette" and "Basin Street Blues" were a few of the band numbers, vocals included "Ain't Misbehavin" by Derek, and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" by Pete and "The Glory of Love" and "Hello, Johnny" by Russ.

During a most enjoyable evening the rhythm section did a great job driving along the front line and the first visit of the Katz we hope won't be the last!

It was nice to meet Jeff Matthews at last and to put a face to the name Andrew McKenzie which I had seen many times on Fred Burnett's web site in the North West.

 

 

Chicago Swing Katz....

...leader Jeff Matthews

Click on photos to enlarge


 

Sunday, March 11th...Led by Peter Roberts on banjo and vocals the line-up of Dene River Jazzmen is Chris Carmell on cornet and vocals, Rod Williams on alto, clarinet and vocals, Dave Braidley on trombone and vocals, guest John Holtom on bass and Dave Andrews on drums.

Starting with "Is It True What They Say about Dixie?" the programme then provided us with a most enjoyable Sunday lunchtime with "Royal Garden Blues", "That Teasin' Rag" and "Ice Cream" being just a few of the offerings. Vocals included "Black and Blue" by the leader, the opening number by Rod Williams and "My Cutie's Due at 2 to 2" by Chris Carmell.

My day was complete when I won the whisky prize in the second raffle amidst cries of "Fix!" from some of the more envious members of the audience....I wasn't tempted to  hand it back for a re-draw!

If you missed this most entertaining Dene River Jazzmen will be back on May 27th.


 

Tuesday, March 6th.....a rare Tuesday evening session for Carl Sinclair and Howard Smith meant a really full house in the Harp for this very talented duo. Carl's piano playing, singing and great rapport with our audience is very well matched by the drumming and singing of Howard.

Playing probably the widest range of styles by any musicians who come to the Harp the numbers ranged from Ray Charles' "Shake A Tail Feather" to Winifred Atwell's "Black and White Rag" with "Jailhouse Rock" and "Jitterbug Boogie" along the way. We even had Carl's version of "Valerie", an Amy Winehouse song. "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" had a whistling accompaniment from Mr. John Bosworth in the audience which merited a round of applause from Carl!

Howard's vocals included "I Need Your Love So Bad" and his drumming was perfect for backing Carl's piano.

Another brilliant session from a very talented young man which ended with a rocking "Great Balls of Fire", Carl and Howard will be back on Sunday, June 17th. to once again transport everyone back to their long lost youth!

Click on the photos to enlarge.


 

Sunday, March 4th....it's a few month's since JB's Jazz & Blues Band came to the Harp but it was well worth the wait! With John Beckingham on piano were Roger Manering on sax and clarinet, Andy Wood on guitar, Mark Howell on bass and Paul Holder on drums.

As always the music has feet tapping and hands clapping right from the start with a great mix of blues, jump jive, ballads and jazz. With vocals from John, "Is you is or is you ain't my baby?", Roger, "Dr. Jazz", Andy, "Love me or leave Me" and Paul, "Route 66" there was something for everyone and 2½ hours passed by very quickly.

Another excellent session from a band who always set out to enjoy themselves and entertain the audience.

JB and the rest of the gang will be back on June 3rd.


 

Tuesday, February 28th...the Zenith Hot Stompers had just past its 48th. birthday when in March 2011 Derek Bennett, founder member, drummer and leader sadly died. Because of health problems Derek had decided to wind up the band at the end of 2011 so the musicians decided his intention should be respected and the Zenith played a last gig at Stafford Jazz Society in December.

The members of the band enjoy making music together so they have formed a new band, the Grand Union Syncopators, who were today's visitors....the line-up is Pete Brown on trumpet, Dave Wilkinson on clarinet and sax,, Stan Stephens on trombone, Phil Matthews on tuba, Keith Garner on banjo/guitar and Andy Logan on drums.

From "Wolverine Blues" to a Keith Garner vocal on "Whinin' Boy Blues" and "Mabel's Dream" there was something for everyone. Other vocals included "He Touched Me" by Stan Stephens, "Miss Otis Regrets" by Dave Wilkinson and "Someday You'll Be Sorry" by Pete Brown.

"Papa Di, Da, Da" and "1919 March" brought an excellent gig to a close and the band will be back for a Sunday session on April 29th

 

 

Grand Union Syncopators

Click to enlarge

 

 

Sunday, February 26th....missed for a long time....now Mike Hayler turns up twice in less than a week!

Mike Carnie's Jazz All Stars were today's visitors and like us were more than pleased to see Mike H back on sax and clarinet. With Jon Critchley unable to make the gig the five piece line-up was completed by Laurie Cooper on trombone, Dave Margaroni on bass, Derek Harrison on piano and vocals and Mike on drums.

The very varied programme included "I've Got Rhythm", vocals from Derek with "Ain't She Sweet" and "She Had to Go and Lose It at The Astor" and Surprise, Surprise.....the first ever vocal in the Harp from Mike Hayler when he sang "Wait 'Till the Sun Shines Nellie" to rapturous applause!

Laurie Cooper was featured in "The Preacher" and the session ended with "Careless Love" and "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone".....which made my comments at the end of the session very brief!

The band will be back in May.


 

Tuesday, February 21st....tonight's gig saw the very welcome return to the Harp by Mike Hayler after recovering from his illness of last year....as always, apart from playing excellent sax and clarinet, Mike had comments to make about the delicious cheese and onion rolls!

Also pleased to have Mike back were the other members of Wabash Jazzmen, Howard Worthington on bass, Pete Ainge on trumpet and leader Mark Challinor on banjo and guitar.

"Algiers Strut", "Shout 'em Aunt Tillie", "Rent Party Blues" (with Mark on guitar) got us off to a good start and vocals included "Willie the Weeper2 by Howard, "Some of these Days" by Pete and "Under the Bamboo Tree" by Mark.

I've said for a long time that I think Mark and Howard are the best two man rhythm section around and their version of "Nobody's Sweetheart Now" reinforced that thinking...it was excellent.

With many more memorable numbers along the way the session finished with "Weary Blues".

It should be noted that throughout the evening there were numerous references by Mark to Zumba dancing...a craze which apparently Pete Ainge has taken some interest in, although he wasn't very co-operative when Mark suggested there was room for a demonstration!

We may learn more when the band returns on March27th.


 

Sunday, February 19th...a nearly "full house" enjoyed  two hours in the company of Chris Carmell's Jazz with Bob Smith on clarinet and baritone sax, Dave Braidley on trombone, Clinton Sedgley on banjo and guitar, Dave Andrews on drums, Bob Pearce on bass and of course the boss, Chris, on cornet and jokes....aided and abetted in that department by Bob Smith!

As always with Chris's band we had numbers which are rarely heard or even unknown to us, and occasionally to the rest of the band! These include today "Sweet Emmalina", "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues" with a superb baritone/bass duet, "Every Evening I Miss You" and one I certainly hadn't heard before "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi". Clinton played superb guitar on "Birth of the Blues" which more than made up for his reference to last week's Wolves-Albion match!

The band played "Happy Birthday" for Roy, one of our long time regulars and later the ever shy, retiring Bob Smith led the entire congregation in singing the same song to none other than.....the same Bob Smith who will be 82 years young tomorrow (20th)!

Keep on blowin' Bob.        Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Once again a most entertaining way of spending Sunday lunchtime, Chris and the boys(!) will be back on April 10th.


 

Tuesday, February 14th...Millennium Eagle Jazz Band were tonight's visitors and I think their programme may have been chosen with Valentine's Day in mind as it included "C'est Magnifique", "My Gal Sal" and Andy Holdorf and Pete Brown's "Crazy About my Baby"....although I'm not to sure about "The Best Things in Life Are Free"!

With Andy (trombone) and Pete (trumpet/valve trombone) were bandleader Matt Palmer on clarinet/sax, Brian Lawrence on bass (and almost vocals), Jack Cotterill (drums) and Chris Etherington (banjo) who all contributed to another superb evening. The non-romantic numbers included "Travellin' Blues", "Steamboat Stomp" and "Thriller Rag" with a brilliant clarinet feature for Matt on "St. Phillip's Street Breakdown".

For Marie and myself it was a very nice end to our 28th. wedding anniversary!

The excellent, entertaining Millennium Eagle Jazz band will be back on June 19th.


 

Sunday, February 12th.....Old Comrades Jazz Band in the Harp on Sunday lunchtime can mean only one thing....a most enjoyable way of passing two hours in the company of excellent musicians led by the ever young "Big Eric" Dodgson who informed me, and he should know(!), that he is now 86, not the 85 I credited him with on his birthday card!

Eric still blows a mean trombone and also provides most of the vocals including today's spiritual offerings which included "When I Move to the Sky", "Lily of the Valley", "Ring Dem Golden Bells" and "Lead Me Saviour".

Completing the front line we had Dave Coles on reeds and Dave Sherwood on cornet  with the latter playing a superb solo during "Big Lip Blues", a number I had never heard before. Excellent backing was provided by the rhythm section of Mike Wall on piano, Griff Thomas on banjo, Steve Slater on bass and Dave Andrews on drums.

As well as the spirituals we had "Snake Rag", "Mabel's Dream", the bands homage to Ken Colyer with "Going Home" and "Rose of Washington Square" which reminded many people of the late, great Tommy Burton.

All in all a superb lunchtime spoilt only by the news when we got in the car that the Baggies were beating the Wolves 4-1...which became 5-1 before we had driven very far!

Big Eric and the gang will be back on May 6th.


Tuesday, February 7th....was it withdrawal symptoms after the cancellation of Sunday's gig or the appeal of Robin Mason's Apex Jazz and Swing Band which drew in such a good crowd tonight?...I prefer to think the latter as once again Apex provided an evening of great music played by excellent musicians who so obviously enjoy their music, what more could you want?

Among the many well known numbers were "Farewell Blues" and "Sweet Georgia Brown", vocals from Jon Stone in "Nagasaki" and "I Double Dare You", solo features for Robin on clarinet with "Petite Fleur", for Graham Woodhouse on trombone with "Georgia on my Mind" and Jon Stone on trumpet with "I Can't Get Started" plus great backing from the rhythm section of Jim Harney on drums, Bob Boucher on bass and Rob Milburn on guitar and banjo.

The band did a very good job of making us forget the very cold night outside, at least for a few hours!

The last time Jon Stone was in the Harp he complained that although he had been playing here for many years his photo still wasn't on the wall. I explained that the only spaces left were unfortunately on the wall where we put photos of musicians who have sadly died so he may have to wait a while yet!

Jon's response was to email me a "photo" he had created suggesting this may be an alternative....we couldn't resist this so one day I took grandson Adam for a drink in the Harp ( he only had Coke!) and we removed the perspex sheeting from the photo frieze and found a space for the wonderful creation which you can see in all it's glory by clicking on the picture on the right...or better still come in to the Harp to see the real thing! Obviously we hope it is a very long time before Jon is anywhere near a big wooden box!

Apex Jazz & Swing Band will be back on April 15th.


 

Sunday, February 5th..."inclement weather" forecast led us to make the decision on Saturday evening to cancel today's gig with Derek Harrison's Trio.

Derek and the boys(!) will be back on May 20th.


Tuesday, January 31st....once again we had a good crowd in for Ben Holder and BB Swing, and no wonder as this young man just gets better every time we see him even though each time he leaves us feeling there is no way he could get better!

With the brilliant support of Bill Smith on bass, John Smith on guitar, Robin Mason on sax/clarinet and Rod Milburn ( here just for the pleasure of playing with the band) on guitar Ben absolutely stormed his way through a "made up as we go along" programme. This included "I've Found a New Baby", "That Rhythm Man", "Royal Garden Blues" (not usually associated with the violin!), a trio version with Ben, John and Bill of "Stomping at Decca", Robin and the rhythm section playing "Memories of You" and "Nuages" which this time featured both Ben and Robin.

A superb "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "I've Got Rhythm" brought a wonderful evening to a close.

Ben is, as he deserves, becoming more and more busy but will still be back at the Harp on April 1st and again a couple of times later in the year, if you can't wait see videos of previous sessions on our "videos" page.

"Nuages" by Ben and Robin

Bill Smith

Ben Holder

with

BB Swing

Click photos to enlarge

John Smith

Rob Milburn


 

Sunday, January 29th....Five Towns Footwarmers today were minus a drummer due to the illness of Mike Haslam's wife, we wish her a speedy recovery.

The five piece band were led as always by Keith Garner on banjo and vocals with Laurie Cooper on trombone, Terry Cooper on bass, Glyn Bennett on trumpet and guest Harry Christian on reeds.

From "Avalon" to "Dr. Jazz" and "Canal Street Blues" to "Saratoga Swing" there was "a'plenty" (yes, that one as well!) for our nearly full house, with fine solos from all five of the Footwarmers.

 "June Night" and "New Orleans" are now on YouTube and the session ended with "Running Wild".

This most enjoyable and entertaining band will be back on April 22nd.

 

...Five Towns Footwarmers in    action

 Terry Cooper bass solo.....

 

 

Tuesday, January 24th...A very different session tonight with "Duets for Django" which featured the two guitars of Paul Vernon Chester and Nick Mellor.

As their name suggests the music was very much Django and Gypsy jazz orientated and included numbers such as "Valse Musette", "Norwegian Dance", "Deuce Ambience" and "Bleu Mineur" as well as "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Girl from Ipenema".

A trip to "Peru" changed the theme for a while and the session ended with "Hotel Claridge" and the inevitable "Minor Swing".

The brilliant playing of Paul and Nick, together with Paul's friendly rapport and information about the tunes, captured the attention of a very appreciative audience and although a few amplification problems meant my videos were not good enough to use the memories of the evening will no doubt live on.

Duets for Django will be back next year.


Sunday, January 22nd.....another band in for the first time was the Gary Bell Quartet.......Gary on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tony Hooper on piano, Derek Brown on bass and Dave Holmes on drums with Janice Williamson on vocals.

Gary's superb trumpet and flugelhorn playing was brilliantly accompanied by Tony, Derek and Dave and they all backed the lovely vocals by Janice. Tony and Janice were making their first ever appearance at the Harp and what a revelation they were!

The tunes were a mix of standards and big band numbers such as "Love for Sale", "The Preacher", a Latin version of "Wave" and a piano, bass and drums trio for "Summer of 42"

"Our Love is Hereto Stay", "Fly Me To The Moon", "I Remember You", "Boy from Ipenema" and "Summertime" all feature Janice and all are on YouTube.

A most entertaining lunchtime by five excellent musicians who are now booked to come back in June and November.


 

Tuesday, January 17th....playing only their second gig as a newly formed band the Brownfield/Byrne Hot Six were tonight's visitors and a very impressive second gig it was too.

The joint leaders, Jamie Brownfield on trumpet and Liam Byrne on tenor sax (and for one number clarinet!) had Andy Hulme on guitar and Jack Cotterill on drums to make up the younger section of the band with the slightly more mature Tom Kincaid on piano and Jim Swinnerton on bass completing the line-up.

Their slightly different take on "Traditional" jazz included "That's A'Plenty", "Honesuckle Rose" played by just Jamie and Tom (superb!), "Royal Garden Blues", "Singing the Blues", "Just You, Just Me", Liam and Andy's "Stardust" and "Laughing at Life" with Liam on clarinet. The last three are on YouTube

Every one of the musicians contributed enormously to the success of the evening....Jim drove everything along as always, Tom is in a class of his own on the piano, Jamie and Liam lead superbly, Andy was a revelation on guitar and Jack keeps up the Cotterill family tradition of brilliant drummers.

Incidentally, a special mention for Jack who didn't arrive until the interval after being held up on the M5 for 3½ hours by an accident which happened only a few minutes before he reached the scene.

The audience reaction to this new band was quite amazing with probably more compliments throughout the evening than we have had for a long time, so much so that they are now booked for two further dates in June and November.

Liam Byrne

Jamie Brownfield

Andy Hulme

Jack Cotterill

Tom Kincaid

Jim Swinnerton

Click photos to enlarge


 

Sunday, January 15th...Dene River Jazzmen are definitely a band who enjoy playing and entertaining their audience and today they did just that for a large and very appreciative audience.

Peter Roberts on banjo and vocals leads the band the rest of the line-up is Chris Carmell on cornet and vocals, Rod Williams on alto, clarinet and vocals, Dave Braidley on trombone and vocals, Keith Prescott on bass and vocals and Dave Andrews on drums.

The choice of numbers ranged from "Is it True What They Say About Dixie?" to "That Teasing Rag" and "Sailing Down Chesapeake Bay" with "Hard Hearted Hannah" and "Lady Is a Tramp" (a rare vocal from Keith Prescott!).

A most enjoyable way to spend Sunday lunchtime....or any other time!

"Teasing Rag", "Lady is a Tramp" and "Jambalaya" are on YouTube

The band will be back on March 11th and every couple of months throughout the year.

 

Dene River Jazzmen....

Click photo to enlarge

.....in entertaining mode

 

 

Tuesday, January 10th....Martinique Jazz Band were in tonight and a nice, nearly full house enjoyed the Dixieland/Mainstream offerings one of our regular bands.

The regular members of the band, Tony Billingsley on trumpet, Dave Boxold on bass, Reg Reid on piano and Jim Harney on drums were joined by Alan Yeager on reeds and Mike Blakesley, making his first appearance at the Harp, on trombone.

Vocals from Dave and Tony, instrumental solos and band numbers added up to a most entertaining session, with Mike Blakesley happier than most when his wife won one of the bottles of wine in the raffle!

Martinique Jazz band will be back on March 20th.


 

Sunday, January 8th...the new New Washboard Syncopators were today's visitors, new in as much as there had been an almost complete change of personnel!

Still led by Tony Quinn on percussion the line-up was Dave Coles on sax/clarinet, Jon Stone on trumpet, Geoff Goodwin on trombone, Dave Boxold on bass and Clinton Sedgley on banjo/guitar.

A superb session with an appreciative audience who were treated to excellent solos from everyone, with Jon featured with his silver trumpet on "Careless Love"  and Tony in the appropriately named "Coney Island Washboard" which highlighted his nimble fingers!

 "Dippermouth Blues", "St. James' Infirmary Blues" and "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" along with many more numbers all contributed to a most entertaining evening.

 

  New Washboard Syncopators.......

....will be back on July 10th.

 

 

Tuesday, January 3rd....Marie's suggestion that we had Bev Pegg start off our new year of jazz at the Harp was an inspired choice....a full house was treated to an evening of superb music by Roger Heeley on piano, John O'Connor on bass and of course Bev on guitar and vocals. In addition to the music we had the raconteur side of Bev as well with many stories of his times in Cradley Heath and other Midlands beauty spots!

These stories had our audience in stitches, some were cheeky, some a little risqué and some just downright funny....and all without a single four letter word, the use of which seems to be the norm in so many so-called comedy shows these days.

The superb piano playing of Roger Heeley and the driving, slim line bass of John O'Connor added enormously to the enjoyment of the session as they backed Bev's vocals and guitar playing......even though at times they, like us, were reduced to tears of laughter by their leader!

Bev and the boys(!) will be back!

Click photos to enlarge:

....the Trio

Roger Heeley...

...John O'Connor

 

 Bev Pegg...