Zelda’s Jazz Room, June 2018 Jazz at the Lamb, June 2016

June Jazz Notes

Flaming June is about to arrive, though looking out of the window it’ll have to get a move on. However, although some days have been pretty warm, the jazz in Wantage has been red hot.

A visit from Jeff Barnhart is something we always look forward to and are never disappointed. Our favourite American pianist was on great form and thanks to my team of piano movers (including Jeff himself on the return journey) he once again had the Moorwood Broadwood to play. The “Harlem Knights” sparked by Nick Ward’s driving drumming covered a very varied repertoire – we have hardly repeated any tunes since Jeff first started his Wantage visits. Next year we might try “The Harlem Knights visit New Orleans” – musically if not physically!

In June we welcome the amazing Thomas “Spats” Langham, virtuoso banjoist, guitarist, vocalist and THE specialist in 1920s and 30s Jazz. As before he will be supported by vocalist Emily Campbell, Danny Blyth with a battery of reed instruments including the rare bass clarinet. (He’s no mean guitarist either.) And of course the redoubtable Malcolm Sked – string bass and sousaphonist extraordinaire. Not to be missed.

The Rascals became a three reed player band again at the Lamb in May with the visit of West countryman Jeremy Huggett, a player with plenty of fire and imagination and a fearsome technique. One thing, if you visit the Lamb on jazz night you will have no trouble recognising a band enjoying itself immensely. With Jeremy on board it was easy and the addition of Sue Greenway, depping for Tony who is recovering well from his op. is – well what more can one ask for?

You could ask for Pete Allen and you’d be lucky as he is our guest in June. Pete is coming up to 40 years a band leader – amazingly I have been with him most of 20 of them. So many people enjoy his passionate playing whether on clarinet or playing Sidney Bechet inspired soprano sax. He will be doing both on June 27th and it’s always good to hear him playing free of any concerns bandleading might bring.

If you are in Wantage around 2pm on Saturday (June 2nd) you may catch a “small Bear” band playing – where else but outside the Bear – to help start the Wantage Summer Arts Festival.

The Newbury Chequers is home to Pete Allen on Sunday June 3 at 3pm, this time featuring Hilda Clemas’ delightful singing. Her husband, James is of course Pete’s regular pianist.

Graeme Hewitt’s HSJB regular Tuesday spot (8.30 at Theale Village Hall) has a variety of guests: Phil and Lester Brown(5th), Ben Cummings (12th), Peter Rudeforth (19th), and Enrico Tomasso (26th).

The Rascals will also be playing at the Abingdon Festival on Saturday, June 23rd – probably around mid-afternoon. I’ll try to give you more information nearer the date when all is finalised so you may get a brief “notes +” this month

No doubt you will all have been flooded with stuff about data protection. I don’t think it really affects these monthly notes. The only thing I hold is your email address – no other information that I’m aware of and I don’t pass anything on to anyone else. I send these notes out blind, though I am not absolutely foolproof about this. Last time I forgot (during my change to Windows 10) several of you reminded me. Presumably if anyone doesn’t want to receive these notes they will tell me. Every now and then someone does and I remove them from my contact list.

It’s always good to see any of you and thank you for the tremendous support you give to me in particular and the jazz fraternity in general. Keep Jazzing!