Zelda’s Jazz Room, December 2017 Jazz at the Lamb, December 2017

December Jazz Notes

Yet another Christmas is rushing upon us so may we wish all you wish yourselves for the season and the year to come.

And what of November? Slide by Slide were featured at ZJR and though we have met all the players in many guises, never quite like this. The two trombones of Kevin Grenfell and Richard Leach blended excellently and Kevin’s trumpet playing adds another dimension to the sound. He is such a good trombone player that his trumpeting may never quite catch up, but it certainly is a most interesting addition. Even the jokes are almost becoming an institution in themselves following in the mould of Ronnie Scott, not a bad model! Richard is as urbane as ever, providing an excellent foil for Kevin’s fiery technique with a variety of mutes. Rod Kelly is becoming everyman’s pianist, adapting himself so well to bands of different styles and the same can be said of the tasteful and swinging drumming of Graham Smith. And how nice to hear Ian Parry playing such excellent bass – we more often see him on guitar and banjo.

In December we have another visit from the Savannah Jazz Band. This must be just about the most popular and successful New Orleans style band around and with good reason. It’s a tightly knit well organised group with fine musicianship and is always entertaining. Do come and join us for the last ZJR this year – as always mince pies included. Can we break even this year? We may just do it!

It takes a pretty special musician to bring such obvious delight to our own wonderful Mike Wills but our guest at the Lamb, Olly Wilby did just that – playing tenor sax with a big warm sound and delightful clarinet. A great evening.

December’s session at the Lamb will be on Thursday 28th. We have broken slightly with tradition by inviting a guest to this “Betwixmas” session. He will be the fine young trumpeter, Lester Brown and he will also be joined by reedman Mark Aston while Mike Wills is off getting a suntan in Australia. Assuming you will have had a surfeit of Christmas by then, do come and join us for some hot music.

Many of you follow Pete Allen’s many projects which I am glad to say I am often involved with. His Hot 7 will be at the Chequers, Newbury on Sunday 3rd at 3pm and the Hot 5 at the Bear Hotel cellar in the centre of Devizes on Sunday 10th, also at 3pm

On December 5th Theale Village Hall will present The Phil Brown Swingtet, while Graeme Hewitt is away (I’ll be at West Chiltington with the Big Bears). Graeme and the HSJB will be back on the !2th (though I’m at Wraysbury with Pete Allen), and it’s the Christmas beano on the 19th with Pete Allen as guest.

Well that’s about it for this year! It’s been pretty busy and there has been some wonderful music played in our area which we hope you have enjoyed. Without your support all those musicians would have been sitting at home twiddling their thumbs, so our heartfelt thanks to all of you, turning out as you do whatever the weather or other circumstances – you are greatly appreciated. So this with our thanks and the compliments of the season and may 2018 continue in the same vein – or even better!