Club Reviews

Savannah Jazz Band

25th January 2017

Bill Smith cornetIMG_1113
Roger Myerscough – reeds
Brian “Sam” Ellis – trombone
Chris Marney – banjo
Tony Pollitt – bass
John Meehan – leader & drums

The Savannah Jazz Band never fail to entertain and you cannot help but enjoy their performances. They are one of the most popular and busiest bands on the jazz circuit and last night’s session proved this fact. They had a large audience to perform to and their repertoire was varied and enjoyable.

Tunes played in the first set were When You and I Were Young Maggie, a beautiful tune called After Dark, a vocal by Roger of Lady Be Good, Bogalusa Strut, a brilliant version of Stormy Monday which was a request and featured Roger on soprano sax, Brian on piano, and Bill vocals and harmonica – a lovely tune. Frog-i-more Rag was followed by Higher Ground a vocal feature for Chris on banjo. Hymn To Freedom featured Roger, Brian again on piano backed by Tony on bass and John on drums. To bring the first set to a close they played You are My Sunshine which had a lovely duo vocal from Bill and Roger.

The second set was equally as enjoyable with tunes Together, Precious Lord, and then a vaudeville tune, which is also done by Keith Nichols, called Beedle Um Bum sang by Bill. I Want to be Happy gave leader John a feature on drums followed by Blue Turning Grey Over You and Se Se Rider with Bill showing his skills on the harmonica again. The lovely tune Isle of Capri and Going Home brought the evening to a close.

Why does time go so quickly! A great night was had by all and we look forward to seeing the band again in August at the annual festival 18/19/20 August 2017.

Graham Smith’s Shades of Jazz

14th December 2016ensemble

Gary Wood – trumpet
John Hallam – reeds
Martin Veasey – trombone
Rod Kelly – keyboard
Jim Douglas – guitar
John Day – bass
Graham Smith – drums

What a band – what a night – what a way to end our sessions for 2016.

This band just goes from strength to strength and the musicians play together as if they played every night of the year. Graham originally put this band together for a one off performance in order to enjoy playing with musicians that he and Jim Douglas wanted to perform with – their aim being to provide an eclectic mix of music. Such was their success they are now in demand to perform as an ensemble on a more regular basis. Their repertoire for this evening was certainly varied, entertaining and interspersed with humorous introductions. It had a festive flavour with a couple of Christmas tunes and occasional musical festive quotes. In fact there was something for everyone!!

Tunes played in the first set were Crazy Rhythm, Swingin’ Shepherd Blues, That’s My Baby which Gary sang, That Da Da Strain, Mr Sandman & Panama. In between
these tunes were features by John Hallam, Martin Veasey and Rod Kelly.

The second half was equally exciting starting with Exactly Like You, then Don’t Get Around Much another Gary vocal, Crazy Bout My Baby, At the Jazz Band Ball, Perdido, Do You Know What it Means, Route 66 which was brilliant and finishing with a great tune St Thomas. This tune, with a Caribbean vibe to it, is considered a jazz standard and is based on the traditional English song The Lincolnshire Poacher.

Look out for this band to see where they are performing and join them for a guaranteed great evenings entertainment of quality music of a high standard. If you don’t catch them at a jazz club you will have the opportunity to see them at Pershore Jazz Festival 2017 in August.


Nigel Price Organ Trio

30th Novembertrio
Nigel Price – guitar
Ross Stanley – organ
Matt Home – drums

A superb evening’s entertainment with a variation from the style we usually present at Pershore Jazz Club was well received by the audience and I feel that some were pleasantly surprised by what they heard.

The trio’s visit was part of a 56-day tour around the UK and I am so pleased that we were able to witness the great musicianship from all three of them.

Nigel says on his website that “he remembers the first time that he became aware of the Hammond organ, an instrument that technology has tried, but failed, to make obsolete”. It certainly has a sound all of its own and all credit to Ross for the way that he transports the organ and the large Leslie speaker to and from his gigs. A mammoth task! It was also a joy to be able to see him play it and it was a great topic of conversation with the audience. “A young Nigel checked out the jazz guitar and its history and it was inevitable that he would come across the Hammond sound at some stage. He is often bracketed with Wes Montgomery who made some of the best organ trio albums amongst other devotees. Aside from offering a consistency, or near-consistency, in terms of sound quality, the organ trio is also self-contained. It doesn’t suffer from the variable quality of instrument that can afflict a touring band that requires a piano. It’s very immediate in terms of communication between the three of us,” he says. I miss bass players but with organ and guitar it’s very easy to signal just with a twitch of an eyebrow what you intend to do. Plus when Ross is soloing he has the bass lines covered and there’s a gap in the middle begging for someone to comp, and that’s my place. I find it a really creative, sociable unit.”

It was excellent and we listened to some great tunes, Back to Back, Lover Man, Sweet Georgie, Hit the Road, Detour Ahead, All In, Who Can I Turn To, Up Jumped Spring, It Ain’t Necessarily So, Dreamsville and Blue Genes which is the first track on their latest CD called Heads & Tales Volume 2.

I am so glad that we introduced a different genre to our audience and thank Nigel, Ross & Matt for such a great evening.


Matt Home


Nigel Price


Ross Stanley

Old Hat Jazz Band

26th October 2016dscn1128

Lizy Exell leader/drums
Will Scott – reeds
Mike Soper – trumpet
Andrew Oliver – piano
Louis Thomas – bass

An outstanding session and the evening definitely goes into the “one of the best nights” in the history of our club programmes. The band performed with ease and passion and crafted some of the favourite tunes from the 20’s and 30’s and blended them with their own compositions so excellently. They are certainly very talented in what they do and achieve and they deserve much acclaim.

The band’s latest CD is called “The Sparrow” and their compositions played are all listed on this album. Throughout the evening their repertoire was well mixed with the tunes we knew with their own numbers. From their CD they played Sparrow, Eternal Sunshine, Boatyard Blues, Passion Wings, Treasure, Feverish Blues, Sancy Strut and Ledra Street Stomp which they use as their signature sign off tune.

I especially liked these numbers as they have been carefully composed and contain beautiful harmonies and differing tempos.

The favourites we listened to were Weary Blues, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Jelly Roll Blues, Muskrat Ramble, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Shim Me Sha Wabble by Spencer Williams.

dscn1126For me the outstanding tunes were Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – it was beautiful, Boatyard Blues for its trumpet and clarinet intro and up-tempo rhythm, Treasure for the lovely harmonies, Feverish Blues as it was an excellent arrangement with varying tempos and had a bass solo played with the bow and lastly Sancy Strut a jolly tune.

The applause at the end resulted in an encore which was called Grandma Iris – a tune written by Lizy for her Grandma Iris and what a way to end our evening.

We really enjoyed the freshness that the band brings to their repertoire and indeed to their performance and they will be back again next year by popular demand.

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