October 2020 -
29/10/20 - It was back in May when I contacted you about my Jazz related painting. i.e. 3 members of the Red Rose Band. You kindly put the image of the painting on your jazznorthwest site. Can I thank you for doing so. Since that time I have been contacted by a few people who saw the article asking where they could get hold of an image or an image on a T-shirt. I no longer have the painting myself because it is now in the splendid Towneley Hall Museum. However, I am glad to say the image is available as a wall art design and on T-shirts from a company called Redmolotov. Apparently, it is proving popular amongst jazz fans far and wide. This does surprise me a little because this all started out as a lockdown project. I don't normally paint people but with lockdown the way it was, I was going through some old photos seeing if I could find a suitable subject for a painting. It is funny how things happen at times. Richard Slater (AKA Hadrian Richards)
29/10/20 - Referencing Fraser McCombe and New Orleans it is worth looking in the direction of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band ( check Wiki ). I saw them at St George's Hall , Liverpool. A revelation. Undoubtedly NO but with a striking difference. They played very few, if any, 'standards' but we're excitingly N.O. And when the mic'd amplification distorted their sound they called a halt and played ' au naturel ' acoustically. The Hall is big and cavernous and they sounded terrific. Mind you they were very, very, loud. If you haven't heard them then check them out. - Bob Lamb
29/10/20 - Referring to practice whilst the virus continues I can vouch for the New Orleans Jambook where there are close to one thousand easy tunes for Bb and and chords for both Bb and C instruments free to download/print. - Malcolm Holland
28/10/20 - Time for another quiz, and it nearly didn't make it when Bert Thompson emailed on Monday to say, "I can’t send a quiz - no internet as our power has been turned off for fire danger and I can’t access my hard drive". Tuesday came the good news, "We are back! Seems a couple of new fires came to life in Northern California during the outage, but at least they seem to be minor conflagrations, fortunately. Hope all is well with you. I know that the U,.K. is having some difficulty with the COVID-19 situation and don't know how it is affecting you folks up north. We seem to be having a modicum of success here in California, but that could change at any time. The bigger success I am looking for is potential - the current occupant of the White House will get his eviction notice next week. I do hope they don't have to send in the National Guard to remove him should the election not go his way, but that might well be the final embarrassment he inflicts upon us. Click here for the quizzes, The latest is Quiz 32
26/10/20 - Another Lockdown Photograph from Peter Swensson, taken by Terry Birkenhead in October 1995
26/10/20 - It seems Pontins have pulled the plug and shut down their holiday resorts from November 2nd until February 12th (not Britannia Hotels), which is bad news for those people booked to go to Pete & Heather Lay's Winter Jazz Party 15-18 Jan 2021. Pete says, "Customers already booked don’t need to worry about ‘balance payment day’. I’m expecting Sand Bay to make contact about ‘monies’ – they will be offering repayment or transfer of monies to January 14th 2022. I was persuaded to undertake another in 2022 – I did that because Sand Bay asked me, not Pontins. In working for Sand Bay Holiday Village I have very little to do with the parent company Pontins".
26/10/20 - There's a a wealth of information on Sandy Brown Jazz put together by Ian Maund. It just happens that today is Ian's birthday, Many Happy Returns Ian
26/10/20 - Hi Fred, It is sad that we are losing so many great players with this virus. In Australia Victoria seems to be the worst affected, and here in South Australia we have been mostly safe because people are really trying to do the right thing and getting tested, socially distancing themselves and using the hand sanitisers at the entrance to shopping centres. I am still playing at gigs a little under very strict conditions also practising heaps trying to keep my lip in, in some ways I have felt all the practice I have been doing has really helped but there are many players I know who rely on gigs to keep their skills up. They will really feel it when the Gigs come back (as they will), so all the best to everyone over there and remember this will pass and they have to be ready to start again, don’t give up. Cheers - Derek Dalton
26/10/20 - “Style rather than repertoire “, how right Dave Donohoe is , “You never can tell” pays homage to EmmyLou Harris and my wife, Melanie’s favourite tune, is again by Dave , singing the Arlo Guthrie number, “City of New Orleans”. Dave certainly widened my horizons of what tunes were acceptable in the New Orleans idiom. New Orleans jazz has always had the reputation of being functional music and as such, bands that played for local dances etc Were expected to play the latest popular tunes . So, Dave is to be applauded for carrying on the tradition. How much better is it to hear an unusual tune played in the style rather than an overworked tune from the repertoire? - Fraser McCombe
tributes have come in for Pete Beaumont, which have been added to his
24/10/20 - 109 returns to the survey have come in so far, which will close on 31st October. Now the answers are coming in, I realise the questions I should have asked! Most are yes and no, but some are "possibly", "occasionally", "now and again", "it depends" and "hope so", so it's going to be quite a job analysing them. On the whole the results are quite positive.
24/10/20 - When this site began, 25 years ago, few bands had their own web site and so I created pages for them. As time went by and bands started to have their own sites, I continued to keep my pages going. It soon emerged that mine were becoming out of date as the bands were just understandably updating their own, so I made a decision to remove my pages and simply provide a window into their sites. Of course when some bands decided to delete their own web sites, possibly because they had decided to disband, I was left with an empty page, which I then deleted. It was as a result of Peter Beaumont's death, that I realised I no longer had a record of the Dave Donohoe Band page, if only for the Whatever Happened To section, which I feel is a valuable historical record. Thankfully I kept a copy of some of them, and so I have been able to resurrect the original Dave Donohoe Band page as well as the Dennis Browne Band, page, albeit a little dated.
23/10/20 - Richard Lord has emailed to say, "I received a phone call yesterday from one of Pete’s sons telling me that his father, pianist Pete Beaumont from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, had just quietly passed away in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary". Richard has written about Pete and I've added it to the Peter Beaumont tribute page.
23/10/20 - The 29th Bohém Ragtime & Jazz Festival Live Streaming - Starts today until Oct 25th. Check out http://www.bohemragtime.com/online, you can see the program details here, although you'll need to work out the times especially as the clocks go back this weekend.
23/10/20 - The
results of the survey are pouring in, many thanks if you filled one in, because
I don't know who you are. What I can tell you is that so far at lunchtime today,
88 people had completed it, out of which just two people said they had tested
positive for Corona virus. Two too many unfortunately. I'll keep it open
for a week and then publish the results.
22/10/20 - There's no doubting that Covid 19 is having a serious effect on musicians, and I hear some are wondering whether or not to call it a day, and sad to say some bands may not even re-emerge. I thought it might be interesting to carry out a survey anonymously and so emailed the following questions to musicians. 1. Have you continued to practice? : 2. Do you see yourself playing in public again once you are allowed to? : 3. Do you think your band will survive the virus? : 4. Have you been tested positive for the virus? and 5. Do you think you have, or may have had the virus? It was sent out today and so far 72 people have responded. If you are a musician, you can fill in the form here. I'll publish the results in due course - Fred
22/10/20 - Updated - Here's
your chance to watch a live piano concert, now on YouTube rather than Zoom. Acclaimed jazz pianist Peter Edwards will play a one-hour concert
with a programme that celebrates Black composers and their huge contributions to
the history of jazz music at St Cross College Jazz Concert on Friday 23rd
October 2020 at 7.30 pm BST via YouTube at
https://youtu.be/l5OtTL4FrM4. Read more details
21/10/20 - You can read jazz musician Jim Petrie's obituary in the Scottish Herald
21/10/20 - Jon Critchley says, "Got this from a perfectly legitimate company in USA I’ve dealt with before. It’s extraordinary!".
21/10/20 - Re: Peter Swensson's photograph, the chap with the vibes is likely to be Vic Blackwell - Jon Critchley.
21/10/20 - It's
Wednesday again, and today's quiz will sort the men from the boys. How good is
your jazz history knowledge? Now is the time to find out with
Quiz 31 - Venues, by our quizmaster Bert Thompson.
time ago, I was handed a book by a non jazzer called, "Trad Mad" written by
Brian Matthew in 1962 (remember him?), price three shillings and sixpence. I started to scan it with a view to
putting it on the site for you to read, albeit it may be copyright infringement.
That is still an ongoing job, but no doubt some of you have already read it. In
which case you will be interested to read this article from Jazz Rag, written by
Andrew Liddle. It's called It's Trad Grandad and is
reproduced by kind permission of
Jazz Rag Publication
18/10/20 - Re: Peter Swensson's photograph, Bill Buck confirms that the bass player is Malcolm Pendry: We were all in The Wall City Jazzmen at the same time. Maybe the others are early Wall City members also?. Jon Critchley
Happy Returns tomorrow to Suzanne Mott, jazz vocalist and daughter of Dave Mott.
17/10/20 - Another lockdown photograph from Peter Swensson, but just one problem, he only knows one of the musicians - Billy Edwards. Do you know who the other four are, or where it was taken?
16/10/20 - I've just added a track from Tom Culbert's CD - "From Rags to Stride", to his tribute page
Fred, regarding Roy Williams I thought some of your readers may appreciate his
technical prowess on this
YouTube link - Malcolm Holland
If Roy Williams had been a Civil Servant instead of a world class trombonist,
he'd have had that MBE twenty years ago. Wonder why he never thought about
retraining! - Ian Royle
14/10/20 - It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that founder of The Quayside Hot Stompers, pianist Tom Culbert, passed away earlier this week. I spoke to Tom a while back when I asked for his permission to reprint his life story which he had written for Just Jazz. Hopefully I will get more details later, but for someone devoted to the music of New Orleans Jazz, it is so disheartening that he won't be getting the traditional send-off due to Covid restrictions. Tom was a lovely person, and of late he was a full time carer for his wife Et, who was wheelchair bound. He always seemed delighted to hear from me whenever I rang, and I was touched when he invited Barbara and myself to his 80th birthday celebration at The Union Exchange in Colne, home of The Forest Jazz Band. There is now a Tribute Page for Tom
Time for the Wednesday
Quiz, and this week it's an easy one, well it must be because I got them all
except one. This week, Number 30, is all about Faraway
Places. Quizmaster Bert Thompson says, "We are certainly enjoying better air
quality of late, but of course this virus isn't letting up here or anywhere
else, it seems. And that means continuing to have to breathe through a mask,
which I'm sure no one enjoys, no matter where".
12/10/20 - It was nice to read Sheila Collier’s message about Roy Williams receiving the MBE in the Queens honours list. I used to see him with Eric Batty’s Jazz aces at The Thatched House, Manchester in the 50’s, and didn’t know then that he was related to me. We shared the same great grandparents, and My mother and his mother Lily were friends (Small world). I do hope he is well as think it was last year that he was quite ill in hospital. He is a great trombonist. Congratulations Roy! - Brenda Canty-Forrest (Tomkins)
12/10/20 - Information passed on by Paul Medina - "George Galway passed away peacefully at home on October 4th 2020 aged 79 years. Beloved Husband of the late Muriel, much loved Dad of Martin and Brian and a loved Brother of Sir James and his wife Lady Jeanne. George will be sadly missed by nieces Jacqueline and Lorraine and friends Sue, Jenny and Sylvie. The funeral will be a private family service. All enquiries to Eamonn A. Kennedy Funeral Directors, Northenden tel 0161 945 2097.''
12/10/20 - Thank you for the story about Harry. It is very interesting. Both my husband and I went to three Jazzweekends at Llandudno, which were most enjoyable and they were very reasonably priced too. We were fans of The Chicago Teds and used to go to Lymm to see them. I continued to see them after my husband died in 2003, but eventually gave up because I didn't like travelling alone in the Winter evenings. I have most of their CDs. Thank you for all your hard work in keeping jazz fans in touch with what is going on. - Kind regards, Mildred Finney
12/10/20 - I very much enjoyed, and appreciated, the story of Harry Swinburne and his Herculean efforts on the Merseyside jazz scene. Too often, the work and talent of characters like Harry are forgotten and unrecognised, not only by the spectators but even by the musicians who benefit so much from the hours people like him put in behind the scenes. Just as the Chicago Teds had Harry, the Blue Mags in the 70s and 80s had Frank Hudston and the band would never have been so successful without his untiring efforts and organising genius. It’s great that your website is now inviting these “forgotten men” to take a bow! - Trevor Stent
12/10/20 - Hi Fred, just to let you know that the Sammy Rimington video playing Ice Cream with the December Band is also on Youtube via this link
12/10/20 - "Please take a look at our updated website at www.pedigreejazzband.co.uk", writes Chris Walker, "we have our latest news and some recent videos of the band that might be of interest to your members during this present lockdown and starvation from any decent LIVE music
Fred ,did you see that the great Trombonist Roy Williams has been given an MBE
in the Queens Birthday honours list for services to Jazz? He is from
Bolton . Good news !" -- Sheila Collier. Missed
that Sheila, but great news indeed. Still waiting for mine lol.
Many Happy Returns this week to Gerry Clayton
on Monday, and to Dave Bateman next Saturday.
Browsing through your videos Fred, I was delighted to see my old friend Peter
Curtis and his New Orleans Echoes at the Tunbridge Wells Jazz Club, with Bruce
Turner guesting among them. When we were still teenagers a few centuries ago, my
brother John (trombone), me (trumpet) and Pete (then on banjo, the reeds came
later) recorded three pieces on my Grundig TK20 tape recorder in Pete’s back (or
maybe front) room; Bill Bailey, Strutting with some barbecue, and Tishomingo
blues. I still have those recordings, now transcribed onto CD. When my brother
died in 2015, after the funeral, among the large number of guests celebrating
John’s life were at least a dozen musicians from the bands he had played with,
including of course, Peter, and I had the pleasure of joining in the session on
trumpet. I’m browsing through the videos, some submitted by another old friend
and sometime drummer with my own band, Graham Martindale, we also keep in touch
via internet. Thanks for these videos, Fred, I’m slowly but surely working my
way through them. - Richard Knock.
09/10/20 - There will be many people reading this news who have been to the Chatsworth House Hotel in Llandudno for one of Harry Swinburne's jazz weekends, as well as those who have been to Maghull British Legion or the Town Hall for his jazz or big band nights, again put on by Harry. Of those, how many people knew how Harry got round to starting it all? Well in one of my regular chats with him, I managed to get Harry to put it all down on paper and let me have it for the site. So in the latest addition to the series of Jazz Promoters, you can now read about someone I can truthfully call a dear friend - Harry Swinburne.
An old 1989 photograph of the Chicago Teds has
been sent to me by Harry Swinburne, and is now on the Lockdown Pictures page.
08/10/20 - I was delighted to receive a hand written letter from Bert Lamb in Ulverston, who tells me he doesn't really do computers. However he told me that he played with the elusive Ralph Bryson (4/10/20), when he was 17, between 1959-60. He joined a band on piano called, "Buddy Halpman's Jazzmen (or jazzband), in which Ralph Bryson was playing bass, and which renamed to 'The Crescent City Stompers'. He says, "It was under this name that we played regularly at the Iron Door club in Liverpool
08/10/20 - I've just updated the Video's page with a link to 'hoffmmanjazz' who has uploaded what appears to be thousands of classic videos. Norman Gibson suggested I might like to watch Sammy Rimmington playing Ice Cream with Kid Thomas, John Handy and Jim Robinson in 1965. You'll need to scroll a long way down to find it.
08/10/20 - Annie Cousins writes, "A friend who organises practices for an orchestra (he plays flute) around Macclesfield sent me this government guidance regulation. They now practice (about 25 at a time), in several churches, . Annie's Saints and Sinners practiced last Sunday in Christ Church which no longer has services It welcomes groups for a small fee which goes towards the upkeep. It was so nice to have a blow (play) again. I thought you might be able to pass this as some people don't seem to know this is possible. I believe halls as well as churches can be used". Annie kindly sent me this paragraph, but you should maybe read the whole of the "Guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants", before turning up - Fred.
The Tribute Page to George Galway has been updated
over the last two days
Another lockdown photo
supplied by Peter Swensson. This time it's it's John Petters' New Orleans
All Stars taken on the Lady Diana in Chester, June 1996
06/10/20 - Bert Thompson writes, "Attached is the latest quiz - Alternate Titles. The air is a good bit better in these parts right now, but we are not out of the woods yet (no pun intended). Can you believe that according to this morning's San Francisco newspaper, a record FOUR MILLION ACRES of California has burned this year? I trust that record won't be broken - in my lifetime, at least". You can see all set of 29 questions here.
One thing that has been missing from this site for long enough, is the other
side of the jazz club scene,the people who organise the clubs and without whom
we wouldn't have any, and that's The Promoters. So
far I've published two background stories, and now it's time for the third one.
Jazz Promoter Alec Crow has run the very successful
Bedale & Northallerton jazz club for the last 17 years, unfortunately it's not
quite in the North West, but we can't win them all.
05/10/20 - There is now a tribute page for George Galway, and if you have any fond memories of listening to him or playing with him, please email me and and I'll add them to the page for current and future jazz fans to read.
I had a phone call today just as I was about to
leave the house, from Tony Dunleavy, who had rung to tell me that George Galway
had passed away peacefully with his son by his side. Arriving home and there was
an email from Laurie Cooper to confirm that George had died on Sunday.
"He'll be sadly missed, he was a great player & he touched many peoples lives"
said Laurie. Funeral details when I get them.
04/10/20 - Aaron, who never knew his granddad, but knew he was a musician, is looking for anybody who may have come across him or knows anything about him. He says, "If you could help in the search for any information regarding ‘Ralph Bryson’, who I believe was a part of ‘5 and a penny jazz band’ and ‘new Brighton tower ballroom jazz band’ that would be a great help". Allan Wilcox asked if he was a bass player and Aaron replied, "My granddad did indeed play double bass!! He also played bass guitar! I believe the person Allan is referring to may well be my granddad! This, I hope, is brilliant news".
Many Happy Returns today to musician and all
round entertainer from the Fylde Coast, Pete Lindup. Also Many Happy Returns on
Friday to Alsager born drummer, Jack Cotterill, who describes himself as Event
Promoter, Musician & Booking Agent.
01/10/20 - Due out in cinemas this month, RONNIE'S is a film about the life of Ronnie Scott. Written & Directed by Oliver Murray, it's due for release in the UK on 22nd October in Everyman Cinemas - Jon Critchley
01/10/20 - I heard a story recently about someone who posted on Facebook that he refused to give Track and Trace information on the basis that he didn't want the Government to know where he had been. Someone took a snapshot of his Facebook profile which was showing all the places he'd been, and posted it to demonstrate his double standards. Someone who definitely isn't worried about his Facebook friends knowing his life story, is today's birthday boy and ex Mancunian, Brian Ellwood, now living in Penzance. I was looking at it today and there's no stone unturned, I didn't realise Brian had played for Savannah Jazz Band, Blue Lotus Jazzmen, Harlem Hot Stompers, Louiseville Jazzband, Dave Donohoe New Orleans Jazz Band, Colin Smith Jazzmen, Pete Haslem/Denis Gilmour Jazz Band to name a few. Happy Birthday Brian, I for one thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Good to know someone who isn't living life looking over his shoulder.
01/10/20 - My thanks to John Richardson who has sent in photographs of the Ken Colyer Jazzmen event and the poster for the 3rd Annual Lake District Festival in July 1983. I've added them to the Ken Colyer lost tape page
01/10/20 - Tony Baylis, double bass, sousaphone, vocals, born London, 1935 passed away last Thursday 24th September. Tony played with many top bands, notably including Lennie Felix, Bruce Turner, Mick Mulligan, Acker Bilk, Al Fairweather, the Temperance Seven, the highlight being the Alex Welsh Band at the Newport Jazz Festival, USA. Moving to Bristol, he joined the Wurzels from 1969 to 1984 and was in the Pete Allen Jazz Band in 1987. He appeared regularly at the Old Duke with the Dukes of Swing, Groove Juice Special and the Avon Cities Jazz Band. In the late 1990s he moved to Spain to practice physiotherapy and around 2000 he joined the New Zealand jazz scene. He returned to Bristol in recent years, but sadly failing health prevented him from playing there again.
September 2020 - KEEP SAFE
30/09/20 - I've just been told about a live video interview which took place on Sunday this week with Sammy Rimington.
30/09/20 - Allan Wilcox sent this in 2017, he's right, it was some time ago - "I've suspected for a long time that there was something fishy about the line 'He's the one who makes me get out both my dancing shoes' in Dr Jazz as most people sing it. (Would I have got out only one of them if it hadn't been for him?) If you listen to the beautifully clear recording that accompanies Tony Davis's tribute page on your website, you'll find that the words are unmistakably 'bow tie 'n' dancing shoes'. Now that makes much more sense". Try this Bert - with both shoes on - Fred.
30/09/20 - Re the current quiz, Alan Wilcox says some nice things about me--probably nicer than I deserve! What he says about the words in Dr. Jazz may well be the case. I don't have access to any original sheet music for same. All I can say is I have never heard "bow tie'n dancin'" (rather than "get out both my dancin'" or "put on both my dancin'") in the many versions I have listened to over the years. I don't think any of the many vocalists I heard sang these words, but I could well be mistaken. (Wouldn't be the first time!). A Google search doesn't turn them up ether, and unfortunately we can't ask King Oliver or Walter Melrose (the reputed lyricist). We are back to the blue haze here in California, and here is a statistic from today's paper: "The new fires pushed the total acres burned this year in California to a stunning 3.8 million .... " There can't be too much left of the state to burn! It seems at least about a dozen or more wineries/vineyards have been destroyed, so the wine shelves in the stores will have slim pickin' this year--and possibly a couple after, too. Wish the pandemic masks we have to wear would filter the smoke out of what we breathe. - Bert Thompson
30/09/20 - The latest edition of Just Jazz Magazine has just come through the letterbox. Nice surprise to see a picture of our quiz master, Bert Thompson, on the front cover.
30/09/20 - Bert Thompson's quizzes are a real treat, and please keep 'em coming, Bert. (I'm so sorry about the fires. What a terrible worry for you all!) If you listen carefully to the original recording of the song in question 3 this week, I hope you'll agree with me that the singer (who is also the composer) sings, not 'both my dancin' ______ but 'bow tie'n dancin' ______. I don't want to give away the answer, but even without the man in question I don't think I, or anybody else, would ever want to put on only one dancin' _____! I wrote to you about this some time ago, Fred, after hearing the original recording for the first time on your website, but it'll probably bear repeating. - Allan Wilcox,
30/09/20 - "That time of week again", says Bert Thompson when he sent me the latest quiz No.28 to add to the Wednesday Quiz. "Still no let-up in the fires. This weekend saw two new ones start in Northern California and smoke is again becoming an issue, especially for those with breathing problems. I wonder how much of California is left still to burn! The wine country has been hit hard. Grapes that haven't burned have a good chance of being smoke-tainted, so the vintners aren't too hopeful for much of this year's vintage. Stay safe from that dreaded COVID-19 that again seems to be ravaging the U.K. We are not out of those woods yet either. This weeks quiz is about clothing."
Slater (Aka Hadrian Richards artist), writes, "I am glad to report that my oil
JAZZ MUSICIANS" has got a new home. It now resides in the splendid Towneley
Hall Museum and Art Gallery.
http://towneley.org.uk. This is a fitting place for display because
the 3 musicians (that are the subjects of the painting) are all members of the
Red Rose Jazz Band from Preston. The Red Rose band were playing in Towneley Park
in May 2019. My encounter led to this painting"
28/09/20 - Mick Welstead who runs The Old Barn Hall Jazz Club down in Bookham, writes, "Barry Grummet has been in touch. He was going to retire himself and the New Orleans Heat Jazz Band at the end of 2020 but because of the ongoing problems he has moved the retirement date until the end of 2021. One of the main reasons he said was that they had made many friends through the years of touring and he wanted the opportunity to say his goodbyes personally, rather than a written goodbye online or elsewhere. A nice gesture".
28/09/20 - Peter Lay's observations about the missing programs of early jazz are, surely, very apt. The New Orleans style seems likely to prove more durable than be-bop. - Malcolm Cookson
28/09/20 - Another photograph in the lockdown photographs series. Once again it's from Peter Swensson and shows some great young faces, do you recognise them?
The recent comments about Eric Newton prompted me to pass on something he did a
few years ago which people in other areas might like to copy. In the late 1990s
there were two or three very good reunion evenings held in Stoke for which a
number of members of the Ceramic City Stompers and other Potteries based bands
came along to make music together once again. One feature of these was an
exhibition of photos, posters etc and after the events these ended up with Eric.
He had them transferred onto a photo CD which resulted in a great archive of
jazz in the Potteries over fifty years or so. He sold some copies to cover the
cost and gave others to local radio stations, newspapers and museums where they
could be available as part of local history resources. Since then Terry McGrath,
Jim Denham and Norman Field have done something similar for the Birmingham area
with their "Brumtradjazz" website. Most of us enjoy seeing this sort of thing,
but Eric went a step further in recognising its historical value and doing
something about it. I wonder how people feel about doing something similar for
their own area - or perhaps some have already done so? - Keith Garner.
Thanks Keith, this is
exactly what my web site is about, particularly Jazz Extras
where there is a section, "Whatever
Unfortunately It's NW only though.
28/09/20 - From time to time I get a call from people to ask if my site is safe because their web browser says it is "not secure". What that didn't mean was that it was crawling with a virus, it meant that any personal or financial information entered on the site was not encrypted and therefore unsafe. As I am the only person who can enter anything on this site, l didn't consider it to be a problem. However it did have a knock-on effect this weekend and now all the pages on the site are encrypted, so hopefully no more concerns. If anybody wants the technical details, click here, and I'd appreciate anybody technical or otherwise, letting me know if it's self explanatory or complicated.
27/09//20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Keith Allcock on Wednesday, and Brian Ellwood on Thursday.
It will come as no surprise that sadly, in the
light of the revised c.v. restrictions, we have had to cancel the `Harmony
Hounds` gig at Hornby Memorial Hall we'd planned for 21st November. I
say `we` because the Village Trust have just confirmed their updated policy.
Very sad, but there it is; let's hope that sometime in 2021 we can begin again.
In the meantime, best wishes, and stay safe, - Sam Ashton
The Edinburgh News has reported that Jazz trumpeter Chris Hodgkins has put
together a ten-piece band featuring top UK and American musicians that will tour
the UK from November 18 to December 8 2021 and will celebrate the remarkable
life, times and music of Humphrey Lyttelton, "It will be celebrated by a
series of shows next year marking the 100th anniversary of his birth. Chris and
his band aim not only to do justice to Humph’s music but will also write new
music based on his compositions and journals. The performances will be a
multi-media presentation including video footage from I’m Sorry I Haven’t A
Clue, the Radio 4 panel show, which Lyttelton presented from 1972 until shortly
before his death in 2008".
It's all gone quite on the
scruffy outfit front, so maybe our bands could take a
leaf out of
Able Bodied Seamen and dress the part. . Smart? Not arf. (Only joking,
there's enough been said already).
“Busker “ Newton - The London Marathon 1988 which he completed while playing the
“Saints" throughout was a remarkable effort. I was leading the Georgia Jazzband
on the stand at the City Arms pub on the Isle of Dogs. (Alan Littlejohn, Eddie
Taylor, Campbell Burnap, Harry Brampton & John Tilleray). Eric mounted the stage and
joined us in the “Saints" and was filmed playing and interviewed on BBC TV before
carrying on . I have the complete event on DVD, This was before the professional
runners took over, and it was all about fun and fancy dress. Eric would also drop
in for a sit in with us in London. I remember he always wore a T shirt with his
son Ben’s name emblazoned . A great bloke and I hope he is well.- Ken Ames
23/09/20 - In my quest to find out more about the stalwarts of jazz that keep our clubs going (the promoters), I've managed to get two so far to reveal their story, and another two are in the pipeline. I'm sure several of the site visitors have visited Roa Island, Barrow in Furness, and will know Malcolm Cookson. Well now's your chance to know him better, his story is now on the site and you can access it from the Jazz Promoters page
23/09/20 - Eric Newton certainly did busk in Sydney. We were leaving Sydney one evening after visiting my family and took our bags to the airport so we could spend the day without the luggage. Arriving back at Circular Quay we could hear Eric playing. We had met him a few nights previously in the jazz club. When he saw us he shouted to Mart to get his clarinet and join him. Mart would have loved to, but the clarinet was at the airport! Opportunity missed. Eric played quite a few winters in Sydney and I think he went to New Zealand as well. Eric Newton has been playing regularly with Manchester Jazz since we lost Mart. - Janet Rodger
23/09/20 - Eric Newton was also a regular busker in the pedestrianised Spring Gardens, Buxton a few years ago, with the puppet and the CDs on sale. I did hear something about an Australian connection, and I do remember the publicity when Eric played his Clarinet in a marathon. - Sam Wood
23/09/20 - The latest M.U. bulletin on Jazz Guide website makes for grim reading I'm afraid
23/09/20 - Eric Newton often used to play outside M & S in Macclesfield but I haven’t seen him for some time ( at least six months, possibly longer). An old friend of mine, often used to insist that Eric busked outside Sydney Opera House, in our winter, but never really knew if it was just a joke! - Fraser McCombe
23/09/20 - Jazz documentary on Freeview are repeats – Was on same TV channel about three months ago, and originally aired many years ago on BBC 2. Back then a boxed set of DVDs was issued by the BBC in collaboration with Ken Burns the director of the documentaries.The series shown in the UK and the boxed set is shorter than the series that was shown and sold in the USA. There was more on the early years and in New Orleans of the 20s, but was edited out by the BBC as they wanted to get onto Charlie Parker and Dizzy quicker than the audience wanted... BBC bias!! - Pete Lay
23/09/20 - Another weekly quiz from Bert Thompson in Orinda, California. This week it's "Questions relating to deaths of jazz personalities". Bert tells me, "Although the skies are still a bit hazy, at least we can see faint blue (or the promise thereof) and can breathe a bit easier. There was, however, considerable gasping when we heard of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death which, although not unexpected, still caused me, at least, dismay".
I have just noticed a series called 'Jazz' on
Freeview channel 91 PBS America - parts 2 & 3 of 12 are on today at 16.55 and
21.45, taking in the years 1917 to 1929. I assume it's a documentary and perhaps
it's been on previously. - Barry Pryme
21/09/20 - I noticed in your lockdown photos several references to original Chester buskers. During a visit to an old Army mate in Stoke on Trent we heard a wonderful jazz clarinettist called Eric Newton playing in Trentham Gardens. During a break Eric told us that he had been busking outside Boots in Chester for many years. I bought one of his CDs and was told that he once ran the entire London Marathon playing his clarinet for charity. That must have been quite a feat of stamina and breathing. Our meeting was about ten years ago, so I wonder if Eric is still around and playing. - Brian Gibbons (In June last year I heard he had joined Manchester Jazz, but of course not much going on now- Fred)
Wondering what to put on your Christmas List
this year? Well trumpet players could do no worse than ask family to bid at
Christies New York on 14th October for "A
Selmer Model 19 Balanced Action Medium Bore Trumpet" which was made
for Louis Armstrong in 1948 and gifted to Duke Donin in 1953. Estimate is
between £47,000 and £63,000. Thanks to Stan Williams bringing this to my
attention, but I think I'll pass on this one.
20/09/20 - To Peter Bledge, It was such a pleasure to read your news update about Sammy Rimington and also the note on Tuba Skinny. I am with you 100 per cent. Thank you Fred for all your work to keep us connected through your pages. As this year goes into Autumn and Covid figures rise again, it’s so good to have these links through our music. Best wishes to everyone, - Sheila Collier
19/09/20 - So sorry to hear the news about Stan Davies. We met in the usual way - as deps with various bands. I then played a few small group gigs with Stan around Glossop and East Manchester which were always relaxed and enjoyable evenings. I remember one of Stan's regular venues was the delightful Woolley Bridge Working Men' Club, this must be one of the smallest in the country. - Sam Wood. I've added Stan Davies to the Tribute page, but there is a photograph with a doubt over one musician's name, can anybody check it for me? - Fred
19/09/20 - Another lockdown photo has arrived, this time it comes from Brenda Canty-Forrest, and features George Chisholm, but anybody know where it was taken?
19/09/20 - Through your Jazz Northwest pages, can I ask if anyone has any contact details for Ian Lewis, who established Whitby Recording Studios, 30 Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 8AE in 1994, and did great recording work for many musicians and groups, as well as being a fine keyboard player himself. He terminated his business possibly this year and I'd like to get in touch with him. - Thanks, Malcolm Hogarth (now sorted and details obtained - Fred).
19/09/20 - Over the years I've been notified of some great jazz programs that have been on Sky Arts, but not being a Sky subscriber, I've never seen any of them. Well it appears that Sky Arts is now on Freeview Channel 11 so will see what they have to offer. In my case, I had to retune my TV to access it as it was previously Pick TV on my set.
Here in Preston where we have been under
additional restrictions since 7th August, and the new Covid rules just mean we
can't go to the pub between 10pm and 5am, it's a long time since I did that!
I've just been reading on
Preston Gov website that the answer to, "Can premises allow live bands, if
they have social distancing measures in place?", and the answer is, "Yes, Live
performances are now permitted but venues must follow the guidance
HM Government Performing Arts", so get reading chaps.
17/09/20 - Interesting to watch the street cam in New Orleans. Obviously no Brits there at the moment....not one piece of litter anywhere! - Malcolm Holland
We are sad to announce the death of Stan Davies
80 (known always as ‘ Stan the Man‘), on Sunday 13th September. Stan played
clarinet and saxophone and was a well known and loved player. He played
with The French Quarter band , the Canal Street Stompers [for 18 years ] the
Eclipse Parade band and Louisiana Highway .His love of New Orleans music was
second to none and he was a good and helpful friend to everyone. We send
our deepest sympathy to his wife Marie and their children. - Derek and Trish
16/09/20 - Graham Brook writes, "I'm starting up again at Wilmslow in the new year with 'Tuesday Jazz & Swing'. Four shows booked; each on the first Tuesday of the month.
The latest quiz from
Bert Thompson (household items), is now on the site, Bert, who lives in Orinda
in California, says, "The air quality in these parts is still not very good. The
is visible and smellable, and the sun has been trying to appear but with scant
success. The forecasters are promising some relief this coming week as
apparently winds will arise and blow the smoke eastwards. But that's a mixed
blessing, because fires love winds, and the poor folks to the east of us won't
enjoy our relief! I hope the winds will blow just hard enough to move the smoke
but not the flames. I have a grandson who is a fire fighter and paramedic, and
he has been on the front lines in the northern part of California for several
days now--just another anxiety producer for my wife and me! I should now
sit back and sing "The White Cliffs of Dover"- it worked back in the forties! At
least I am very fortunate in that I still have my home--so many folks here have
lost theirs". To see all the quizzes, click here.
15/09/20 - Howard Murray says, "This might be of interest to some folks:- It's a live streetcam in New Orleans. I seem to recall the late Peter Vickers with Jeff Roberts, Anne Clements and John Rothwell. stood on the corner of Bourbon Street so they could wave to us at a pre-arranged time on 7th November 2012. The quality of this web cam is now much improved, and there other webcams to choose from although I can't believe how dead it looks today.
was nice to read Fraser McCombe's praise of Sammy Rimington. In Sammy we have a
musician whose pedigree is steeped in New Orleans Jazz and a disciple of pure
New Orleans Jazz. Whilst most followers of this style of jazz will associate him
with the clarinet, his alto playing sometimes modelled on that of Capt. John
Handy, is as Fraser says worthy of recognition. In contrast to the Handy style
playing can I suggest a listen to Sammy playing Only Make Believe from the cd
Exciting Sax. Pure delight. This brings me back to to a recollection of one of
Sammy's many visits to my home in Dumfries. It was in1985 and the gig had
finished around midnight. We had supper, a few drams of single malt and listened
to John Coltrane's music and watched a Sonny Rollins video until 6.0am. I
mention this here as we had at that time the finest exponent of New Orleans Jazz
in Europe but who had extended his listening and enjoyment beyond the confines
of Traditional Jazz, Just as a footnote should we not all broaden
our love of jazz to the various styles and escape the recent dinosaur approach
adopted by some readers on the subject of acceptable dress. I for one am in
support of Norman Gibson's comments on the matter. Tuba Skinny are a well
dressed outfit playing top class music and have to be congratulated in keeping
the flame alive. Apart from Ken Colyer with Sammy Rimington on clarinet they
beat any of the outfits in the Trad Boom and dare I mention their ridiculous
attire. - Peter Bledge
13/09/20 - Pity a band on Merseyside cannot find a venue for some spaced out jazz, would give us all a lift - Carole Hampton
Birthday today to promoter John Howell who does great work down in Albrighton
for Jazz Club 90, along with his wife Marie. It's also Many Happy Returns on
Tuesday to Richard Lord, and on Friday to Mike Reddin
Barrie Marshall has sent me an old photograph
of The New Riverside Jazz Band to join the
collection of lockdown photographs. It was taken at
the Redwell Inn in Carnforth where they were playing for Jim Bowen, who owned
the pub at that time. Anybody know what year it was?
11/09/20 - Anything Goes Swing Trio with Dave Bateman, David Allsop and Bob Pickersgill, are playing OUTSIDE at Ruby's of Morecambe, 65 Marine Rd., LA4 4ET 12.30pm. on the prom at Morecambe on Sunday. Food and drinks are available. NO BOOZE. Best bring a picnic chair as seating is limited. Please be aware of the social distancing at all times.
10/09/20 - Thanks for the posting of Howard Murray’s message about Peter King’s passing. I had many interesting conversations with him on his frequent visits to Manchester over 25 years from the 80’s. I will always remember him talking about when he was writing his opera and string quartets in the early 00’s. I have many memorable CD’s purchased at gig’s. Although visits up north became less frequent due to health problems, he will always be fondly remembered by his many fans. - Dave Woonton
10/09/20 - Our quizmaster, Bert Thompson is seeing some strange colours, check this out he says
10/09/20 - Time for another session of
The Lost Tapes, one hour of music with Tony
Davis on Tony's Tradtime No. 3 from the year 2000 I reckon,
unless you know different.
This was a session with more in the way of jazz classics - Bechet, Spanier,
ODJB, Noone, Armstrong, Bailey, Whiteman, Morton and more. Enjoy - including the
09/09/20 - Malcolm Cookson writes, " I'm very pleased to say that my jazz will continue at the Bardsea Malt Kiln, Ulverston once covid rules permit. Three bands pencilled in for Jan/Feb/ March. The kitchen at the Malt Kiln is absolutely superb. I can serve my popular Cooking with Jazz very, very easily. The music room is ideal. Spacious, built in stage on which my upright piano resides. Roll on Keith Nichols in March. More difficult is my struggle in trying to play the Bad Penny Blues, on my home keyboard, to sheet music. A very formal way of playing the blues. I am getting some help from Percy. Perseverance!
09/09/20 - Like yourself I wouldn’t claim to be a jazz expert and am often staggered by what I don’t know! Peter King being an example, having said that I obviously leave myself open to charges of ignorance if I suggest another name for best U.K. Alto Sax player but I will risk the opprobrium and suggest Sammy Rimington. Can’t imagine any other musician who has recorded more often or so successfully. - Fraser McCombe
09/09/20 - "Here's a follow up question for the Quiz, says Pete Lay. "After hearing today’s new guidelines (law), when will musicians be able to get back to work?".
Time for the Wednesday
Quiz from Bert Thompson. This week Bert says, "There are a couple of
toughies in this week's quiz called Streets. Yesterday
was a sizzler here--you could have fried an egg on the sidewalk Today we are
told a slight cooling trend will begin. ANY lowering will be welcome!
07/09/20 - As i mentioned earlier, one or two musicians have sent some old photographs in, seems they've been thumbing through the albums with not much else to do during lockdown. I've now added a few more to the Lockdown Photographs
07/09/20 - Those who know me will know I'm no expert on jazz, and have never pretended to be. I'm foremost a computer and technology nerd, who enjoyed listening to 'trad jazz' in the late 60's and then moved on. That much is on my Personal Page, but it does mean that I'm quite ignorant when it comes to some of the big names in jazz, and whether or not they might be of interest to NW traditional jazzers. Take this email I received from Howard Murray quoting a newspaper headline, "Peter King, the finest alto saxophonist that the UK has ever produced has died". I must admit that the name meant nothing to me, but it has recently cropped up in another couple of emails, more recently an obituary which included the words, "Though he attended Kingston grammar school with little distinction, hampered by diagnosed chronic anxieties, he was soon playing clarinet in local trad jazz bands, alongside a day job as a trainee cartographer". A very interesting obituary also came in via Ken Ames in a link to the Sussex Jazz Magazine, which also included A tribute to Gerry (Gerard) Higgins, born Salford, 2 January 1940. A magazine worth reading.
06/09/20 - Referring to Barrie’s talk of men in suits on deckchairs, back in the day, my Dad played flat green bowls in a detachable starched white collar, white shirt, white trousers and blue blazer. Wow, how uncomfortable that collar must have been on a hot day. - Mike Lovell
06/09/20 - I hope Barrie Marshall's scruffy gents on Morecombe beach ( 02.09 ) had their trousers rolled up to the knees with a knotted handkerchief on their heads. Such a guy I saw paddling in the heat of Spain when visiting the Merseysippi's Dick Goodwin. To complete the day Garry Glitter was the star attraction in Benidorm. - Bob Lamb
06/09/20 - Some of the unsung heroes of the traditional jazz scene are the promoters. Here in the North West they do it for the love of the music, and get no financial help, sometimes having to dip into there own pockets to keep it going. Sadly many venues in the NW have closed because nobody else would take it on. So I'm hoping to persuade any current or past promoters to send me an article about their experiences, including what attracted them to the music and the ups and downs of promoting it. There are plenty of articles on the site about the musicians, time for the backroom boys to be heard, let's face it, without them there would be a lot less venues for bands to play in. I've received one already which has prompted me, and I hope to get that on shortly.
06/09/20 - I guess it was a bit tongue in cheek to suggest that it was the final word on band dress. Norman's statement didn't go down too well with two people. If this starts to get too personal I will have to end it.
06/09/20 - John & Barbara Hallam have just sent out their latest newsletter, which you can read here. Also well worth following the link to Pershore Jazz Festival.
Many Happy Returns this week to Spats Langham on Thursday and Tony Ormesher on
04/09/20 - Peter Swensson responds to Pete Lay on Public Liability Insurance
What I think was perhaps the first public gig
in the North West since lockdown, and their first gig in 5 months, took place in Settle
on Tuesday with the High Horse Quartet, with Peter Boswell (tpt/organiser),
Barrie Marshall (clt), Dave Bateman (bjo) and John Mormon (sousa). It took place
in the gardens of Victoria Hall, and Barrie Marshall set up his camera to video
the band playing
Washington & Lee Swing.
I thought it was time I dug into that old cassette box to find another of the
Lost Tapes. This time it's the Merseysippi Jazz Band
with Clinton Ford, Recorded 12th & 13th January 1985. It's called
Oh You California. The track listing is well worth a
read and reflects the humour of the people of Liverpool.
02/09/20 - Norman Gibson has the final word on the scruffy band discussion, or has he?
02/09/20 - More on Public Liability Insurance from Pete Lay
02/09/20 - Talking of people being smart or scruffy, When I was a kid in Morecambe you could see loads of deck chairs on the sand. On hot summers days the men would be sat in them wearing their suits and ties. - Barrie Marshall
for another Wednesday quiz from Bert Thompson in California, this is
Quiz number 24 and is called ,"Body Parts".
Click Here for the full list of quiz questions. Bert
tells me, "We are still singing "Blue, blue, my world is blue," but the smoke is
not quite as bad as it was last week. The fires still burn, however. Just as
relentless, it seems, is the pandemic".
01/09/20 - Peter Swensson responds to Chris Walker on the subject of Public Liability Insurance for bands
01/09/20 - I echo Norman Gibson's comments re Doreen Ketchens (27/08), her performance with the Louisiana Philharmonic playing, "Just a closer walk " is an absolute classic and has had over 178.000 hits. - Bernie Hives. (A street musician who look smart, that's something for the discussion - Fred)
31/08/20 - Re: The Character in the photograph that Bob Lamb posted in Lockdown Pictures. I remember him very well, He seemed to appear from nowhere at any public function or jazz festival the Merseysippi played at . Never new his surname but he answered to the name of Bert. I recall that on the Tall Ships parade as per Bobs photo, the band was waiting to strike off and a Policeman told Bert to shove off, thinking he was a Vagrant. I quickly told him that Bert was a member of the band. The Cop looked up to the heavens and smartly disappeared. Pete Darwin
31/08/20 - I noticed the item on public liability insurance which many venues now ask for. The simple answer is to join the musicians union where you automatically get 10 million pounds worth of public liability insurance as well as partial instrument insurance and all the other benefits and advice. It’s a no brainer and you’re part of a very professional club. Why would you not join especially as they are currently giving out daily updates about the virus and the action the officials are taking to try and restore safety and normality as soon as possible. - Chris Walker
31/08/20 - If it's live jazz you want, take a trip to Settle tomorrow, where at 2pm you can hear the High Horse quartet playing in the gardens by the side of Victoria Hall. It consists of Peter Boswell, Barrie Marshall, Dave Bateman and John Mormon.
31/08/20 - More contributions have been added at the bottom of the Page on the Scruffy Bands discussion page, follow the link to 2020.
30/08/20 - "I want to try to sell my collection of Jazz Books that I started in 1950", writes Jim Lowe. (now sold)
30/08/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Howard Worthington & Tony Davis on Thursday. Howard played at our jazz club many years ago with The Wabash Jazzmen, and Tony Davis who was a regular visitor to the NW with the Zenith Hot Stompers, was the first of our club visitors, and along with his partner Judy Eames, were also responsible for the club starting in the first place.
The current lockdown seems to have got people rummaging through
their old photo albums as one or two great pictures are
currently coming in. I'll set up a page of "Lockdown
Photos" rather than put a small version on here. You can
still click on them for full screen versions. We are starting
off with one of the Red Rose Band from 1984 taken at Jazz in The
Park at Bingley, Yorkshire in May 1984. Also Bob Lamb has sent
one of a character he says, "was a regular attendee at the
Merseysippi's Albert Dock gigs. Always wearing a jacket bedecked
with badges and dancing with the nearest lady, whether they
wanted to or not. I suspect that he was well known elsewhere.
Does anyone know anything about him"?
I have just been notified by Google that a key word "trad jazz"
has been identified on a new page. It seems that one NW Band has
now got a
gig at Lamport Hall in Northampton on Saturday 5th
September. According to local lockdown rules, if any band
members live in Greater Manchester or East Lancashire, they will
only be allowed to drive down with another member of the same
household. That's going to bump up their travelling costs for
sure. The site says, "Please note that this event has a socially
distanced seating arrangement for the audience", which seems to
suggest there won't be any such arrangement for the band!.
So take care chaps.
27/08/20 - I see on the Jazz Guide news page that one or two jazz clubs are awaking from their slumbers with one or two starting in September, Jazz Club 90 is one of those just outside my catchment area that is hoping to restart before the end of September. I have yet to hear from any NW bands or venues and until I do, they are all showing cancelled unless they tell me different. I do have one or two showing in September, but I'm now trying to see what the score really is.
reading the earlier dress code comments,
that Barry Pryme mentioned seeing Doreen Ketchens. Now there's
some clarinet playing lady. I recall seeing her with a quartet
in Jackson Square NOLA in 2003, and the band, with young players
just moving in, finally became a sixteen piece ! An amazing
session which she relished, playing that clarinet at times only
a few degrees off the vertical. ( I wonder if she can still do
it ? ) Only a few over 3000 have viewed
2014 video of ' The House of the Rising Sun ' The drum
playing white Sousa is, of course, Mr Ketchens. Some of your
viewers may enjoy this ten minute rendering for a change -
25/08/20 - In the words of Bert Thompson from Orinda in California, "This week's quiz (Doubles) comes from the land where the air is blue and the land is afire. So far, the flames are keeping their distance, but breathing outdoors is laborious". Bert also told me, "I live about 20 miles east from San Francisco. There is a sizable fire burning in Marin County--about 50 miles northwest from me. Then there is another in the San Jose area, about 50 miles or so south from me. So for a few days past--and probably a few more to come--the theme music has been, "There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight." as temperatures are breaking records. Air quality is pretty miserable--one can see the blue haze of the smoke by looking out the window. Just another reason to stay indoors as much as possible. Breathing through a mask is not great at the best of times, but it's a helluva lot worse when you can SEE the air you're breathing". It seems that those who favor California wines may find this year's vintage a slim one, according to many vintners who fear the grapes will be "smoke-tainted," rendering them useless for wine making. Some wineries--not too many, I believe--have been destroyed on top of that. I feel once again for the many people who, like others of the last few years, have lost their homes. My greatest fear is that this, an extended fire-season (about seven months as opposed to the former four or five) thanks to climate change--which the current administration here denies--is the new normal. I hope I am wrong. Perhaps with a new occupant of the White House in January it can still be turned around". And there was me thinking I'd wish this wind and rain would stop, it's nothing compared to what others are going through - Fred.
25/08/20 - The renewed discussion on scruffy bands was in danger of swamping the news page, and so they have all joined the original discussion page, but if you've read it before you can jump straight into the 2020 contributions by clicking here
25/08/20 - On 08/07 Peter Swensson was asking for information on public liability insurance for bands. This is what he has been able to pass on - New Moon Insurance. www.newmooninsurance.com, and SImply Business www.simplybusiness.co.uk. However by far the best recommendation was Ampbands. www.ampbands.co.uk. I rang them and they were so helpful. For £100 they will cover up to ten musicians for 10 million. I can’t see any loopholes however I wont be covering the Savoy Jazzmen until we are up and running again. Check them out yourselves".
25/08/20 - Chris Walker has passed on this news from New Orleans - "Music scene here is dead too. Everywhere closed by March 15 and still closed. A few people play in the street or on balconies or back yards and post on Facebook. Natchez is sailing with a trio playing on the deck. I don’t know when we will open as live indoor music not allowed. We have two hurricanes heading our way one on Monday and one on Tuesday and a third waiting in the wings. All bars are closed so things quiet in FQ there’s a bit more activity this past week. Shops and restaurants open and a few stalls on French market"
25/08/20 - The discussion on whether Tuba Skinny looked scruffy or not (Chris Walker 19/08), has developed into the same discussion we had on the site some years ago, suits, pin stripes, formal, informal, what counts good or bad musicians etc., but looking scruffy is about appearance, and that in itself is in the eye of the beholder. It's not about musicianship, so all emails from here on will be added to the original article, where you will see many of the same points raised previously.
23/08/20 - That piece about well dressed musicians brings memories back, I went to see Chris Barber at a concert they were well dressed bow ties etc. after that they came to Kendal Jazz Club Monty Sunshine was still in the band, at the club they just wore their day clothes. I did a dep gig with Lune Valley, glittery waistcoats and boaters, I got chatting to three elderly ladies in the break one said you can tell your a proper jazz band from the way you dress! - Barrie Marshall
23/08/20 - Bernard Harris is after a CD Vince Giordano's Nighthawks • Stomp Off - SO 1260 CD. Details on the Sales & Wanted page
23/08/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Mike McLachlan & Andrew Mackenzie on Wednesday, and to Keith Shone on Friday.
23/08/20 - Jim Petrie, jazz trumpeter and vocalist, and giant of Scottish jazz scene, died on 1 August 2020 in Edinburgh, aged 83. His obituary can be read here
21/08/20 - Re mention of the Cavern ( JNW 18.08.20 ) . It's no longer the ' musty cellar ' opened by the Mersey's on 16 Jan 1957 because it isn't the original Cavern. Not many people know that! The demolished warehouse was replaced by a steel framed building. Architect Dave Backhouse, a music lover himself, although more Fourmost than Mersey's, designed the rebuilt Cavern, at a lower level than the original, using bricks from the demolition . Instead of solid load bearing vaults the 'new' Cavern, while looking like the original, is a cosmetic skin, within the steel frame, behind which is an air extract system. Look carefully and you will see plastic inserts replacing some of the mortar jointed perpends. That's where the 'musty ' atmosphere escapes. More comfortable ( and compliant ) now but oh for those warm, bone dry Liverpool nights, when you emerged having enjoyed a cooling Cavern 'shower'. - Bob Lamb
21/08/20 - As Jeff Roberts said, the question of scruffy bands has been discussed here before, but I feel the need to clarify what Chris Walker didn't say. He never mentioned waistcoats striped coats or boaters so I'd prefer the discussion didn't go down that road, that's a red herring. I'll leave it to Chris to expand if he wishes, but this was a stage presentation not a street one that he was talking about. Barbara and I ran a jazz club back at the turn of the century, and it was on a Sunday night. Tthe punters arrived looking well dressed and smart, they paid good money to see the band, and there was no doubt about it, it was much appreciated if the band took the same amount of trouble if only to wear white shirt and trousers, hardly uniform, but smart. Musicians that turned up in worn out jeans and trainers for a paying audience didn't do themselves any favours, but I have to say, it rarely happened. Easy to write it off by saying they came to listen to the music not watch the musicians, in which case they could have bought their inevitable CD and gone home without paying to come in. - Fred (I'm not used to offering comment!).
21/08/20 - Seems the debate from a few years ago is rearing its head again, namely, what should bands wear. As I maintained then, isn't it the music that matters most? Seeing Tuba Skinny on the corner of Royal in NOLA suited and booted would be a ludicrous sight and remember, one persons 'smart attire' could be anathema to someone else. - Jeff Roberts
Fred, This Saturday at 7:30pm BST, the Glenn Crytzer Quartet and
I will be live-streaming a concert from the courtyard behind my
building in New York City. I'll be joined by the fabulous Mike
Davis on trumpet, Ricky Alexander on clarinet, and Andrew Hall
on bass! Tune in and join us for some fun music!
This is the
streaming link - Glenn".
A taster here perhaps?
No pin stripes or bowler hats, just plenty of straw hats and
flappers - Fred.
20/08/20 - Dave Davis is correct, I think. End-of-the-pier waistcoats, gaudy shirts, musical ties and jaunty hats, on any age group are just silly.. I think a band can dress smartly in their own individual attire and still look like a band. - Jon Critchley
20/08/20 - The suggested endings to the limerick challenge continue to flow in, but this new one from Frank Slater quite amused me, so I thought I'd share it on here.
20/08/20 - Re.Tuba Skinny's attire. If Tuba Skinny are trying to appeal to people of their own age, then I think their "image" is correct. I don't think that young people can identify with jazz musicians dressed in smart band uniforms. - Dave Davis.
I'm 85 and I don't have any problem with Tuba Skinny being dressed
as the NOLA street musicians they are, and playing to no audience
during this Covid 19 period, to give us some exceptionally good
music. I've met most of them when they played at Fest Jazz Brittany
about five years ago, when I, and a couple of others, made
approaches to try and get them to the UK to play for us, and they
are polite articulate young people. I'm afraid I muttered the 'B'
word when I read Chris's letter and wonder if he has had visits down
New Orleans way. Did he by chance try just closing his eyes,
pretending they were dressed in his, obviously preferred, striped
coloured jackets, boater hats behind their music stands, and just
absorb the feel of the well learned music played from the heart and
soul ? Oh, and by the way, Barnabus (Tbn) does have red underpants
under the split in his trousers! - Norman Gibson
19/08/20 - Most people quite enjoy a short story, and here's one that's true. Sent in to me by John Usher, it tells the story of a saxophone's journey through the second world war and is called, "The Long Road Journey with Bob Burns and his Saxophone".
19/08/20 - Everyone on the news seem to be going through the archives so I thought I would send you this Picture taken 25years ago at the Keswick Jazz Festival (May 1995). It was taken in the then, Dining Room of the Queens Hotel Keswick. The room is now a shop and the Hotel is now called "inn on the Square", after being taken over by Lake District Hotels some years ago. L/R Peter Eddowes Barrie Marshall Dave Bateman Alan Duckles (slightly out of shot) Malcolm Hall, Alan Mathews and Vocalist Delia Glaister.
19/08/20 - Re: Tuba Skinny at 7 Days of Satch. What a scruffy lot. My experience is that musicians play better as a band if they look like a band! Just another falling standard. Louis would never have appeared looking like that. - Chris Walker. (Just what my wife said Chris - Fred)
19/08/20 - There's no stopping some budding poets, as more people try their hand at finishing off that limerick challenge
that The Cavern is in financial trouble and could possibly have to
close. It’s not the musty cellar it was when we played there
which had a great atmosphere and absolutely packed and I have great
memories of all night sessions with the small band room packed with
musicians and instruments. One memory I have is when Ringo
then with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes Asked Dennis Grundy, our
drummer if he could use his kit when they filled in when we had a
break and went to The Grapes pub over the road. Dennis wasn’t well
pleased As he’d just bought a zildjian cymbal which cost him a lot,
so much an inch he said, and he polished it and took great care.he
did let him but was pleased when we got back to see that it wasn’t
damaged! The picture of our band here
is minus Pete Haslam as the photo was taken at the Bodega on a night
when Pete was ill. We had a regular Wednesday spot there when Paddy
McKeirnan changed our name from The Crescent Jazz Band.this was
around 1959. Can’t believe it’s over 60 years ago!! - Brenda
17/08/20 - Never realised how many budding poets we had amongst our jazz musicians as they continue to send in their limerick suggestions. I'm sure that there must be some non musician poets out there as well, where are you?
17/08/20 - Hi Fred, we're going to attempt a re run of our socially distanced jazz at New Farnley Community centre in Leeds this Sunday from 4pm - 5.30pm, weather and virus permitting. It was lovely to see so many old (and new) friends there last time. Hopefully it won't be too long before all our Jazz venues can re open, and some sort of normal service can resume. Thanks again for your great site, and take care. Best wishes Andy, and Ali Henderson.
17/08/20 - Very pleasant to hear the Harmony Hounds Trio still performing but sorry there was only one number on the link. (As there was clearly some liquid refreshment in clip to keep them hydrated) - Jon Penn
17/08/20 - Put ' 7 days of Satch' in Youtube search and treat yourself to seven shows starting with 49 minutes of a very good Tuba Skinny session. I'll be working my way through them all over the next day or so. The heavily tattooed Miss Lake will be next. We saw her in Edinburgh last year - she's good. - Norman Gibson. Watched it last night, brilliant - Fred. "I really enjoyed it, it shows they are not just a busking band they are very well rehearsed" - Barrie Marshall.
17/08/20 - As another 83 year young and the Bodega. I managed to get in even though I was only 14, the ruse was to carry my clarinet case and convince the door man I was invited to sit in. This worked on a few occasions, but was found out. Same trick worked at the Thatched House.. Sat in on a few occasions at the cafe in Bolton with Eric Batty Jazz Aces, with Roy Williams. Re Jimmy Smith, again memories, his first band, lasted maybe two years. The line up was Jim trombone, Alan Walton, trumpet, Rick Child's , Drums, Pete Boydell Bass? And I think Diz Disley, banjo. Me very immature clarinet. Had a few gigs. Remember one at Plodder Lane Conservative Club, we got "booed" for playing Maryland. At 16 and completely political unaware had no idea that is was a similar tune to " The Red Flag". We were both still apprentices, Jim a joiner, me toolmaker with Pete,Rick, bricklayer and Alan ,plumber. It would be around 1954/55. We both went for National Service 1960.- Bryan Yates
17/08/20 - "Re: Northern Jazz Allstars and 'A Kiss to Build A Dream On', Quality band. What a great trumpet player Ian was/is". Mike Lovell. I asked Mike howhe was getting on on Florida and when he would be home and he replied, "NEVER WENT! Got all the way to Heathrow, to be told that all ESTAS (visas) had been revoked overnight for all non Americans travelling to the USA. So turned round and came home. Not a happy bunny. Good news is that my first gig is next Sunday.
16/08/20 - Would be good to see the George Lewis photo’s that philip Buckley mentions. I’m too young to have heard jazz at the Bodega but my elder brother used to go there. I did sometimes go in for a pint when I worked in central Manchester. - Fraser McCombe
16/08/20 - Many musicians and jazz fans who are visitors to this site, will have been to Jazz Club 90 at Albrighton. We managed to get there once when it was at the Harp, but for quite a while now it's been at the Social Club. Well a change is on the horizon once again and Jazz Club 90 may end up at the Crown in Codsall. Seems like the locals have decided to sell the social club and John & Marie Howell have been on the lookout for a new venue. You can read the full story here
16/08/20 - John Muskett writes, "Hello Fred, I see I’ve been volunteered to replace some missing limerick lines. I wasn’t aware that my knowledge of (largely smutty) limericks was well-known (the brain now can recall very little else). Prelates have featured somewhat in such verse. From colleagues in the Phoenix (Chester) Jazzmen forty years ago I recall: -
A vice both unseen and unsavoury,
You can sldo read John's answer to the Limerick Challenge by clicking here
16/08/20 - At 83 years old, I have had about 70 years of good music. Starting with Ted Heath, Parnel, Dankworth etc then seriously into Louis, JRM until I was about 27 when for my sins I started to listen to bebop and I'm afraid I have been in the Monk, Bird and Diz mode ever since. My favourite British jazzman being Stan Tracey. I have recently been going through my photographs and wondered if any of them would be of interest to your readers. I have therefore attached some that I took in the MSG or Bodega jazz club in Manchester (click here for the page). I am not saying who they are - anyone with a basic knowledge will be able to name most of them and it might give some of your readers something to do if they are still "shielding"! I hope this is of interest to you and thank you for all the hard work you have done over the years. If it generates any interest, I have some good photos etc of the George Lewis band 1957/8 visit to Manchester _ I "met" Jim Robinson and Slow Drag coming out of a restaurant in Oxford St at about 1-00pm and spent all day with them and the band! Wonderful - Philip Buckley.
"In reply to Roger Williamson's post, Constant Lambert was a British
composer & conductor who lived in the first half of the 20th
century. I think he died at the age of 41, possibly of the drink, &
he was also a jazz fan. Regarding the limerick, if you Google the
first couple of lines you'll find the remainder. I wouldn't bother"!
- Laurie Cooper. "His limerick ending Fred is :-
When it came to night life, He deserted his wife, And tried it the
blue, black and yaller way. And the Constant Lambert guy was a
pianist. Quite a bit on him to be found but I've got other better
things to be doing. I've managed to fit in finishing my homemade
didgeridoo. Meryl was hoping I wouldn't as she didn't want me
annoying the neighbours"! - Norman Gibson. I
took it that Roger was suggesting we might add our own ending, hence
the suggestion that John Muskett might want to give it a go. Any
budding poets out there? - Fred
Pershore Jazz - A Virtual Festival. Last night was the second of
three broadcasts screening over what would have been the festival
weekend. Last one tonight 8pm start.
14/08/20 - I am currently reading a biography of Tom Driberg. It seems that he and Constant Lambert ( I've no idea who he was ) would from time to time leave each other the first 2 lines of a limerick which the other was expected to complete. The example given in the book is, "The Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, Preferred Artie Shaw to Cab Calloway". Unfortunately the finished limerick does not appear in the book. I wondered if, as an extension of the quizzes, some of your readers (notably Jon Muskett) might care to finish this off. - Roger Williamson.
14/08/20 - I was amused to read Keith Garner's recollection of Tony's Tradtime and "the other Tony Davis". Tony was of course a talented musician, playing jazz clarinet as well as banjo and guitar. I met him one year at Bude when I was playing in the Golden Lion, where he sat in with the band, and our paths crossed now and again over the following years at various jazz events, including the Ascona Festival. It was a matter of (good-humoured) dispute between us as to who was "the real Tony Davis"! - Tony Davis. Any more out there? - Fred
On Sunday June 1st 2001, Barbara and I were running one of our
monthly jazz club events, and a few days before I received a call
from the band leader, the late Jimmy Smith, to tell me he was
bringing a different band, one I'd never heard of, and had no idea
what to expect. He said, "It's called the
Northern Jazz Allstars". Needless to say I was a little
perplexed, but it was too late to do much about it, other than
accept the situation. Thankfully it turned out to be better than
expected, an excellent band, and a great evening. Roll on 19 years
and I received this email this week. "I was recently looking
on your jazz website and wondered if you could possibly play, "Kiss
to build a dream on", and at some point "King of the Blues",
from the CD called, "That's A Plenty", by my late fathers
brilliant jazz band the Northern Jazz Allstars. I would greatly
appreciate it - Julie (Jimmy Smith's daughter). Well as luck
would have it, I did have a copy of that CD, so dashed upstairs to
find it, and 20 minutes later came down clutching it in my hand,
elated but also disappointed. It was a commercially produced CD by
PEK, with copyright protection. The band web page had a small sample
of one of the tunes already on, but I contacted Peter Kings and he
has allowed me to reproduce the two tracks requested by Julie, in
full, and you can listen to them on the NJAS page.
The CD is no longer in the catalogue, but Peter tells me that it is
still possible to buy a copy if you contact him
web page. Some great NW musicians in that band, all but two
still going strong today. Well worth a look at
catalogue as well.
09/08/20 - There are some videos that are just guaranteed to put a smile on your face, take this one from Gunhild Carling with Carlings darlings- Golden Gate ramblers and West End Blues uploaded 2 days ago.
09/08/20 - Hi Fred, today's gig on New Farnley village green went really well. We had at least a hundred people there, and the good old British weather behaved itself, for once. We spoke to people who had read about it on your website, so thanks again. It was just great to be out playing again. There might be another one in a couple of weeks. Also, Jon Scully and his excellent band played on the village green in East Bierley, near Birkenshaw, on Friday night. Again, it was really busy, and a lovely atmosphere. It shows that we can make the best of strange times. Best wishes to you and all jazz people, - Andy and Ali Henderson x
09/08/20 - Thank you, Harmony Hounds trio for your garden gig! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and listening to you. That was a good start to my day. - Janet Rodger.
09/08/20 - I used to enjoy Tony's Tradtime and always thought he played an interesting selection. Apart from the music, I used to enjoy Tony's interaction with the engineer who I never met but who always seemed a bit reluctant to get involved. One exchange I treasure is when Tony played a track - probably of the Zenith Hot Stompers from the midlands - featuring Tony Davis on trumpet. "That's the other Tony Davis" he explained to the engineer who came back with "You mean Tony Davis the musician?" In great confusion Tony came out with something like "Yes ....No!! Yes!!! ..... hrrrrrummmph" - Keith Garner (You mean Adrian, the man who twiddled the knobs, a step too far for Tony I think - Fred).
09/08/20 - Many Happy Returns on Monday to bass player Frank Lowe, on Tuesday to reed player Harold Salisbury, and on Saturday to drummer Alan Davies
08/08/20 - Hi Fred, a couple of weeks ago I managed to get three fifths of the Harmony Hounds together in my garden for a socially-distanced session and this is one of the tunes that got aired, to the great delight (!) of the neighbours. The line-up was- Willy Entwistle (reeds), Colin Turner (bass sax) and myself on guitar and vocal. The tune is Blue Room from 1926. Just click here to be transported into my back garden ! Hope you like it. - Chris Howse
07/08/20 - I know this is on the other side of the hills, but we're holding a socially distanced jazz gig, (yes, a real band!), this Sunday 9th August 4-5.30pm. We're playing on the green at New Farnley Community centre, Low Moorside, Leeds LS125EA. Hopefully the weather will be kind. Its Free, all people have to do is bring their deckchairs and wine. There's plenty of space for social distancing. The band is Me, Frank Brooker, Jim Wright, Phil Kampen and Paul Smith, plus anyone else who wants to turn up. Take care and best wishes. - Andy Henderson.
know the Amazing Chester Buskers ( John & Malcolm ) are back in
town. Resuming regular Thursdays ? Been missing you, dudes . Bob
06/08/20 - John Higham and I did our first busk since 13th March in Chester last Friday. Not many people about but they gave us lots of support so it made our day. Keep up the good work and stay well. Kind regards, Malcolm Hogarth
06/08/20 - Hi Fred, Seeing Peter Swensson`s photo of the band at the Tall Ships reminded me that when they came to Liverpool on !6th August 1992 ,Tom Culbert (Forest N.O. Band) organised a group to play on one of the Mersey Ferries. It was Arthur Stead tpt, David Ellison clt, Dave Stansfield bass, Dave Stanley dms and, of course Tom Culbert on keyboard All members of the Forest New Orleans Band - what a day that was ! - Dave Stanley. (Click on photo for full screen version)
With reference to the previous comments about band and venue
charges.... I was recently discussing this very thing with Malcolm
Ford who runs Leeds Jazz club. If and when these venues are given
the green light to re start live music, they will initially have no
idea how many people will turn up, but one would expect the numbers
to be lower than before due to the demographic trends. If we want
these venues to remain viable, I strongly believe we as
bands/musicians must meet them halfway with any engagements, by
taking on some of the risk. I have already suggested to Malcolm that
my band will be happy to play again at Leeds Jazz club where we will
take on some of the risk with regards the booking fee. Many pubs and
clubs were already struggling before this pandemic so the chances
are some venues will have sadly been lost. I believe flexibility is
going to be the key for survival. - Mark Croasdale
05/08/20 - In reply to Malcolm Hogarth’s piece regards Jim Petrie’s passing. I fully agree with Malcolm’s thoughts and I will go as far to say that I thought Jim was one of the best cornetists in the UK. His phrasing and timing was superb. It was always a pleasure to hear him when he ventured South, either with his Diplomats of Jazz or depping with the Savannah Jazz Band. Not only a very good musician, he was a great guy to have in your company. We’ll miss him!! R.I.P. Jim - Pete Lay
05/08/20 - Talking of Tony Davis, one set of recordings I have left, are some of Tony's programmes, "Tony's Tradtime" on JazzFM. I'm possibly coming to the end of the lost cassette tapes, although I did spy another boxful in the garage, but the difference here was that I recorded these on a video recorder once I discovered that JazzFM was on Freeview. It meant I could set the timer to record the programme without fear of forgetting to record it, or worse still, running out of tape. Also there was always the problem of turning the cassette over half way through. I hope you enjoy Tony's Tradtime Tape 2.
05/08/20 - Peter Swensson has been digging through his photograph album and sent me a couple of old photographs which he thinks was taken during the visit of the Tall Ships, but what year? They show Ron Hall (snare drum), Billy Williams (bass drum) Robin Tankard (tuba), Tom Orrett (cornet), Dave Thomas (clarinet) Roger Hewitt? (sousaphone), Brian Legan (alto sax), Roger Higham (trumpet) and Tony Ormesher (banjo)". I’m sure it was 1984. Tony Davis (Spinners fame), organised the event.
05/08/20 - John Richardson (banjo player, Otley) rang me to say the Jim Petrie, trumpet player, vocalist and leader of The Diplomats of Jazz, in Edinburgh, died on Saturday, 1st August. I know Jim was not a member of The North West jazz scene, but we've had some wonderful sessions with Jim, playing with The Yorkshire Post Jazz Band in the Hotel de Clok in Breda during the Breda Jazz Festival. Jim was a great player and a fun person to be with and he contributed significantly to those sessions. Jim and his band played an opening session of the Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival in 2018 at the market in Market Square, and another great session during the day. Jim will be sadly missed by many in and from the North West. - Malcolm Hogarth
re-posting this item because although I previously created
a page about Ron Arnold, the page may not
have been accessible due to an error on my part.
William writes, "Hello Fred. I'm just wondering if anyone has any
information on Drummer Ronnie Arnold. If still around he'd be in his
90s now, around 95/96 I'd guess. Ronnie worked on and off with
myself, the late Alan Yates etc in various set-ups in the 70s and
80s. Plus of course his time spent in great local jazz bands in the
60s. Last I heard he was in a nursing home in Knutsford".
04/08/20 - It's Wednesday tomorrow, so time to upload The weekly Wednesday quiz from Bert Thompson. Now even I managed to get 8 out of ten this week, so it must be easy. This time you have to work out the missing Girl's Names
04/08/20 - By coincidence, as it came up today when looking at 'recently added videos' on YouTube, there was Bireli Lagrene and Joscho Stephan as mentioned by Norman Gibson yesterday, playing some pretty slick gypsy guitar jazz, and only uploaded 2 days ago. Well worth a watch. I remember being told a few years back that Gypsy Jazz was as traditional as it gets, so that's why it's had a mention ever since.
04/08/20 - Re: John Simpson's letter about my response to the Buddy Rich concert. I admit that at the time I was blown away by his technique. Being a drummer I probably noticed more in his playing than non drummers. However listening to him over the next few years I decided that despite his powerhouse drumming he DID sound mechanical to me. So I wasn't misleading you John on that night, and I am glad that you still listen to the big bands as do I. I would just like to say in closing that I prefer the Orchestras of Gene to those of Buddy's !! - Moe Green.
04/08/20 - Another venue is trying to start events once more, this time in the North West. It's the Alsager Golf & Country Club Jazz Society. However, due to the ever changing situation, events may be subject to revision or cancellation at short notice. Please check What's On, The club's web page or Facebook for the latest updates
Re: Lost Tapes No.10, I Am currently
enjoying this tape, what a lovely tribute to two good friends, Dave
& Louis. Have saved this so that I can revisit it often! -
03/08/20 - Referring to the latest video of 'Caravan', a number I particularly like, I can't put my finger on it but parts of Tommy's solos didn't sound quite right to me ( I'm not a musician ) and enjoyed Stocholo Rosenberg's playing better. And had Stocholo's cousin Jimmy been accompanying instead he would have been even better. ( Look up 'The Rosenberg Trio' to see what I mean ) There are so many amazing guitarists in this style it's so difficult to do comparisons. At Django Reinhardt festivals at Samois-sur-Seine I have seen Bereli Legrane, Angelo Debarre, Fapy Laferton, Tchovolo Schmitt and Lollo Meier, but there are more I know of on Youtube to study, Joscho Stephen and Andreas Oberg eg. 'Our own' Liverpudlian Gary Potter can certainly play a bit, and has accompanied some of the best. My own choice of the current maestro without any doubt is Duved Dunayevsky. By the time some of your site correspondents have studied this lot we could be at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. - Norman Gibson
"You do learn something new every day", writes John SImpson. Back in
1968, or thereabouts, a certain Moe Green told me that because he
had trailed around with me to see all sorts of second rate music I
had to go with him to the Free Trade Hall to see a guy I'd never
heard of called Buddy Rich. I wasn't the only one that had never
heard of him, the place was about a quarter full. It was an
amazing concert and I became, and remain, a devotee of the most
exciting of later era big bands. Now I learn from your website
that Moe was just kidding me along when he sat glassy-eyed through
the whole performance, climbed on the stage at the end of the show,
inspected the drum kit and came back to say "They're just *******
drums". Best Regards and Thanks for keeping us all cheery in
these difficult times".
02/08/20 - Good to see the recent video links - I've seen Tommy Emmanuel live a couple of times and I'd love to see him again, highly recommended! I've already decided to make more effort to support live music when the venues open and it becomes safe to do so. No idea when that's going to happen, I don't think it will be this year. - Sam Wood
02/08/20 - In reply to John Meehan - I didn’t suggest that bands would hike their prices... I said clubs would have to hike their prices if they hoped that 30 people (government’s stipulated indoor audience at the moment), will be enough to pay a band. As John knows from his tours down South, most clubs would have to charge between £20 - £25 to enable to pay the band, cover the club’s costs/advertising, in some cases, venue hire, as well in some circumstance overnight accommodation. If that’s the case £25 is the mere minimum entrance fee that will be on the cards, until the venues can return to their normal admittance. I wouldn’t expect John to be travelling South on a fee over half what they normally get. Even here in Redhill at the local jazz club, 30 people would not cover the resident band’s fee, unless the entrance fee went up to £15. It’s common sense that musicians are not going to suffer long journeys, traffic jams, the incurred stress, to play for less. - Pete Lay
declared a state of Emergency as Mike Lovell will be celebrating his
birthday there on Monday. I think it's more to do with Hurricane
Isaias than Mike though. Mark Challinor will celebrate his birthday
on Friday, and Keith Moore will have his birthday on Saturday. Many
Happy Returns to all.
01/08/20 - Bernard Harris writes, "There must be hundreds of reel to reel tapes in people's lofts, with lots of good jazz on, just sitting there doing nothing. I would love to get my hands on some of those recordings to preserve what happened then". He asks if people in the jazz fraternity could look out for old reel to reel tapes of people who had something to do with jazz.
01/08/20 - I noticed a few people mentioning the great guitarist Tommy Emmanuel recently. I've been an admirer of his on YouTube for a year or two now. Have a listen to this version of "Caravan", absolutely amazing. I can't even count that fast! - Laurie Cooper
31/07/20 - News of another jazz venue opening, this time in the North of England. "Live jazz continues at Seven Arts Leeds - we're putting on live (socially distanced) jazz in the open air at Seven Arts courtyard featuring the best of jazz from the great city of Leeds and of course the bar will be open. On Sundays you can buy street food at the cafe too. The Washboard Resonators - Sunday Aug 2, 1.30-3.30pm: Jazz, ragtime, hokum, blues, comedy and vaudeville. Jack Amblin percussion vocals, tap dancing, Martin Roper, guitar and vocals".
31/07/20 - I've just added another delight in The Lost Tapes series. This one, number 10, is the Melody Inn Quartet playing Dance Halls Days recorded 21 years ago. Sadly two great North West musicians, Dave Copperwaite and Louis Lince are no longer with us.
31/07/20 - An interesting interview in yesterday's Guardian, "Denis Thorpe's best photograph: a brave boy's vaccination". In it he says, "Another highlight is photographing Louis Armstrong. It was 1956 and he was performing in Birmingham and was happy to let me hang around all day. I love traditional jazz - I was introduced to it during my RAF service. I used to visit what was then called the London Jazz Club, at 100 Oxford Street, to listen to Humphrey Lyttelton's band".
I had a
nice chat on the phone this morning with John Meehan (leader
of Savannah Jazz Band).
He told me he was getting fed up with all the negativity about at
the moment and had even stopped watching the News it was depressing.
He said that he also didn't agree with the suggestion that clubs and
venues would have to hike their prices, possibly more than doubling
them. He said, "I would strongly object to anyone thinking that
bands would try to charge more or even clubs would try to charge
more to suit the bands, because my impression is, and always has
been, that if we start again (and we have no idea when that will
be), that each jazz club or jazz organisation will know which band
they want to start with and will then negotiate or discuss the fee
to suit, because everybody wants to co-operate. We will arrange it,
as we normally do, 'to the satisfaction of all'. We are
starting a new beginning. At the end of the day Savannah is
not a local band, and some of the musicians in my band have to
travel great distances and their costs still need to be covered.
John also confirmed something I already knew (but it's not my policy
to post), that Bill Smith has been quite poorly for the last few
months, and the chances are he may not be able to continue playing.
He would ask though that people didn't try to ring Bill following
this announcement, but if they want to know how he is doing, then
they could contact John himself on 01422 832577.
30/07/20 - After posting that last item, I decided to read the form notes on the opposite page. "Form 3B - consists of thirty-two intelligent beings who inhabit Stalag 17. The Form Master is Mr. R. P. Owen, who also takes us for Chemistry, with an able assistant in Frederick Samuel Charles Burnett (Fred) who, along with "Jerry" Vaughan, is the form comedian. Vaughan, as chalk monitor, runs out of this necessary article whenever it is needed. Peel now guards the blackboard duster since it acquired a remarkable habit of disappearing between lessons". A moment of fame that I never knew about. Thanks Jim.
30/07/20 - Amazing how you find things out later in life that you had no idea about at the time. On 24/07/20, I posted a request from Bob Dobson about a penguin book on jazz (still haven't got the answer), and I sent a copy of the posting to Bob. He saw that I mentioned Jim Heap of the Pendle Jazzmen as attending the same school as me, and Bob who is Membership Secretary of the Accrington Grammar School Old Boys Association, knew I attended the school, so immediately asked me to pass on a membership application to Jim. Jim, who it appears had copies of the old boys "Accringtonian" magazine, then sent me a copy from Dec 1955 which included a jazz band made up of teachers (who I recognised) and pupils. Well I have to admit, I never knew the school had a jazz band, but then I don't think I was into jazz at that age. Jim says, " On clarinet is Les Whitemoss who later played with the Les Allan band, a six piece jazz band. Les was on clarinet and Allan Rigby on trombone. Allan was the father of Paul J. Rigby, leader of the Northern Jazz Orchestra. Allan and Les left the band which remained a quartet, later with the clarinettist Barry Aldous on bass. I played trumpet in an East Lancs band called the Riverside Jazzmen from the 1960s to the 1990s. Also in the band were Tom Culbert, piano, John Brunton, clarinet and Ron Payton, banjo who all later played with the Forrest New Orleans Jazz Band and various other bands. In its time the Riverside were lucky to play with Pat Halcox, John Crocker, Alex Welsh, Fred Hunt, Roy Williams, John Barnes and many more which was a great honour for us". Any more AGS old boys out there?
30/07/20 - Re Tommy Emanuel (29/07/20), Check out on Youtube Tommy playing 'Sultans of Swing' with John Jorgenson that'll move you and give you more dexterity. John is the one standing. - Norman Gibson. Great player, thanks to Paul Medina for that: Just listened to him with John Jorgenson and Pedro Javier González playing “Sultans of Swing”: Remarkable. - Jon Critchley
30/07/20 - Re: Bernard Harris' query about Ken Colyer Bolton Concert 1962. Absolutely no help at all, but this website is interesting; it shows Ken Colyer at The Bolton Grand on June 3rd 1956, but never again is he listed in Bolton. The Bolton Grand closed in 1960. Let me know if I can’t help again! - Jon Critchley
30/07/20 - Regarding Pete Lay's letter about people not liking American jazz I have encountered quite a number over the years. I think the problem can be traced back to the 1960's and the Trad Boom as it was called. From this emerged a particular style which I call " British Trad " It was easy listening music. Although a lot of it was played by excellent musicians it never excited me like the American music did. It's interesting that Pete mentions that it would be too loud or fast for today's listeners. In 1933 Louis played at the Palace Theatre in Manchester and my father went to see him. I was amazed when he told me that he and other people walked out. It turned out that people had never heard music played that loud and that Louis' antics on stage, his prowling about and his facial expressions actually frightened some people! - Moe Green.
30/07/20 - "A bit more about my early years, it is nice to tie Ken Ames into them", writes Peter Boswell as he adds a bit more to to his musical schooling' in Who influenced me.
"I wonder if you can help me, please? I have found an
old reel to reel tape of Ken Colyer's Jazzmen, who visited Bolton
for a concert in 1962. It was probably the height of the 'trad boom'
at the time. Could you please throw any light on the venue
that this concert might have been held at. Any information
that you can give me, would be helpful. Best Regards and Stay
Safe - Bernard Harris ( herein after being called 'The Mad Monk' in
jazz circles down South).
29/07/20 - I forwarded the entry of 18/07/20 re Richard Smith and Gypsy Jazz to my son. In return, he sent me sent me this link to an Australian guitarist whom I had never heard of previously: Tommy Emmanuel playing Over The Rainbow. Not exactly a jazz rendition but worth listening to. I'm feel sure some of your readers would appreciate his dexterity - Paul Medina
29/07/20 - Following contributions from Moe Green and Bernard and Carole Selby about Stockport's Warren Bulkeley, I thought I'd send a photo of one of the more memorable sessions with the Red River, taken in the jazz cellar. During the mid seventies we were lucky enough to have a series of American guests and in February 1975 it was the electric Wild Bill Davison. As the photo shows, on the session were Alan Pendlebury, Pete Mooney, Pete Staples, Tony Iddon, myself, and hidden from view, Dave Potts and Roger Browne. In April 1976 our guest was the wonderful Peanuts Hucko. On subsequent sessions we were joined by the gobsmacking Billy Butterfield and then the lovely Ralph Sutton. One of these days I must do a list of the many British musicians who guested. Like Moe I also have an admission ticket, when we played upstairs at the pub, with one of the earlier guests in the late sixties - George Melly, long before he formed the Feetwarmers and went back on the road. - Dave Mott. Click on photo for a larger version of this superb picture.
The latest Wednesday quiz sent to me by Bert
Thompson is entitled 'Libations', and I guess you wouldn't need to
listen to too many jazz numbers to find mention of those!. Once
again my thanks to Bert for producing these quizzes, a job I tried
to help out with, but had to throw in the towel.
28/07/20 - The latest edition of Just Jazz Magazine is now out. A great photo of Andrew Liddle on the front page.
It's Back! The first public jazz event
(I think), since lockdown, but not in the North West. Spotted this
on 'Where Can We Go'. It's
tonight - The Golden Lion Jazz Nights are back on Tuesday
evenings. "Please use the rear entrance and use the car park
adjacent to the pub car park. There is a large canopied space behind
the pub with tables. You can come & socially distance or sit with
the bubble of your acquaintances if you are happy with that. The
venue has been approved for live music by Winchester licensing
department. If you wish to eat, booking is a must, to avoid
disappointment. (Sunday lunchtime jazz is also being trialled 12 -
3pm. Bands TBA.) 8-10.45 pm Free Entry to the pub and jazz. The
Golden Lion, High Street, Southwick, nr. Fareham, Hampshire PO17 6EB
27/07/20 - Moe Green has now added his story about his influences. It's in the Drums section
27/07/20 - Regarding Howard Murray's comment about Danny Moss or Ross, I can assure him it was Danny Ross . He brought the house down with his antics and Jeannie Lamb sat there and cried with laughter and he brought along a surprise guest in the tiny form of James Clitheroe. A night to remember! - Moe Green.
Re: "Terry Cheney has just updated the
Jazz Guide News Page
(26/07/20)", If one reads the up to date guidelines on ‘live
performance’, you would understand the implications Terry Cheney has
referred to on his Jazz Guide News Page. One of the main
stipulations at the moment is that ‘live performance’ is a
‘PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE’ – which I take to mean, not a jam session
or get together, but a band performing on stage in a professional
manner to a paying audience (not playing for nothing or for the fun
of it). The guidelines also enforce the issue over ‘Health and
Safety’ via Social Distancing’ and that facilities are at hand to
accommodate that. Hand sanitisers etc. This would mean, your club
could probably only accommodate 40% of it’s usual attendance, no
standing at the bar, I assume table service and the like, entrance
fees are ticketed and paid for in advance, (not paying on the door –
no cash). What that entails, in having to pay the bands and cover
the costs of running a session, price hikes would be inevitable, in
some cases, more than double what they are now. (e.g. £10/£12
admission would likely be £25).
27/07/20 - Re: "Can you believe Fred that only 218 have viewed this video of Royal Garden Blues with George Lewis Band and Sweet Emma Barrett - with bells an'all.- Norman Gibson" This doesn’t surprise me, although many might have already seen the YouTube clip before on other Social Media sites. Even so, out of curiosity, you would think it would be checked out? However, after many moons of being involved in playing Traditional jazz, promoting festivals and having a love of everything New Orleans, I have been constantly, amazed, surprised, saddened, when ‘punters’ and one or two jazz club promoters have said to me, in conversation; “Oh them, I don’t like them, I’ve never been a fan of American jazz” and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or two of those folk read your website. I understand we all have our personal tastes, but to dismiss a style of jazz because it’s American is quite ludicrous. I am convinced that if both the George Lewis and Louis Armstrong bands were still performing in all their pomp and glory, a lot of today's jazz club attendees would not like them – too loud, too professional, play too fast, can’t dance to it, etc, etc, would be some of the comments. Has anyone else thought of that possibility? - Pete Lay
27/07/20 - Great picture of the Hedgehog (or should it be Road Hog). He is like an artist's impression of Coltrane in his later years! Re: The ticket from the jazz concerts at the Warren Bulkeley. The second should surely have been Jeannie Lambe & Danny Moss? Danny Ross was a comedian/comedy actor from Oldham. He did a lot of work with Jimmy Clitheroe but wouldn't have brought the house down at the W.B. - Howard Murray
27/07/20 - Another bass player tells us about his musical influence, this time it's Allan Wilcox.
An interesting post ( 24.07.20 ) from Bernard and
Carole Selby re Jeannie Lambe and Sandy Brown. Andersons
bar in Liverpool was not known as a jazz venue, but on 1st September
1983 , it hit the jackpot with an evening of wonderful music
provided by Jeannie Lambe and Danny Moss. I didn't record details of
the rhythm section so if anyone out there recalls the night please
let me know. Mention of the great Sandy Brown causes me
to draw attention to a book , read and re-read many times, which
should be in every jazzers library.
McJazz Manuscripts is a collection of Sandy's writings, put
together by David Binns, co-founder with Sandy of the Acoustic
Consultancy , Sandy Brown Associates, ( Royal Albert Hall, Liverpool
Arena etc ). The book reprinted by
2008 is well worth searching out . A wonderful clarinetist ahead of
his time, well try Go Ghana, with a legacy of musical inventions and
acoustic accomplishments . The firm with which bears his name were
acoustic consultants for Liverpool FC's new main stand. Together
with Liverpool's flag pole , the mainmast from the Great Eastern,
it's a unique combination..... Isambard Kingdom Brunel AND Sandy
Brown....no wonder they are Champions. - Bob Lamb
26/07/20 - Terry Cheney has just updated the Jazz Guide News Page with the latest on bands and clubs with regard to Coronavirus. The bit that may make you sit up is, "It is a possibility that permitted attendance restrictions would need to result in price hikes for jazzers", and "Another stipulation/consideration is that bands should be on stage and professional? Make of that what you will.".
26/07/20 - I’m having a clear out of jazz CDs. As you will see from the pictures ( CD image 1, CD image 2, CD image 3). It is an eclectic collection from the twenties to the sixties. There are about 450 CDs in all. I’ve committed my favourites to my iPod. I don’t want any money for them. I want them all taken together. No cherry picking. Whoever gets them will need to collect them from Sheffield. Please email me email@example.com - Trevor Barnes
Happy Birthday today to Charley Bentley and Doreen Rawstron
(my sister). Tomorrow it's New Orleans Heat band leader, Barry
Grummett's turn, and on Wednesday it's Many Happy Returns to three
NW musicians - Barry Aldous, Rae Owens and Tom Rippieth. On
Thursday, two more NW musicians will be blowing out the candles, Jim
Swinnerton and Ken Binns. Have a great week everyone, and stay safe.
25/07/20 - John Youngs writes, "I help run Tenement Jazz Band in Edinburgh, and on the side work for Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. I've had a fun time recently making some Traditional Jazz television programming for the jazz festival's online venture this year, and think your readers would enjoy! Every day (Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th @ 1pm; Sat 25th / Sun 26th @11am) we've made a programme called Norrie's Jazz Hour. For an hour each day, trombonist Patrick Darley plays through and discusses with Norrie Thomson (local Edinburgh Jazz fan who helps run Edinburgh Jazz and Jive Club's) his recordings of concerts from the 40 years of the festival. It's live via this website: Or can be watched again back via the EJBF Facebook page or youtube channel. They'll be up as separate programmes after the festival too. Lots of the great musicians from the 80's, 90's and 00's; was a lot of fun to make and so hope in this lockdown summer, some people will enjoy a watch!".
Can you believe Fred that only 218 have
viewed this video of
Royal Garden Blues with George Lewis Band and Sweet Emma Barrett -
with bells an'all.- Norman Gibson
I think I might have missed it at the time, but I just came across
article in the Guardian from 4 years ago about Chris Barber, it
also contains some interesting videos that have popped up on here
from time to time.
24/07/20 - John Muskett has added his thoughts to the page - Who influenced me
24/07/20 - A friend of mine who went to the same secondary school as me (and Jim Heap), Bob Dobson, has asked me a favour. He says, "I want to remember the title and (French) author of the first book on the story of jazz that I read - a Penguin. It would have been published in the late 40s or early 50s as I read it in 1957. Can anyone come up with an answer for me please". Subsequently informed it wasn't Hot Jazz by Hughes Panassié - Fred
24/07/20 - A couple of items in the last day or so have brought me to the keyboard. Cathy Dent's tickets from the Warren Bulkeley, sent in by Moe Green, one of which features Jeannie Lambe who you report has died recently. If my memory serves me right, they played twice at the W B and were fabulous on both occasions. But ...... somebody else who played twice was the late, great Sandy Brown. The first time he came, he had been at a gig in Manchester the night before and arrived early afternoon at the pub, to be greeted by Jim Jacobs the landlord. The two of them got stuck into the single malt and by 8.00pm Sandy was plastered and could hardly walk. When Tony introduced him, he staggered onto the stage and asked what they were going to play, 'Portrait of Willie Best' said Tony to which Sandy replied, 'I don't know it' and Tony said well you ********* wrote it. The evening was a disaster, but to his credit Sandy came a couple of months later and played the gig for nothing. Top man. We were regulars at the W B, and saw all the musos on Cathy's tickets and plenty more besides, Freddy Randall and Dave Shepherd being two who spring to mind, and the Red River were a superb band with Alan Dent, Dave Mott and of course Tony himself. Happy days. - Bernard & Carole Selby.
22/09/20 - There has been considerable discussion about wind instruments and the possible propelling of moisture droplets during the Covid outbreak. The musicians union put forward a very good case to dispel this theory, and the argument was suitably summed for us all to understand, when Sir Simon Rattle wrote to the Government, “You cannot blow a candle out with a trombone. The rate of airflow leaving the bell of a brass instrument is tiny, and, after going through at least 1.4m of tubing (the length of a trumpet), the droplets in the breath are caught in the instrument and can be disposed of". Well I've certainly seen many a trombone player demonstrate that. The good news is though, banjos have not been regarded as a health risk!
22/09/20 - Some more 'who influenced me' stories are trickling through, Many thanks
22/07/20 - My first visit to London was for a five week training course in March/April 1964. One evening I went with a colleague to the Marquee club to hear Danny Moss and Jeanie. Jeanie overheard us talking in broad Scots. At the interval she and a girl friend came over and sat with us. We chatted non-stop as she was missing the Scots twang. Both ladies very glamorous in their miniskirts. One of the songs she sang was Somebody Loves Me. Great night. Very nice pleasant lady. - Willie Mack
This is nothing to do with jazz, but if due to
the lack of live music you are feeling a bit down, I hope
this photograph I took of this little fellow as I was leaving
home on Monday, will cheer you up. It was ambling down the road and
I had to move it to a place of safety!
21/07/20 - It's getting late and I'm off to bed, So this week it's going on slightly early. It's the Wednesday Quiz (Number 18) Bands & Leaders from Bert Thompson
21/07/20 - The Scottish Herald, the best paper for traditional Jazz articles, has just published an article on Jeanie Lambe, "Who has died aged 79, and was a popular singer from Inverness who enjoyed success in London at the height of the swinging sixties, before focusing on singing jazz with her husband, the renowned English tenor saxophonist, Danny Moss". "...she is remembered in Scotland for her brief tenure as singer with the hugely popular trad band, the Clyde Valley Stompers, and for appearances at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival". You can read more here
21/07/20 - "Apologies if you have already been notified, but it was Geoff Gallagher's ’s funeral yesterday. Though he lived just around the corner from me in the same avenue I was unaware that he’d passed away until I happened across the cortege about to leave the house at noon. It had registered that I’d not seen him recently but I simply assumed that this was to do with our current situation, that he’d been isolating indoors with his wife. In his 91st year, he’d suffered a stroke a few years ago but had recovered well and carried on getting out and about as far as possible. In fact, until the gigs were brought to a halt I had taken him to the Wednesday monthly sessions of Anthony Mason’s North Euston Orpheans, which he thoroughly enjoyed, not just for the music but also because it gave him the opportunity to converse with former band colleagues Dave Lee, Pete Lindup & John Smith". - Ian Pickles (Geoff played with the Festival Jazzmen for many years before joining the Wyre Levee Stompers. His name has now been added to the tribute page - Fred).
21/07/20 - On 16th July, Peter Boswell was wondering who first influenced fellow trumpet players? Well I expanded it to ask all musicians who influenced them to take up their chosen instrument, and so far only two replies. They are on this page, so how about a few more?
On 14th July I set a photograph teaser to see how many musicians
there were and if they could be identified. Well the guesses
are in, so now's the time to have a second
Annie Cousin (Annie's Saints
& Sinners), approached me some time ago about the possibility of
the band rehearsing from home via Zoom etc., and possibly doing a
video. I think I frightened her off when I explained the problems
and the technical requirements, but undaunted, Annie pressed on and
proved it could be done whilst maintaining social distancing.
Here's a video she sent me.
A flurry of birthdays coming up this week - Chris Pendlebury today,
Bob Pickersgill and Mike Carnie on Monday, Isabel Toner on Thursday
(got that one wrong earlier), Brian Singleton on Friday and Les
Harris on Saturday. Many Happy Returns to all of you.
18/07/20 - Listening to the latest lost tape reminded me of when we (The Original Panama Jazz Band) booked Tommy Burton as a guest at our then regular venue, The Eagle and Crown in Upton, Wirral. At the end of the interval Tommy returned for the second set with a tray of 6 pints. I thought, “That’s super! he’s bought the band a round !”. He sat down, put them all along the top of the upright and said, “Right what are we playing?” All 6 pints disappeared, but not in our direction! - Jon Critchley
18/07/20 - When Barbara & I ran a jazz club back in the late 90s, there was always someone who would profess to be knowledgeable and comment on the poor performance by a musician, and my answer was always, "Well he/she can play better than me", safe in the knowledge that they probably couldn't play a note either. Well a few years later I like to think that I can now recognise a good musician, and this lunchtime I caught up on a few videos recommended to me by Youtube, and I have to say, not a bad choice either. Not all jazz, but check out these two when it comes to good musicians, and see if you agree - Richard Smith and Ryan Anthony, and if you have time and you like Gypsy Jazz watch Richard playing Gypsy Jazz in Brazil with a tune you'll recognise I'm sure.
18/07/20 - Now that people can "Attend outdoor theatre, opera, dance and music performances and classes", any bands had a booking yet? In Scotland, live indoor and outdoor events, including theatres and music venues will be allowed (but not before 31 July), with physical distancing and restricted numbers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the one thing for certain is that it's all very confusing.
18/07/20 - Not many cassette tapes left to throw out, but still one or two cracking ones left. The next tape to go on the site is Tommy Burton's Sporting House Quartet and 'Rolling Round The World'. It's Number 9 in the series, "The Lost Tapes".
"An extremely interesting post about Fionna
Duncan, thanks for that", says Laurie Cooper. "I did a summer season
in 1991 in the orchestra pit at The Opera House, Blackpool with
"42nd Street" & Ronnie Rae was the bass player. I became friendly
with him & when Kath & I married the following year we spent our
honeymoon in Edinburgh with Fionna & Ronnie. We spent every night
that we were there visiting various jazz clubs where they were
gigging. I took my mouthpiece with me & had a knock with one or two
bands, great for me, but for Kath ....? Well we're still married!
Happy memories & we met some lovely people".
17/07/20 - "Those were the days - The Clyde Valley Stompers, 1957 and 1981". An interesting item in the Scottish Herald. One paper that seems to regularly publish items of traditional jazz news.
17/07/20 - I've just added a link to a London Band "Vitality Five" featured in the last news item. "Formed in 2015 and initially developing out of a series of informal workshop sessions in South London, the Vitality Five are an all-star quintet dedicated to performing and recording authentic 1920s small-group jazz".
16/07/20 - For years jazz fans prayed for the ban on American musicians playing in this country, to be lifted. At last it happened in 1956 I think The Musicians Union opened doors and lifted the ban. In May the following . George Lewis flew into Manchester to be greeted at tne airport by the Ken Colyer band. George and the Colyer band played a concert at the Free Trade Hall What a night that was, the place was packed and what a reception they received. The concert was recorded and issued, years later, by 504 records in conjunction with the Ken Colyer Trust - Martin Stanway
16/07/20 - The comments re ‘Cherry Blossom Pink’ reminded me of part of my mis-spent youth. As 3rd mate I was on a ship berthed in Mombasa, on the next berth to the aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark. I was on shore leave and found myself in a night club in the town, There was a good band playing and had my trumpet with me, and asked if I could ‘sit in’ After some discussion we settled on Cherry Pink as a mutually known number. By the time I got on the stage I’d consumed rather more booze than was wise, and as it was a very hot night, shirt and various other clothing had been removed. I nevertheless did mange to play Cherry Pink with the band, in the style of, but without the finesse, of Eddie Calvert. Two days later. I was delegated to visit HMS Bulwark to arrange a cricket match between the two crews. Representing the RN vessel was the ship’s dentist, (yes, they actually carried a dentist). He was giving me strange looks, and after a while asked me if I’d been playing the trumpet in a night club a couple of days earlier. I had to admit, rather shamefacedly, that I had. ‘Good God man! said the dentist ‘ I thought you were part of the act! - Richard Knock.
16/07/20 - I thought it might be a nice idea, prompted by Peter Boswell, to have a page entitled, "Who first influenced me as a musician". So there is now. Looking forward to your contributions, and I'll section it for different instruments.
16/07/20 - I'm sure that I read somewhere that Armstrong referred to Gonella as "My Boy Nat." My dad ( I'm an OBE now... Over Bloody Eighty) said that he had often heard Gonella, probably at the Ardwick Empire. Some 15 years back, when I lived in Salford on the edge of Swinton, my home town, a neighbour, knowing of my jazz involvement said to me "Did you go to the funeral?" "Er.. No .. er .. whose funeral?" "The old lady at 47." 'Never knew anybody at No 47. No idea who lived at 47! Why would I?" "Thought that you might have... It was Nat Gonella's sister." Could have befriended her in her later years and comforted her with our admiration of her brother and who knows what she might have told me... TTFN Howard Murray OBE. Wow .. I got letters!
15/07/20 - Nat Gonella was a fabulous hot player and vocalist, able to make non-jazzers listen to and enjoy the music. My children when very young on a car journey would say 'put on Ants in your Pants or Skeleton in the Cupboard' and never got bored of his recordings. I am not trying to criticise Nat, but I do find Dave Moor's note food for thought. Regarding 'Cherry Pink' I imagine Nat could have made a really good job of the tune, in his own style, but was maybe expressing an opinion, even a little envy of Eddie Calvert who made a lot of money with that number. Personally I am happy to admit that the first trumpet I heard that made me want to learn to play one was Calvert and I have met really good, admittedly older, jazz trumpet players who admit the same. Next for me came Humph then Louis. Nat and Eddie had something important in common. The ability to help people love music. I would be very interested to hear from other trumpet players who their very first influence was. - Peter Boswell
14/07/20 - Again following Ian Royle's missive no doubt many of your readers remember Nat Gonella. Perhaps they don't know that Nat worked as a solo act in the Northern clubs in the 60's and 70's. When we were working a club where he was playing, he invariably asked me to back him - I think he was afraid of a possible 'Dave Clark' style resident drummer ! He was a great muso, and his dots were always spot on. He could comfortably play many of Louis's solos and he was a friend of Louis from before the war and often had some of his letters with him which were a delight to read. On one gig, Nat - as per usual - asked the audience for any requests. One young girl said 'Cherry Pink'. Nat said 'I don't play s**t like that'. The audience were quite stunned - people didn't swear much in those days - especially on stage. There was an awkward moment so I shouted out, in some desperation, 'Shine' . Nat said 'that's a great number' and somehow managed to appease the crowd with some terrific horn playing. He was always a pleasure to play and be with and it was great to hear him talking about his jazz experiences. I was very sad when he moved back down South. - Dave Moore
14/07/20 - Now here's a teaser for NW musicians. How many musicians are there in this photograph? How many can you name? And where are they located in this photo that Peter Swensson sent me, I'll let you know the result when all the guesses are in. You'll need to click on the picture for a larger version. Here's a clue - it was taken at Christleton Carnival in 1976. One musician in this picture can only recognise himself so it must be tricky. Either that or he's like the rest of us when it comes to names :-(
13/07/20 - Listened to your latest lost tape while I was wall papering today, and have to agree it is very enjoyable. However, whoever decided the playing order must have decided to amuse him, or herself, with 'Up Jumped the Devil' following 'What a Friend we have in Jesus'! - Norman Gibson
13/07/20 - And now for something completely different, Ian Royle writes, "A big disappointment for many out there (perhaps) who'd planned to attend the Oulu (Finland) 'Air Guitar Championships. Yes - really. The event was to have taken place at the end of August but has been postponed until 2021. The first festival was held in 1996 and has been gathering popularity ever since. The organisers of the event insist that the event promotes world peace- ''Because you can't fire a gun while you're playing an air guitar'. They also affirm that 'If all the people in the world played air guitars, wars would end, climate change stopped and all bad things disappear. The motto is 'MAKE AIR NOT WAR'. Does Jim Douglas still read this site ????".
Re Barrie Quilliam’s reference to drummer Moondog
(07/07). I had a brief spell working with Moondog at the Thatched
House in Manchester. It was in my very early jazz playing days in
the mid-fifties. I can’t be sure who the other musicians were but I
remember Moondog as he made me particularly welcome. He with us for
the first 2 gigs that I played there but when I arrived on the third
week I was told that tragically he had died in a motorbike accident.
- Gerry Tomlinson
12/07/20 - Many Happy Returns today to Cyril Wroe, leader of the Festival Jazzmen when they were playing. Tomorrow it's a Happy Birthday to bass player Isabel Toner.
The next in my series of
lost tapes has now been uploaded, and one worth listening to.
Lost Tape number 8 was made by one of the
North West's greatest New Orleans Jazz historians, the late Louis
11/07/20 - Details have been received for the funeral and band arrangement for Joan Fryers (Dove Jazz Club news item 02/97). It will take place on Thursday July 16th. 2020 at Macclesfield Crematorium at 3.20 p.m. Please contact me if you want the full details of the arrangements forwarding.
I watched an interesting video lesson on The Blues by Wynton
Marsalis, uploaded on Jun 30th. Don't often see him on the piano,
but this was an After School
Sessions for the Benedetti Foundation, quite enlightening to me
as someone who was only taught the rudiments of music and English
Folk songs at school. You may wonder, 'When is he going to start
speaking'? I worked it out later, he was probably waiting for all
the latecomers to be seated as he checks his monitor waiting to
08/07/20 - So sorry to hear about Bob Jones. I recall him so well from when I first moved into Shropshire and he welcomed me into enjoying gigs with the very fine Salt City Band. Those were the halcyon days. - Derek Harrison
08/07/20 - "It is with great sadness I wish to report the death of Bob Jones, drummer & founder member of The Salt City Jazzmen based around Nantwich. He was a driving drummer and singer, which gave the band great energy. He was with the band from 1971 until ill health forced him to retire in 2018. He still came to listen to the band and sing occasionally. He was for many years the organser of all the band's gigs. He will be sorely missed". - Stuart Renn
08/07/20 - Jack Cotterill writes, "I’m teaming up with my long time musical colleagues and friends to bring everyone a facebook live gig. The band will feature Jamie Brownfield on trumpet, Tom Kincaid on Piano, Jim Swinnerton on bass, and myself on drums. It will be filmed live on my drive, alongside my new food business I’ve set up in the midst of the pandemic. The show will be 2 x 45 min sets with a short break. 5.30-7.30pm. Just like a normal gig, but from the comfort and safety of your own home. As much as this is a really tough time for us and musicians alike, we are truly looking forward to be able to do what we love again, play music! The show will be free, however there will be an online tip jar. Donations are appreciated, not expected. The link for this is - www.paypal.me/jackcotterillmusic. Any donations shall be shared amongst the whole band. To stay up to date with all details about the event you can go to the event page on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/events/3261296220597638/ for more details you can go to my website - www.Jacks-Place.co.uk
08/07/20 - Brilliant stuff, Norman: Loved the bowed bass. Followed by more videos, all great. Cheers. - Jon Critchley
08/07/20 - Peter Swensson Savoy Jazzmen would like to know if anybody has any recommendations for Public Liability for bands please. This has cropped up in the site some years ago, and may well be out of date now so if you could copy me in to any tips to Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org) I can update the page. Peter says, " I cancelled the Savoy’s insurance when the lockdown started but I’ve been advised there will now be a surcharge when I renew and they can’t guarantee the same rates we’ve been on".
08/07/20 - Mart knew Moondog (07/07), and spoke of him but I don’t remember meeting him. - Janet Rodger
08/07/20 - "There are two delights in this video by a player who I've only recently had brought to my attention - Duved Dunayevsky", says Norman Gibson. "Delight one is his amazing musicianship in the manner of Django himself, and the second is for the jazz ladies who visit your site, at one minute in the 'stare' should melt a few hearts. Enjoy" - Norman Gibson
It's time for the Wednesday Quiz from Bert
Thompson. This one is about 'Conveyances'. Check out Quiz 16 from
the Quiz list
07/07/20 - Jon Critchley asks, " Anyone got a Conn 4 or a Conn 5 cornet mouthpiece"? It's now 4 hours after posting - All sorted, My thanks to Roy Freeman for coming up with the goods, and thank you Fred: - Jon Critchley
07/07/20 - Talking about “characters”, does anyone remember the local drummer “Moon Dog” from the 1960s whose real name I cannot remember. He was nicknamed after his better known eccentric musician namesake in America ( see Wikipedia). He was certainly a “character”. I once went to his house in Manchester to pick him up for a gig. The interior walls were all covered in murals that he had painted. - Barrie Quilliam
A nice story from 2019 from Mike Lovell on Facebook, "There I
was...ordering a cup of coffee in Paneras at Lake Sumter, Florida,
some 4000 miles from home, when the waiter saw my trombone pendant
and said he played trombone in a Disney World marching band. He then
asked me whether I would like to borrow his Bach trombone whilst I
was in the States. The rest is history, and here it is cooling
itself in the pool". Mike is off to Florida again in a few
weeks, wonder if that means this time he'll be shut away
(quarantined), for two weeks when he gets back? No comments
please. (Only joking Mike).
05/07/20 My thanks to Roger & Hilda Bywater for finding the second of two lockdown videos from the Tenement Jazz Band, this one is Gotta Gimme Some, "recorded live via Zoom", and that's not " live as we know it Jim ". It usually involves individual recordings and post video editing, but that's another subject, and not one for the faint hearted, however Annie Cousin of Annie's Saints and Sinners, is keen to have a go and wonders if anybody has tried Jamulus, one of the few ways that allows band to practice live via Zoom. There's a CD prize for anyone who can watch this to the end, and hand on heart say they understood it all.
05/07/20 - This site began 25 years ago, and it was a combination of events - retirement, birth of the internet, and a renewed interest in live traditional jazz. The latter came about because as a radio ham, tuning the airwaves I came across a test transmission from JazzFM (JFM), starting up in Manchester. One item was about Tony's Tradtime which was starting on Sunday 4th September 1994, and listening to that got me interested again. Fast forward to this month, and during my clearout I came across a crudely edited recording of one of the earliest, if not the first programme aired. I know that because Tony mentioned a venue in Lancaster, our very first outing, and one which ended by being told that the band no longer played there (No change there then!). You can hear it at Lost Tape Number 7, but can you name the date of the recording? My guess is it was in the same year that it was launched.
Following Ian Royle's note about characters, in my pro musician days
I was working in Cabaret clubs rather than Jazz Clubs, but it did
mean I met a lot of great musicians. I was once in digs for a week
with the great George Chisholm who was a fabulous trombonist who
loved having a blow. He was in the Fats Waller band that toured the
UK before the war and had loads of amazing - but unrepeatable -
tales to tell. I asked George who the drummer was and he said
Edmundo Ros ! As it happened I worked a week at Edmundo's club
shortly after. Sadly however, I never got the chance to get him on
his own to ask him about working with the great man.
Another great trombonist I worked with was Kai Winding (of J and K
fame) who I believe was for a time musical director of the Playboy
Clubs in Europe. We did a week at the Playboy club in London (and we
got paid as well) and he sat in with us whenever he could. He also
had some great stories about his big band days with Stan Kenton etc.
- Dave Moore
03/07/20 - Re Ian Royle's characters, I think that's a great idea, but it set me wondering whether, for 'characters' who have died at least, it might not involve repeating a lot of the information already in the Remembering page. And then I began to think about those who died before the Remembering page was set up. In the Merseyside, Chester and North Wales areas Pete Daniels, Jack Clack, Geoff Coates, 'Jumbo' Richford, Tommy Orrit, Laurie Renton, Pete Burkhill, Ron Chesterman, Bruce Bakewell, Ralph Watmough and Mike Holland spring to mind, and Alan and Keith Pendlebury of course - and that's just my mind! It would be good to have the opportunity to remember them; but it would also be good to remember and celebrate people who are still alive but (perhaps) no longer play. If current players started writing about one another as 'characters', might that lead to misunderstandings and fallings-out? And if it did, would that matter? Might some of us be disappointed to find ourselves not written about - or indeed to find ourselves written about? Or am I overthinking it? Anyway, that's my two-penn'orth! - Allan Wilcox. "Chapter 1, Ian Royle.....", writes Mad Ed Hughes. "Good idea. However I suspect most of it would have to be cleaned up and watered down to avoid litigation!!!", says Roy Gregory. "A good Idea, Son!", says Howard Murray.
03/07/20 - Over the last couple of months The Tenement Jazz Band have been piecing together a new album to "fill that tenement shaped trad jazz gap between your ears", and they're delighted to announce 'Tenement Jazz Band Goes South' is ready to go! It's a patchwork of 12 choice live recordings made on their most recent UK tour, from concerts at Louth, Newbold Verdon, Blisworth & more. Apparently Steve has been toiling long and hard at the mixing desk, and it's going to be on sale from today! You can order your CD and download a digital copy from bandcamp for only £10, and they'll be shipped as soon as they arrive at Tenement HQ. It's been a while now (almost two months), since the Dixie Beats did their lockdown video and I've seen choirs and orchestras try it, but not another traditional jazz band, although Annie Cousins (Annie's Saints & Sinners) is dying to have a go and asks, has anybody tried Jamulus? Anyway, I just found out the Tenement Jazz Band did one I missed, earlier in April, so you can watch them now.
02/07/20 - Dove Jazz Club has made this announcement - It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that Joan Fryers, Roger Marshall's beloved partner of almost forty years, passed away peacefully last night, at home as per her wishes, following a short non Covid related illness. Joan has of course been a backbone of support for Roger since the very beginnings of Dove Jazz Club and of our infamous Beer and Jazz Festivals, not least with her role all this time as the Saturday night concert's formidable “custodian of the door”. Through this, and through her regular visits to other venues over the years, including Keswick, Bute, Abersoch, Sand Bay, Malvern and Bude, we know that she has made many friends in the traditional jazz world and that she will be much missed by them, friends who have appreciated her continual efforts, with Roger, to help us all to share the enjoyment of the music that she loved. We are sure that our members will join us in offering our deep sympathy to Roger and his family, and to Joan’s family, for their great loss. We will circulate details of the arrangements for her funeral in due course.
02/07/20 - Roy Freeman and I have put together a CD of live recordings, "An Evening With The Silver Bell Band, Preston, Lancashire", which has 12 vocal tracks and a running time of 1 hour 5 minutes. Anyone who would like a copy can Email me at email@example.com with their home address. They will receive a copy of the CD and an Email attachment in PDF format with chords and lyrics which they can download if they wish and play or sing along with the band in the privacy of their own homes (which I hope are soundproofed!). They will be asked to make a suggested donation of £10 to a charity which supports the NHS. - |Brian Legan
02/07/20 - The description 'character' is frequently used in our musical fraternity. The recent posts about Ron Arnold prove that. With this 'lockdown' business and most of our musos reduced to 'keyboard addicts', how about some posts about the 'characters' we've known over the years playing jazz. Who knows? A book of anecdotes could be a best seller! - Ian Royle
01/07/20 - Re comment by John Dodgshon 29/06 - Trombonist Louis Nelson wasn't on the Kid Rena recordings. It was Jim Robinson. - Pete Lay
01/07/20 - It's Wednesday and time for Quiz 15 by Bert Thompson. Each of the musical personalities had a sibling (or two) who was (were) also a performer(s). Name a sibling in each case and specify his or her instrument. Click here for the quiz list. Bert responded to John Dodgshon, "John D. is correct - I managed to get the two Louis Nelsons mixed up. Big Eye was a clarinetist - it was the other Louis Nelson that played trombone. Mea culpa. Thanks for letting me know." It's now been corrected in the quiz.
01/07/20 - A record collector has bought a copy of a 78 by Mart Rodger’s Jazz Aces at a record fair. It’s not the one I have which has “Hiawatha Rag” on it and is the first track on “Allmart”. His 78 has “Si Si Rider” and “Spicy Advice”. He has compared the Matrix Numbers on both 78s and feels sure another record was made at the same time. Mart arranged this private recording and it would have been expensive for a 17 year old on low wages! I know he sold them at the jazz clubs as I bought one from him soon after I started to listen to the band. I know it’s a long shot, but if anyone reading this has one of these recordings or knows of it I would be very interested to hear from them. - Janet Rodger