It is my very sad duty to report the death, on Monday 19th September, of my old friend the well-known Northwest drummer Bob Jones. In the 70s and 80s we played a lot together with the Geoff Wilde Quintet and Julie Flynn mainly at the Malt Shovels, and the Hare and Hounds in Altrincham, the White Lion and Midland hotels West Didsbury. Bob himself was with the Harlem Hot Stompers and the Smokey City Six and other bands, and of course backed vocalists Julie Flynn and Sheila Collier, for many years. Bob and I last played together at the Bull Inn at Hayfield, with Eric Brierley's "Ancient" Band, about a year ago. He was an unpretentious drummer, yet his accuracy and rock-solid time and beat never let a band down; he was such a highly reliable percussionist. He was also one of the warmest and friendliest musicians on the Manchester Jazz Scene and will be sadly missed by hundreds of if not thousands of fellow musicians and fans everywhere round these parts.
I regret we will be unable to attend Bob Jones funeral as we are performing in Vancouver departing early on Thursday. He was the gentlest of gentlemen, a good drummer and I would like to add an anecdote which involved Bob many years ago. The Zenith Six were booked through an agent to play at a Night Club in Leigh on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night as one of the "acts". Our drummer at the time was away and Bob Jones was playing drums with the band. Thursday was "hen night" and Friday was "bachelor night" and Saturday was the usual night club show. On the Saturday night one of the acts was a Flamenco guitarist and his wife a fabulous Flamenco dancer and he spoke to the audience in a most broken English accent. As they came off the stage Bob said to the guitarist, in a very loud well pronounced voice like we do when speaking to foreigners "Do you entertain much here in England?" The answer was, with a very pronounced southern accent "Oh, yeh mate we come from Surbiton"
Regards Mart Rodger
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