Dave's Jazz Notes for May 2024

Hello everyone, time for another helping of Jazz Notes. I trust you’re ready for them!

As usual, a look back and a look forward. Thursday 18th May saw a visit from the John Maddocks Jazzmen. When Zelda & I arrived at the Comrades Club at about 1 pm to set things up, we found Chris Gower, the band’s splendid trombonist, already in the club car park but clearly feeling awful. We did what we could to keep him comfortable, but he obviously wasn’t in a fit state to play. When John Maddocks arrived, he and trumpeter Tom Connor decided to hold the fort, and indeed they did quite splendidly, ably assisted by pianist Keith Durston, guitarist Andy Dickens (always on trumpet on past visits!) plus Jim Swinnerton (bass) and Nick Ward (drums) who together must be one of the most effective rhythm teams around. So we were treated to an excellent afternoon’s music. Pianist Durston took Chris home afterwards. He has since been back to collect his car, and is beginning to feel better to our great relief.

This month (May 16th) we have a visit from Tad Newtons Jazz Friends. Trombone player Tad leads Gary Wood on trumpet and these days also features Mike Wills on reeds, both very good friends of ours. The Rhythm team is also very strong, Alan Haughton, piano, Tomas Peterson, bass and Ronnie Fenn, drums. The band has a slightly more mainstream approach than some of our visitors, which will provide a lovely contrast to recent bands. You can be sure of a most interesting program, beautifully played!

At the Lamb the Rascals were on very good form with a special treat of a guest in the person of Olly Wilby, a superb reed player, who not only brought tenor sax & clarinet with him but also his soprano sax (he has a straight one like Tony) which he proceeded to use on his tune in our Sidney Bechet medley (4 tunes from the pen of the great man) which was a delight. It’s not often you hear 3 soprano saxes at once – a very good session.

This month (Wed May 29th) our guest is the mercurial Kevin Grenfell who, though being a fantastic trombone player, may well also bring his trumpet (I don’t know yet!) There are always fireworks when Kevin is around and have been, ever since I first met him when we both joined Pete Allen’s Band (Can it really be 1996?!)

We have had good numbers at the Lamb for some time now, but we were down quite a lot in April – quite a lot of illness and injuries which can’t be helped of course and we hope you all make a full recovery! Perhaps I might be allowed to remind you that the Lamb give us a sub towards the band remuneration, but we manage the rest and our guest’s professional fees wholly from the Raffle. We, therefore, beg to ask you to treat it like an entry ticket price so that we can keep up the fantastic quality of musicians who agree to come and play for you.

That’s it for now – Keep Jazzing! And keep yourselves fit & well,

Dave & Zelda