Club Reviews

Kevin Grenfell’s International Jazz Giants

Wednesday 27th April 2016

Kevin Grenfells Int Band.smallKevin Grenfell – trombone, trumpet & vocals
Paul Harrison – reeds
Phil Nice – keyboard
Jim Swinnerton – double bass
Graham Smith – drums

Kevin put together this group of musicians for the purpose of a ten day tour around jazz clubs in all corners of the UK – they certainly covered some mileage and that was just the three members who reside in the UK !! Paul Harrison and Phil Nice are both Brits who now live in Denmark (where they are very busy and popular on the jazz scene there) had obviously covered more miles before they started !!

We were pleased to be able to engage the band as part of their tour and had the privilege of listening to some great music all played with gusto and enthusiasm. As always there is never a dull moment with Kevin on stage and he was on form for the session with his wit and stories (believe all at your will)

Kevin and PaulBogalusa Strut and Mr Sandman began the first set followed by Creole Jazz or as Paul says Queer Old Jazz (I like that better). With Kevin on trumpet we listened to a tune not heard before and was discovered on an old cassette by Paul – it was called Sleeping Tiger and a lovely tune too. Sweet Georgia Brown had a vocal from Phil and four bar breaks with bass and drums followed by Fidgety Feet and a fabulous bass solo from Jim and Kevin picking up the tambourine. A feature from Phil was the theme tune used on Film Night with Barry Norman and a tune sung by Nina Simone called I Wish I Knew How it Feels to be Free – great tune with keyboard, bass and drums trio. Kevin sang Fats Waller number It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie bringing us nicely to the end of the first set. Tak or thank you as Paul says !!

The second set was equally as good as the first with more energetic tunes played such as Cabaret, Struttin with Some BBQ which was a feature for Paul, Some Day You’ll be Sorry which Kevin dedicated to a lady at the front and adapting the words accordingly (caution – never speak or move when Kevin’s on stage), a solo feature from Phil which was Roll Around Heaven All Day and followed by Perdido Street Stomp – this became Rock Around the Clock I’m sure! Sweet Sue next and Jim’s bass was steaming – what a solo – brilliant and I wish we had recorded it. Up a Lazy River was probably the slowest number of the evening but then the tempo picked up again with a twelve bar blues which turned into Shake Rattle & Roll – it sure did – before the band played their final sign off number of Bye Bye Blackbird.

An entertaining evening for a great audience (some listening to the band for a second time – thank you for supporting the jazz) and everyone went home happy.

That’s what we like. Mange Tak !

Pedigree Jazz Band – A Tribute to Trad Jazz

Wednesday 30th March 2016Pedigree Jazz Band

Chris Walker – clarinet, leader
Graham Trevarton – trumpet
Tony Mann – trombone
John Noddings – banjo/guitar
Ken Ames – bass
Colin Larn – drums

We had the opportunity to invite the Pedigree Jazz Band to make their debut visit to the club as they were en route to their sponsors Marstons Brewery in Burton the following day. We were taken back in time to the era of the great bands of Barber, Bilk and Ball and enjoyed listening to some of the arrangements played by these bands but all given their own personal “Pedigree” touches. It was an informative and nostalgic evening and we reminisced with some of the lesser know tunes too.

The first set tunes were:- Bourbon Street, Livery Stable Blues (complete with animal noises), Do You Know What it Means, It’s Tight Like That with a vocal from John Noddings, Blaze Away with some beautiful harmonies, Lonesome a Monty Sunshine tune played on clarinet, guitar and bass and joined by trombone,
Buona Sera a 1960’s hit tune, William Tell Overture or the theme tune for the Lone Ranger which was a tune played by the Dutch Swing College Band, Tansy a beautiful tune and 1960’s hit for the Alex Welsh Band, Green Leaves of Summer, Bugle Boy March played by Graham – a trumpet intro and bugle solo – excellent and the set finished with Under the Double Eagle.

High Society got the second set off to a rousing start followed by I Love You Samantha, a Terry Lightfoot tune There is a Tavern in the Town which Colin sang, Chimes Blues, Shout ‘Em Aunt Tillie, I’m Shy Mary Ellen, Meet Me on the Back Porch a vocal from Graham using his own words!!, Kenny Ball Jazzmen’s Sukiyaki – a Japanese title with no relevance to the songs lyrics, Autumn Leaves a trombone and rhythm section feature – beautiful, True Love with vocal from Colin, A Night in Moscow, Summerset played by Chris on clarinet and John on guitar followed by Stranger on the Shore – were two tune paying a tribute to Acker with The World is Waiting for the Sunrise a Barber number from 1954 brought the evening to a close.

This entertaining evening was enjoyed by again a high capacity audience.

Thank you to everyone for continuing to support our efforts in promoting jazz in Pershore.

Tad Newton’s Jazz Friends

Wednesday 24th February 2016

Tad Newton – trombone/vocalsTNJF Feb16 1
Gary Wood – trumpet/vocals
Trevor Whiting – reeds
Tomas Pedersen – bass
Alan Haughton – piano
Ronnie Fenn – drums

The band made their debut visit to the club and performed to an almost full house. They provided an eclectic repertoire, which was entertaining and different in the fact that tunes played were familiar standards and ones not often heard too.

The evening went as follows – Hiya was their first tune followed by Canal Street Blues and Bei Meir Bist Du Schon, which included a lovely solo played by Trevor and backed by drums. Song For My Father was a tune by Horace Silver who was an American Jazz pianist, bandleader and arranger who died in 2014 at the age of 85. Mamas Gone Goodbye followed this with a vocal from Tad and a trumpet solo from Gary. The next number was dedicated to Zsa Zsa Gabor as it was called Change Partners – a lovely tune written by Irving Berlin in 1938 for the film Carefree. Have You Seen Miss Jones with vocals from Tad and a great bass solo and Tin Tin Deo a Dizzy Gillespie tune brought us to the last number for the first set. It was 9.20 Special a tune recorded by Count Basie & his Orchestra.

TNJF Feb 16 Photo 2Oh Baby started the second set with In a Mellow Tone, a Duke Ellington tune and Isle of Capri, a tune made popular by the Chris Barber Band. The stage was over to the rhythm section trio for Lady Be Good a 1924 song by the Gershwin brothers George and Ira. The popular standard Jeepers Creepers and another lovely vocal from Tad followed Duke Ellington’s tune What Am I Here For. It was Gary’s turn next to delight us with his vocals on Come Fly With Me, a tune written for Frank Sinatra and this was the title track of the 1958 album of the same name. The next tune Watermelon Man was brilliant and my favourite of the night, a Herbie Hancock standard first released on his debut album and this brought us sadly to the last tune of the evening and Tad called for audience participation. Thankfully they joined in with All The Cats Join In, which was a great finish to a splendid evening.

Thank you Tad and the band for an entertaining evening.

Sarah Smith Quartet

Sarah Smith

Photo David Thomas Jazz Pix

Wednesday 27th January 2016

Sarah Smith – violin
Andy MacKenzie – guitar
Dominic Ashworth – guitar
Greg Robley – bass

We certainly started the year in style with Sarah and her band – the evening was very entertaining, with top class musicianship, great stage presence and audience participation was second to none. It was Gypsy Jazz of Grappelli and Reinhardt, with Celtic Airs and Standards played with authentic passion, flare and virtuosity.

photoThis is a new line up for Sarah and definitely a winning combination as these talented musicians gel so well together. It was fortuitous booking this genre of jazz for January as it would have been Stéphane Grappelli’s birthday on 28th – so the tunes that he had played were enjoyed by us all during the evening. The band’s repertoire was varied and included two tunes that Sarah had composed herself, which even more highlighted her talent.

Sarah Smith Quartet plus Graham Smith

Sarah Smith Quartet plus Graham Smith

Graham was invited to play snare drum in the second set for a couple of numbers and he relished this opportunity to play with these accomplished musicians.

The two tunes Sarah had composed were Clara’s Theme and Dragon Fly – Clara’s Theme was a Celtic Air in origin and Dragonfly was in waltz time. Tune bites can be listened to on Sarah’s website if you are interested in hearing these again.

Other outstanding tunes were Putting on the Ritz, My Sweet Valentine, Minor Swing, Daphne and finishing the first set with a combination tune of Caravan and Tico Tico.

How High the Moon, Them There Eyes, Dark Eyes and Sweet Georgia Brown graced the second set and brought the evening to a far too quick finish – we could have listened to so much more if we’d more hours in the day!

In addition to the two tunes composed by Sarah the other highlight for me was the tune Black Orpheus – a number with just the two maestros Andy and Dominic on their guitars and watching them interact together was as good as listening to the tune itself. It was a superb demonstration of their mastership of their instruments.

In fact the whole evening had been as much about the passion these musicians have for the instruments they play as well as the tunes they played. Definitely an evening out of the top drawer!!

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