January Jazz Notes
May we wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year with plenty of good jazz to warm the cockles, etc.
We finished 2018 in very good style, with Richard Leach’s excellent 7 Stars of Jazz. We were sad that Gary Wood was unavailable due to the serious illness of his wife, but depping for him was none other than Tony Pipkin. We were amazed to realize this was his first visit to Wantage but he showed us what we have missed with some fine authoritative trumpet playing. It was also a delight to have that great reedman John Hallam in the ranks so we were treated to a superb evening’s music plus an impressive raffle (thank you to the donors) and, of course – mince pies!
To kick off 2019 in fine style we have a return visit from the New Orleans Jazz Bandits, which was once Colin Kingwell’s band and is now ably run by drummer Malc Murphy. This is joyous music and will appeal to everyone, though especially the New Orleans lovers. Banjoist Tim Wate is now in the line-up, with long-standing member Peter Brookes on bass.
We tried an experiment at the Lamb – I printed a number of Rascals “tune menus”, over 200 titles, from which people made requests. This resulted in an interesting and varied programme which featured just the Rascals, with Roger Davis on bass depping for Mike Bennett. Quite a few forgotten gems appeared (musical and visitors!), and we were delighted to have a full house.
This month our first guest is one of our favourites, clarinet and sax man Olly Wilby. We think he is a terrific player – technique, sound, swing, experience, versatility, though a laid-back guy so perhaps not as well known as he ought to be. Come & enjoy him; you won’t be disappointed..
Jazz at Theale returns on Tuesday 8th with a variety of trumpet players – Alan Brock on the 8th, Ben Cummings on the 16th, Enrico Tomasso on the 22nd amd Ben again on the 29th. You can also catch Ben fronting the Kenny Ball Band at the Corn Exchange in Witney on February 1st. You can find details on the Witney Jazz website.
Pete Allen is away till February ’ his first gig of 2019 is at the Chequers Hotel Newbury, on Sunday, February 17th at 3pm, with guest Kevin Grenfell on trombone (and of course me!).
That’s it for now – the days are getting longer again!! Keep cheerful in January, and if you’re not sure about turning out, it’s always worth it – and we need you!