Jazz Club 90

Gig reports 2013   

(from Jan.6th.)

The Harp Hotel, Albrighton,Shropshire.





Tel: 01902 756158




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May 6th. 2013.....After 7 years of gig reports I have decided enough is enough and therefore will be no longer taking notes at gigs and instead will put photos  of new (to the Harp) bands, or those who only visit us occasionally, in the space below.

There will of course also be more videos added to YouTube from time to time to add to the 250+ already available.

Click on photos to enlarge


What a brilliant session today (Feb 16th) when we were entertained by the excellent Second Line Jazz band from Worcestershire.

Hailing from Prince Henry’s High School and the Worcestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra these young musicians played with such enthusiasm, such enjoyment and such amazing musical talent that they had our audience in the palms of their hands and calling for the unexpected (!) encore at the end of the session.

For a band so young they were like a breath of fresh air and certainly knew how to communicate with the audience, especially leader Pete Johnson on trombone and Matt Hadden on trumpet. Pete's sister Rose was on alto and vocals, Ramsey Evans on tenor and soprano sax, Graham Irvine on piano, Matt Deakin on bass and Callum Stubbs on drums.

Their publicity says they play "the very best in Trad, Blues and Mainstream Swing" and that is exactly what they did....with the occasional surprise like the blow up saxophones and their contribution to the raffle....a sparkly bag the contents of which I will not reveal in case they do the same at another venue, suffice to say Marie sold more raffle tickets than she has for a long time!

If you like to hear young musicians who are determined that the audience will enjoy themselves without in any way detracting from their musical talent then you should try to see the Second Line, or if you run a jazz club and want to help keep jazz alive BOOK 'EM!

Hopefully they will be able to come back again in August for the one remaining date I have available this year.

 Click photos to enlarge


CTJB....Charlestown Jazzband were at the Harp on Tuesday, October 1st and what a superb session it was

 by this very entertaining band from Holland....visit their website at here or see videos  on YouTube...."Oh, Marie", "Them There Eyes" , "Caldonia" and one taken at the Harp, "Shake 'em Aunt Tillie".

Pieter Duker


Piet Beyè


Leo van der Velden


Jan Dokter


Henk van Amerongen


Eric Beijnvoort


Rob Egging

Double Bass



September 10th. 2013

Sarah Spencer from the USA with her                  TransAtlantic Friends..........


Derek Galloway

Steve Graham

Sarah Spencer

......and guest Mike Owen, back home from Denmark, on trombone

Louis Lince

Bill Evans

The Front Line

Mike Owen

Annie Hawkins



Sunday, April 21st saw the annual visit of Bob Dwyer's Bix and Pieces with Max Emons on trumpet, Bernie Holden on reeds, Jon Penn on piano, John Bayne on bass/bass sax, Nick Singer on banjo, Laurie Chescoe on drums, and of course Bob on trombone.

A gathering of "bikers" at nearby Cosford, and subsequent delays on the M54, meant the late arrival of a few regulars and piano man Jon Penn...Jon made it in time for the third number, to applause from the audience!

The music ranged from "June Nights" to "Royal Garden Blues", "Freight Train" with Max on harmonica, a touch of Elvis Presley with "A Fool Such as I" and "Alexander's Rag Time Band" with vocal by Nick Singer plus of course several Bix numbers along the way.

Any band that can entertain Adam, our seven year old grandson, for the best part of 2½ hours must be a bit special and that is exactly what Bob's band were, special not only for Adam but also our slightly more mature audience!

Hopefully this annual event will be repeated next year.


Sunday, April 7th....I gig I had looked forward to for some time didn't disappoint with Christine Tyrrell and Trefor Williams' Usual Suspects entertaining a full house for two very quickly passing hours.The Usual Suspects were Denny Ilett on trumpet, Karl Hird on clarinet and sax, Mark Challinor on banjo and guitar, Julyan "Baby Jools" Aldridge on drums and of course Trefor on bass.......a line-up which couldn't go wrong whether backing Christine or playing purely instrumental numbers!

Mark was playing with the band for the first time during this three gig weekend tour and fitted in as if he had been with them for years, he did have the advantage of knowing Christine from when his Wabash Jazzmen backed her at the Harp last year!

Denny Ilett's trumpet playing was just superb, (and his singing wasn't bad on "Breeze"!), Karl's clarinet and sax were superb, Mark was the excellent musician we all know, Trefor drove the band along just as he did the Max Collie and Phil Mason outfits over many years aided and abetted by the irrepressible Baby Jools....and to top it all off the wonderful voice of Christine Tyrrell.

A selection of the numbers they played are on YouTube...."Saratoga Shout", "What The Lord Has Done For Me", "Breeze" and "Très Mutarde" with more to follow.

A great session with musicians who so obviously enjoy entertaining their audience, plans are already afoot for a return in about 12 months time!


Sunday, March 17th....should have been a session with Carl Sinclair Duo but unfortunately Carl was ill and had to pull out of the gig at short notice. This led to a long session of phone calls late on Saturday to find musicians who were cut a long story short I managed to book Malcolm Hogarth on piano, Terry Roberts on reeds and Bob Pearce on bass, the last two with very little notice on Sunday morning!

With a number of the audience there specifically to see Carl Sinclair explanations were necessary and it was very gratifying to see that most people stayed to be rewarded with a truly brilliant, entertaining session by three musicians who hadn't played together before!

Malcolm's talent on the piano is well known and his sheer enthusiasm and enjoyment of what he was doing transferred very quickly to the audience. Whether it was slow gentle numbers  such as "September in the Rain" or the superb "Honky Tonk Train Blues" Malcolm had excellent backing from the bass of Bob Pearce and the clarinet and saxes of Terry Roberts with the latter doing a superb alto version of "Flamingo" and the trumpet part of "Bad Penny Blues" on soprano sax!

A very short notice "telephone" band entertained us so wonderfully that two hours passed extremely quickly and there were many requests for them to be booked again, unfortunately it can't be this year as the only dates we have the guys can't do....hopefully next year!

 Videos on YouTube are "Flamingo" and "Tiger Rag".


Sunday, March 10th saw the first visit to the Harp by the Sussex Jazz Kings led by Dave Stradwick on cornet. The other members of this very experienced and professional band were Bernard Stutt on clarinet, Len Baldwin  on trombone, Peter Clancy on bass, John Hall on drums and guest Louis Lince on banjo.

From the first number to the last this was great music played by musicians who obviously set out to entertain their audience. The numbers included "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree", "Gravier Street Blues", a feature for Dave in "Bad Penny Blues", and a vocal from Peter Clancy in "His Eye is on the Sparrow". Excellent solos from Bernard, Len and Louis all added to the enjoyment and John Hall drove everyone along on drums, with more vocals from Dave and Len.

I must mention Lesley Stradwick who does a great job as "manager" of the band and is a pleasure to deal with both on the phone and in person at the gig.

The videos of the band which I put on YouTube have been withdrawn at the their request.

After one of those sessions which will live long in the memory we very much hope to have the Jazz Kings back next year.

Len Baldwin

Dave Stradwick

Bernard Stutt

Peter Clancy

John Hall

Louis Lince

February continued with a return appearance by Mike Lovell's Six in a Bar with Rosie on the 10th, a video of "At Miss Jenny's Ball" is on YouTube, together with others from their first appearance at the Harp....they give a very good indication of the entertainment provided by this superb band.

More well known musicians came with Jeff Matthews and his Chicago Swing Katz on the 12th...the line-up being Pete Ainge on trumpet, Andrew McKenzie on trombone, Derek Harison on piano, Dave Margaroni on bass, Mike Carnie on drums and Jeff on clarinet and saxes. From "Hindustan" to "While We Dance at the Mardi Gras", a soprano feature for Jeff on "Promenade Aux Champs Elysées" to "They All Ask For You" (Audubon Zoo) by Derek Harrison the music was excellent with plenty of chat with the audience thrown in, every reason to have them back in August!  

The Baby Jools' All Stars on the 17th had one notable absentee...Jools himself! Unable to make the gig one young drummer had found a more than adequate young replacement in the now slim-line form of Jack Cotterill, already well known to Harp regulars. The brilliant line-up in front of Jack was Annie Hawkins on bass, Louis Lince on banjo, Denny Ilett on cornet, Warren Latham on reeds and Dave Vickers on my mind as good a line up as you will find anywhere and the music reflected this, even though they had never all played together before.

A superb session in front of a nice full house...what more could you want on a Sunday lunchtime?

JB's Jazz and Blues Band were in on 24th....JB, or John Beckingham to give him his full name, brought his band of merry men to the Harp for another swinging session. John's superb piano playing was brilliantly complemented by Roger Manwaring on reeds and hat, Paul Holder on drums and Mark Howell on bass . Four brilliant musicians whose aim is to entertain and they certainly did that today! A return visit is booked for May 26th.

Millennium Eagle Jazz Band ended the month for us with their new recruit, Terry Williams on trombone, remembered by some in the Harp from his visit many years ago with the Beachcombers from the West Country.

Pete Brown on trumpet, Brian Lawrence on bass, Chris Etherington on banjo and leader Matt Palmer on reeds completed the line-up. This excellent band always give us a good session but this one was the best we have heard from Matt and the boys(!?) for a long time, everything was spot on from start to finish.

The Millennium Eagles will be back on September 8th.

For once I didn't have my camera with me so we welcome Terry back with a photo from his first visit with the Beachcombers!

Two bands who played for us recently both consisted mainly of musicians well known in the Harp but in different line-ups. On January 27th. we had the Aces of Rhythm with Chris Carmell on cornet, Dave Kimmins on banjo, Joe Nutman on piano, Doug White on sousaphone and leader Matt Palmer on sax and clarinet.

With their 1920s music including "Sweet Emmelina", "Kitchen Man" sung by Dave Kimmins and, inevitably, Jabbo Smith's "Michigander Blues" and "Blue and Broken Hearted" (the band name was inspired by Jabbo's Rhythm Aces) plus an excellent ragtime solo from Joe Nutman with "Maple Leaf Rag".

February 5th, saw Strictly Swing Quartet in for the first time with leader Bill Smith on guitar, we are more used to seeing him on bass, Robin Mason on sax and clarinet, Rob Milburn on rhythm guitar and Bob Boucher on bass.

A session that really did swing included "Lady Be Good", "Sentimental Journey", a Latin "S'wonderful" and vocals from Bill's wife Joy including ""Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" and "I've Got a Crush on You". We even had a couple of Shadows numbers from Bill, Rob and Bob....different but brilliantly played!

A video of Robin playing "Moonlight in Vermont" is on YouTube

Two very different sessions with very varied music but equally entertaining. Both bands will be back later in the year.


Tuesday, 15th. of January saw the first visit of 2013 by the Remi Harris Trio with Ben Salmon on rhythm guitar and Tom Moore on bass.

As always with these three brilliant young musicians we enjoyed 2½ hours of superb music which ranged from Django's "Daphne" and "Django's Tiger" to the Beatles "In My Life", Miles Davis' "Donna Lee", which was recorded by Charlie Parker, and Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debbie".

 Add to these standards such as "Putting on the Ritz", "Limehouse Blues" and "Sweet Georgia Brown", with a very long guitar intro, together with Remi's own ""I've Done My Bit", dedicated to his Grandma, and you can see why the evening was so enjoyable. In to this mix Remi produced his electric guitar to play an excellent Peter Green (of Fleetwood Mac fame) number "I Need Your Love".

"Dark Eyes" as an encore provided a fitting end to an evening of the highest quality.

A video of "Django's Tiger" recorded at a previous session is on YouTube

The trio will be back on April 16th....don't miss it, the weather should be better!

Marie and I would like to say a big "thank you" as we were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who turned up....... with a mixture of a very cold, icy night and several regulars missing through illness we expected a smaller than usual audience....we were wrong!

Our first gig of 2013 was on January 6th and certainly qualified as a special occasion.

The music by the Old Comrades Jazz Band was as entertaining as ever but the "special" bit was the fact that a certain trombone player was born on this day in 1926....making leader "Big Eric" Dodgson 87 years young!

   Eric is as enthusiastic as ever about his music with his vocals and trombone playing belying his years and his rapport with the audience plays a large part in the success of the Old Comrades.

A cake, complete with candles (only 5, not 87!), and a kiss from Marie marked the occasion in suitable fashion.

We look forward to Eric's 88th. and in the meantime will settle for the band's next visit on February 3rd.