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

January Jazz Notes

Our last session at ZJR for 2017 found the Savannah Jazz band in good form. There may be individual musicians about who have faster techniques etc but the Savannah’s expertise is in presenting a tightly-knit group sound which is very entertaining and enjoyable. They stayed overnight with us at Moorwood Towers and in the morning there seemed quite a lot of empty wine bottles around!

In January trombonist Bob Dwyer’s band, cunningly named “Bix & Pieces”, will make a return visit. The remarkable Sarah Spencer will be playing clarinet and sax with them. She has wide experience of playing in the USA and has developed a tough and exciting sound. The new trumpet player is not yet announced but the list of fine players who have worked with Bob in the past is huge – we can depend on him to bring an excellent player. Regulars John Bayne (complete with the giant bass sax) and vastly experienced piano man Hugh Crozier will of course be present. It’s always an interesting band with a wide repertoire.

The session at the Lamb in Mill Street will be starting at 8.pm (Not 8.30) from January 24th into the foreseeable future. Mike Wills will be back from his Australian break and by coincidence we will have an Aussie guest, reedman Duncan Hemstock. He is a super player and we are delighted he has been able to find time to come and work with us.

We had a most enjoyable Betwixmas gig with lovely trumpet and flugel horn playing by Lester Brown while Mark Aston proved an excellent stand-in for Mike – not an easy role to fill. Neither musician had played with the band before but fitted in beautifully.

Most of you are well aware of the somewhat delicate financial balancing act that goes on to present you with some of the country’s finest players. In case you aren’t, the Lamb fund the regular Rascals and, as an entrance charge can’t be made in a pub, we fund our guests with the Raffle money. The average fee is about £100 (quite a bit more for some of the top chaps) which takes quite a lot of tickets at £1 a time to cover. The list of great players coming to Wantage is now pretty impressive and we have managed to keep our heads above water thanks to the fantastic support of yourselves and of course Andy, Anne, Lee and the staff at the Lamb. We are already lining up some treats for you in 2018.

Pete Allen is having a break in January so nothing to report there.

Graeme Hewitt’s HSJB restarts it’s weekly Tuesday session at Theale Village Hall tonight (2nd) and as the band no longer has a regular trumpet and trombone you can expect lots of interesting visitors there too. Nick Gill (piano) – 9th: Andrew Clancy (piano) and Tony Davis (trumpet) – 16th : Lester Brown and Mark Aston – 23rd : Ben Cummings (trumpet) and Mark Ethrington ( trombone) – 30th

Never mind the weather – warm yourselves with some hot music

Best wishes to you all – keep Jazzing