March Jazz Notes
We seem to have emerged from the freeze. I think we may have been fairly lucky in this area.
Pete Allen had to cancel his Sunday afternoon gig at the Chequers in Newbury on March 4th, as three of the band were still blocked in in the West Country. Apologies to anyone who ventured forth.
Not surprisingly the cold kept some of you at home, but our numbers for the excellent John Maddocks Jazzmen were pretty good (a small surplus!) and you were rewarded with some hot music including the fiery Johnny Dodds inspired clarinet of John himself and the excellent Andy Dickens and Chris Gower. A great evening.
Another one is promised in March with another band new to Wantage, The Sunshine Kings. Trombonist Graham Hughes is a very fine player, one of the “newer fellas” to quote Bing Crosby. He preceded Chris Gower in the Big Bears, so many of you will feel you know him. Australian Duncan Hemstock is the clarinettist (he appeared with the Rascals recently and made a big impression) and Andy Dickens will be back wearing a different hat! The rhythm section will all be new to us I think. It will be great welcoming Graham back to Wantage with his own band and his own take on our favourite music.
It was even colder when Lizzie Newbery appeared with the Rascals at the Lamb, but lots of you braved the freeze and the warnings of endless snow. Lizzie was on excellent form. I had made some new arrangements for her, and the band negotiated them with its usual skill. All the more remarkable as Tony Blincowe was laid low by a visit to the dentist for a tooth implant. Mark Aston took his chair at short notice and played beautifully, and Lizzie was her usual ebullient self – she is a very entertaining guest.
In March we have the pleasure of welcoming the top man, Enrico Tomasso. Rico is Europe’s favourite trumpeter, he really is a phenomenal player, an excellent vocalist and a most entertaining chap with a huge fund of anecdotes from his long career. We are delighted he is returning to work with the Rascals.
Other news, Graeme Hewitt’s HSJB continues its weekly run at Theale Village Hall. Each Tuesday we have a different trumpeter; Graeme contents himself with a choice of three trombone players. This does mean a large number of permutations, which for a weekly gig means plenty of variety.
Pete Allen is at the Bear in Devizes on Sunday March 18th at 3pm and will be at The Chequers, Newbury on Sunday, April 1st also at 3pm, with Susan Valliant Speer, whom I haven’t seen since her long association with the Rascals, as guest vocalist. Something to look forward to.
Keep warm and keep Jazzing