Club Reviews

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!!


Wednesday 9th December 2015TJ2

TJ Johnson piano,vocals
Al Nicholls sax
Jay Darwish bass
Tony Pitt banjo, guitar
Wesley Gibbens drums

We had perfection on Wednesday night at the last club session for 2015 and it will be hard to beat a night like this that’s for sure! The audience loved every minute from start to finish and the music and band were outstanding. It was another night where we wished that we had more hours in the night!!

It was also our fish and chip supper (yummy as always) so being busy with other things I didn’t get the chance to jot down the tunes that we listened to but the repertoire was great and the atmosphere in the room was electric.


We thank TJ and the band for travelling up to Pershore to entertain us and we look forward to seeing them again next year when they have been booked to appear on Saturday and Sunday at the festival in August. Another reason to get your ticket early!!!!

Charity Handover

Graham Smith presented a cheque to Val Wood, Chairman of Wychavon District Council, for her charity this year, which is Dementia UK. We raised £160 during the last two club nights by selling raffle tickets for two Christmas Hampers. The lucky winners were Daphne Hazell and Sally Sharp. A big thank you to everyone who bought tickets to support this charity.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all from Pershore Jazz Committee and we look forward to your support for 2016 and more fun.


Amy Roberts Quintet

Wednesday 25th November 2015Amy Roberts 1

Amy Roberts reeds
Ian Bateman trombone/flugelbone
Paul Sawtell piano
Bill Coleman bass
Jack Cotterill drums


This was once again a top class performance from a quintet formulated by Amy especially for our session at Pershore Jazz Club. It was unfortunate that Tom Kincaid was unable to fulfill the gig but in his place we enjoyed the splendid talent of Paul Sawtell who made his first visit to the club.

We enjoyed a varied programme of tunes and were re-acquainted with Amy’s sense of humour throughout the evening. Tunes played were the opening number “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Black & Blue” which Amy said would make us all depressed so it livened up again with “S’Wonderful” and “But Beautiful” played by Ian. “Pennies From Heaven” with Amy on flute was followed by a request of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, which Amy played backed by the rhythm section. The first set finished with the great tune “Christopher Columbus”.

The second set tunes were “Lady Be Good”, “You Took Advantage of Me”, “Sweet Sue”, “Come Fly with Me” by Ian, “Basin Street Blues”, an excellent rhythm section trio of “I’m Old Fashioned” brought us to the penultimate tune – the lovely “Black Orpheus”. The band’s final number was “Sweet Georgia Brown”.

The evening went by in a flash and we wished that they could have played longer but we thoroughly enjoyed this session. Another bonus for the club and the band was that for our second time in our new venue we exceeded the attendance of 100! Please keep supporting your jazz at Pershore JC and making it possible for us to bring it to you!Amy Roberts 2


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