Rachel Hayward vibraphone/guitar John Hallam reeds
Tom Kincaid piano Nigel Cretney drums
To a packed room we welcomed the band for their first visit to the club to re-create the sounds of Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton. John Hallam is one of the most versatile performers on clarinet and saxophone and truly was able to represent Benny Goodman. Tom who has developed the style of the great pianists from the golden jazz era also impeccably reproduced the Teddy Wilson style. Nigel had the energetic touch of Gene Krupa and kept everyone in line and Rachel with her passion for Lionel Hampton was the female version and very competent vibraphone player too. The sounds of the 1930’s and “chamber music” were certainly brought to life for us.
The first set started with Lullaby of the Leaves followed by Seven Come Eleven and Temptation Rag a really up tempo number. John told us that this tune was written by the ragtime composer Henry Lodge and explained that Goodman played everything too fast just because he could! It was probably better than the original version! Slowing the pace down for the next tune we heard Tea for Two a song from the 1925 musical No,No, Nanette written by Vince Youmans. John played a beautiful introduction on clarinet – a lovely tune and now a popular jazz standard. Rachel changed from vibes to her guitar for the next number Putting on the Ritz, a tune written in 1929 - the title derives from the expression to dress very fashionably inspired by the Ritz Hotel. With Rachel back on vibes we heard a tune called Opus 1.2 followed by a good old standard written in 1929 - John said it was one of Benny’s favourites - called I’ll Always be in Love with You. A piano and vibes feature of Blue Because of You, a lovely tune called Lisa, written by Gershwin and now a jazz standard and a Fats Waller number Honeysuckle Rose were beautifully played and appreciated by the audience. An unusual tune was next which John says sounds like a Jewish folk tune but it was the lively number Vieni, Vieni, Vieni bringing us to the last tune for this set which was I’m A Ding Dong Daddy.
Continuing where they stopped the opening tune for the second half was Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea and this was followed by a beautiful version of Moonglow. Some jazz tunes have strange titles and the next number certainly had. It was Pick a Rib and how appropriate on a session the day before Halloween! Next was Airmail Special a tune written by Benny, followed by a slower number I Surrender Dear which brought comment from the audience! Cranking up the pace with a drum intro for Dizzy Spells and then with Rachel back on guitar we heard Memories of You followed by Till Tom Special and A Smo-o-oth One. It was then sadly time for the last number of the evening, which was called Rachel’s Dream – hence the name of the quartet!
It was a very entertaining evening and very much appreciated by the audience and one that I would highly recommend.