SPIRIT OF NEW ORLEANS

Information & Photographs kindly supplied by Stan Ward & Andrew Liddle

 

Spirit of New Orleans, formed in 2006, is an exceptional band that is right up with the very best - and would undoubtedly have won greater recognition as such if the individual members were more inclined to travel farther afield. Instead, they are happy to play for their staunch regulars at Delph Band Club, nestled in a valley beneath the Pennine hills, every Friday night, and to do occasional prestigious gigs at venues such as Boston Spa, Rotherham Transport Club, Silkstone Lodge and the Leeds Jazz Club. But clearly their reputation goes before them and they have recently accepted bookings for Birmingham Waterworks and the Pickering Jazz Festival. They favour a relaxed New Orleans' style and their repertoire, which includes strong representation of Jelly Roll, Satchmo, Bix and Bunk, with occasional forays into the works of Ellington, Basie and Fats Waller, seems virtually limitless. If there is a good deal of natural understanding between the individual 'Spirits', this owes something to the fact that most of them have been playing together since 1998, as part of the Dave Donohoe Band, which was renamed after the leader's departure to Scotland. It was at that point that Dave Pogson and Mal Horne formed a joint venture to organise band affairs and their approach has been very similar to their predecessor's. If you get chance to see the band at your local venue, you will be in for a great night, with plenty of musical variety, lots of jazz standards, rousing old pop tunes and poignant ballads. Or better still, get up to their alternate Friday hideaway in the pretty village that is situated on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border, only ten minutes from the M62 - with the added bonus of the legendary beef butties at half-time. This 7-piece band, a band for all seasons, will richly entertain you and the locals will make you very welcome.

 


 

 


David Pogson

David Pogson: Trumpet 

Dave is equally at home playing jazz standards, ballads, blues, spirituals or parade tunes, in an unmistakably relaxed, melodic and polished style that owes something to all his acknowledged influences, Louis, Bix, Harry 'Sweets' Eddison and Kenny Baker. His musical career began in brass bands, but he quickly saw the light and joined the local jazzers, The Imperial Jazz Band. After National Service, he teamed up with trombonist Jeff Milner's outfit in Huddersfield and for many years played a hot trumpet in that New Orleans-style band. Later, he played for The Magnolia Jazz Band, formulating the expressive style and developing the diverse repertoire that anybody who went to Gildersome Lodge, now much missed, will remember fondly. Then came the move to Delph, along with Dave Donohoe who had formed a new band. Dave has been much in demand, throughout his career, playing regularly with several bands, including the La Harpe Street, Harmony Hounds and Dave Brennan's Jubilee Jazz Band; and, recently, has guested for, among others, New Orleans Heat and Savannah.

 

Mal Horne: Banjo and Guitar 

Mal is one of the most lyrical and versatile of banjo players, having that rare ability to go way beyond merely laying down the rhythm in order to create melodies of great intricacy and beauty, and the same might well be said of his work on the guitar. Having been inspired, like so many, by the Barber and Colyer bands, he began playing in his native Liverpool with an off-shoot of the Panama Band, then with a band led by Ray Hayes, before the opening of the M62 allowed him to become part of the thriving Manchester scene. In the early 1970s, he joined Dave Donohoe's band and is, of course, still with him many years later. In the mid-1980s, he had the distinction of being invited to tour with a King Oliver tribute band, led by Butch Thompson, with many top British musicians, including Cuff Billett and Alan Shipton. Whilst in America they were featured on the Garrison Keillor radio show from New York. Mal has also played regularly with the Tuxedo Band, in Merseyside for the last 15 years, and is the banjo player of choice for many top bands when a dep is required.


Mal Horne

 


John Brunton

John Brunton: Clarinet and Tenor Sax

John plays clarinet in the New Orleans' way, with a tone rich and forceful, yet delicately expressive. Not surprisingly he spent his youth, that is when he was not playing Football and Cricket, listening to such legendary exponents of his instrument as Johnny Dodds, George Lewis and Albert Burbank. After seeing alto maestro, Captain John Handy at the MSG, he was inspired to also take up the saxophone, which he now plays with strong echoes not only of the Crescent City, but of Rhythm and Blues and Jump bands farther afield. John has played with numerous bands and musicians in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Yorkshire over the last thirty years, and is a member of the Forest New Orleans Jazz Band that plays every Tuesday in Trawden. 

 

Peter Beaumont: Piano

Pete's particularly attractive style of piano playing, unobtrusive, supportive and Blues-orientated, is more that of the great Alton Purnell, than of Jelly Roll, although he justifiably claims both as major influences. Whilst still at school, back in 1960, he formed his first band along with Rod Chambers, before joining Jeff Milner. Over the years, Pete has delighted audiences with his beautifully crafted solos and bravura passages of boogie, while playing for the Magnolia and for some exceptional bands fronted by the late Dennis Brown, Dave Donohoe and Dave Brennan. Much of his time, these days, is taken up with New Orleans Wiggle.


Peter Beaumont

 


Bill Evans

Bill Evans: Drums

You'll never hear Bill thrashing away in the high octane, flamboyant Dixieland style. Instead, he is the master of the whole gamut of New Orleans' rhythms from the parade beat to the pressed roll, and if any one instrument characterises the Spirit of New Orleans' style it is his steady driving of the particularly fine rhythm section. A native of Stoke, he was a founder member of the Trent Valley Stompers, before his day-job took him to Yorkshire and a 14-year stint with Harry Long's Good Time Jazz Band, at the Fleece, in Addingham. He also was one of Ed O'Donnell's longest-serving drummers at the famous Adelphi in Leeds. Bill credits joining Dave Donohoe, some eighteen years ago, with broadening his musical outlook. He has also played regularly with Dave Copperwaite's Louisiana Highway and guests with many top bands, including notably Brian Carrick's and the Rae Brothers.

 

Jim Swinnerton: String Bass

As the son of Jack Swinnerton, the promoter who brought many famous US jazz giants to the MSG in the 1950s and 60s, Jim grew up steeped in the music, so it is not altogether surprising that one so young should have an understanding of the New Orleans' idiom seemingly without bounds. Although still in his early thirties, and full of the energy and enthusiasm of youth that allows him to belt out all those incredible solos, he nevertheless has the assurance and capacity for restraint of some of the veterans he admires, like Pops Foster, Alcide 'Slow Drag' Pavageau and Al Morgan. Jim plays with many bands and is as greatly respected by fellow musicians as he is admired by jazz followers. He plays as often for Spirit of New Orleans as his many commitments allow. 

 


John Muskett

 

John Muskett: String Bass

John's hugely impressive CV includes spells with a good many top bands of differing persuasions, including The Original Dam Jazz Band, The French Quarter, the Chester-based Phoenix Jazzmen, Gypsy Jazz and The Milenburg Boys. He also appears regularly with Bunter's Imperials and Willy's Weepers, and, occasionally, with Ged Hone's Flexijazz, as well as finding time to run his own trio (sometimes a quartet) Cafe Ole and to guest with other bands. His favourite bassists include Ray Brown, Jimmy Blanton, Oscar Pettiford, Scott LaFaro and Jay Leonhart.

 

Mike Taylor - Trombone 

Mike bought a trombone in 1957 when a student at Liverpool University and taught himself to play, featuring in bands in South Yorkshire, where he was born, and later in Lincolnshire. Returning to Sheffield, he found himself much in demand by local bands and, following his retirement as a Chemistry teacher, he joined Dave Brennan's Jubilee Jazz Band. Mike spent five years with them before his burgeoning reputation brought an invitation from New Orleans Heat to fill the vacant trombone chair, where he has earned an ever-growing number of fans at home and internationally. No one can hear this remarkably fine trombonist without being brought immediately to mind of the great Kid Ory. His open-mindedness and adaptability, allowing him to play the full range from classical to revivalist, makes him much in demand and places limitations on his availability. One thing is certain, however: he always plays for Spirit of New Orleans when he can. 

 


Mike Taylor

 

Guest Musicians 

One of the reasons why Spirit of New Orleans continues to appear fresh and spontaneous in their approach is the fact that, where necessary, they make liberal use of guest musicians of a very high pedigree.

 



Click the Play Button to hear the band play  "It's Magic"
from this CD which is still available for 5 plus postage
Please contact jazznorthwest.co.uk@gmail.com for details

 

 Band Contact - Dave Pogson 01484 313720

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