Traditional Jazz in The North West (UK)

 Last updated Monday May 25, 2020 at 11:03:47

Have Fred email the News to you twice weekly -  Send an email with the subject "Add Me",  plus your name,
and you will be added to my mailing list. Your email addresses are never passed on without permission.
My email address is, For anything other than the mailing list, click here
Follow JazzNorthWest on Twitter

Check out

News from
New Orleans

This site began as Traditional Jazz in Lancashire in 1995

May 2020 - KEEP SAFE

25/05/20 - I've just found out that Ewan Bleach of Frog & Henry fame, is doing livestream shows on the internet on Sunday Nights, and I missed the one last night (surprised Norman G didn't tell me). Each week, on Sunday night, from 8pm till 10pm, clarinettist, saxophonist, pianist and singer Ewan Bleach plays old style jazz and ragtime on a live stream via the Facebook page at Jamboree.

24/05/20 - Apologies for bringing this totally non jazz item to your attention, but I've been helping a couple of people with energy bills lately. Energy prices have dropped quite a bit this year, and in both cases, they hadn't noticed their energy company telling them they were no longer on the cheapest tariff. One of those things you don't see or bother to read on your bill. Check it carefully, and if you don't want to switch, or you have a £60 penalty if you do, moving to a cheaper tariff with your current provider in most cases does not invoke that fee. The last one I helped will now be paying £231 less than last year assuming the same consumption. Don't get caught out, check that small print now.

24/05/20 - Great to read about the 23 year old who has taken up Banjo and is interested in music of the 20s & 30s.   As a 39 year old Trumpet and Piano player myself, it's always great to hear about younger people being interested in playing music of that era, hopefully the music will keep going in the future.  I wonder how many of the bands and venues will rise again after the lockdown, I hope most do.  -  Mark Croasdale.  I hope someone comes up with an offer to help, I'm sure you don't get experience  on your own - Fred

24/05/20 - I'd like to say thank you to all the Jazz family who sent me birthday greetings. I didn't realise that Fred's website is so internationally acclaimed. To receive the greetings from various parts of Europe as well as here in U.K, combined with the love and attention of my family, really lifted my spirits in these strange times.
I wish you all good health and good luck and for better times around the corner.  Congratulations for all your hard work, Fred.  - Dave Donohoe

24/05/20 - Re John Critchley's comment about audience clapping on the on-beat, it is Sooooo irritating.  Until latterly (I can't be arxxd any more) if I was in an audience which started doing that I used to clap as loud as I could on the off-beat and stare at people doing it the other way to see if I could make them change.  I don't like audiences joining in while I'm singing either.  When I first sang "I wonder who's kissing her now" I introduced it by saying that many of the audience will know the song, gave some information about composers and origin and then said..... If you feel like joining in, to quote the wise words of Tom Lehrer, 'Please don't'.

24/05/20 - Daniel Burke's mention of Shep's Banjo boys and my reference to Rod Hopton reminded me that Rod also played with them from time to time. - Graham Martindale

24/05/20 - Barrie Marshall sent this for the site, "On Thursday night I decided to play Summertime for the NHS.  I had a go at it for a short while to get it right, with no problems. Then at 8 oclock I went out to play it.  I was really struggling. I was that short of breath, I almost had to stop.  I went back inside and had to sit down to get my breath. This  breathing problem came on very quickly. Because I also had a swollen leg I contacted my surgery the next day and told the doctor my symptoms.  He wanted to see me at once and he asked questions, did some tests, and rang the hospital. Next thing I was in an ambulance. It seemds I have a Pulmonary Embolism, a clot in the lungs. They injected me to stop the clot getting bigger and I have some anticoagulant tablets to take, I asked the doctor if it was life threatening she said no. I was able to go home, they know I live on my own and carer's have not been arranged so I'm assuming it's hopefully not very serious.  Some good stuff came out of it, I had an ECG, it was OK, my heart was OK, the doctor tested my lungs, I asked her the result, she said perfect".

24/05/20 - As you probably read, I've been going through my old cassette tapes as part of a clear-out. I came across one yesterday, not a commercial tape, and not in my handwriting, which said, "The Saints - Unreleased BBC Show".  It was indeed a recording of the Saints Jazz Band recorded in Manchester. Whilst on a cassette tape, the crackle on it would suggest that it was copied from vinyl. I can only think it might have been sent to me by Merton Kaufman from Canada. Does anybody know anything about the original recording? You can find it on The Lost Tapes

24/05/20 - Mike Lunn was playing with my new band a few months ago and he recently sent me his new composition and also sent me the chords which I have now put in Band In A Box, so I have a backing track to play along with ‘Covid 19 Blues’. Great piano player, banjo, guitar and ukulele player. - Mike lovell

24/05/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Malcolm Hogarth on Tuesday, and to Bruce Carnaffin & Dave Dixson on Wednesday.

24/05/20 - I'm sure many of you are by now getting a little fed up with the lockdown, and could do with some cheering. Well wait no more. Jazz musician and all round entertainer, Derek Harrison has made a series of videos inspired by Covid-19 and gives a twist to some old favourite tunes. Check them out here

23/05/20 - Daniel Burke is looking to play with some people (once the whole coronavirus situation has been lifted) and says, "I've started to learn the tenor banjo recently, and learning/playing with Howard Shepherd from Sheps Banjo Boys".  He asks, "Do you know of any bands/people that would be looking for a tenor banjo to play with them? Like I said, I'm fairly new to it, but love the instrument so keen to play with others to improve, etc.  I enjoy all the tunes from the 1920s/30s, Bye Bye Blues, Ain't She Sweet, that sort of thing. I'm 23 from Manchester and I can drive too. His contact details and is mobile number is 07508 015346

22/05/20 - Derek Harrison has also been passing the time away writing topical words to well known songs.  'Forty Days In Lockdown'  is his  20th such venture, and he hopes you'll enjoy this one and it makes you smile?! 

22/05/20 - Many of you will remember pianist/banjo player Mike Lunn from the Cabin days in the Lakes, and his occasional appearance at the Whitewater Hotel. Now down in the South West, he sent Barrie Marshall a link who in turn, passed it on to me. It's a video with music composed and played by Mike and called - The Covid-19 Blues

22/05/20 - I’m always niggled at the way audiences invariably clap on the on-beat and miss the whole swing of things, whether it’s the moronic clapping on “Strictly Come Dancing”, rock gigs which I’ve been to, or jazz audiences, who profess to love and understand the music, yet are really perplexed if a band member start to clap on the off-beat. If only we were as clever as Harry Connick Jnr on this clip! Watch the drummer’s arms fly up in ecstasy as he flips the totally unaware audience - Jon Critchley

22/05/20 - My thanks to Liam Byrne for the following information - Here is the Andy Schumm video you couldn't find yesterday.  - Liam

22/05/20 - As jazz promoter Norman Gibson's wife Meryl has been at home in the care of the Lancaster Hospice team, Norman has asked me to mention  Norman says, "As charities, at this time, are unable to carry out their usual open fund raising events, this is an extremely important North West service. Meryl is getting amazing help and care from the Lancaster Hospice Pallative Care team. It is one of the charities we support, and Michael and Kerry, with their friends, have been assisting in fund raising events quite a lot in recent years. Meryl, very bravely I have to say, agreed to be interviewed on video and will appear somewhere in this streaming event 8pm to 10pm on Monday 25th. May. The showing will be entertaining as last year's theatre show was".    Our best wishes go to Meryl and of course to Norman and his family.

22/05/20 - Special birthday wishes today go to someone who's band I've always enjoyed listening to, a stalwart of the NW New Orleans Jazz Scene - Dave Donohoe, who today celebrates his 80th birthday. Happy Birthday Dave and congratulations on your 80th. If you want to send Dave a message, you'll find his email address on this page

21/05/20 - I've listened to just a bit so far of the French Quarter Band at Fallowfield Bowling Club. Oh how I wish I'd had a decent recorder when I was travelling around playing in the 80's and 90's. The quality of that tape is so much better than what I was ever able to produce. The French Quarter played at Fallowfield Bowling Club every week for a long time so it's hard to date the cassette recording but I would say it's prior to 1989. Rod was a regular with the band when I depped in September 1988 in Congleton but not when I depped at Fallowfield in 1990. John Brunton must have been depping for Tom Alker because Tom was the regular clarinet player, certainly for the times when I depped from 1985 to 1993. I have a taped session from a gig at Fallowfield Bowling Club on 11 September 1990. The band is Copper & Les, Tom Alker on clarinet, me on drums. It sounds very much like Jack Jenkinson's trombone phrasing but there are none of his vocals in the session which is unusual. I'm pretty sure it was Pete Whitehead on bass. John Featherstone is on piano, the first and only time I heard a piano with the French Quarter Band. I've attached the last number from the gig - A Hymn for Chester Zardis (actually The Old Rugged Cross) who had just died. If you manage to play it through to the end, don't miss Les's comments.

21/05/20 - A week ago Mike Walmsley told me, "Another gem on YouTube and is well worth a few minutes, was done by Andy Schunn, he plays Blue Room big band arrangement playing all parts except tuba, it involves him playing all other brass, reeds piano and drums muti tracked and took him 15 days! Enjoy,". Well Mike, if you are reading this, I wasn't able to find it, and all my emails to you have bounced with the message "Your message couldn't be delivered to .... Their inbox is full or it's receiving too much mail at the moment".

20/05/20 - Barrie Marshall has been playing tunes every Thursday night for the NHS, He told me, "I try to find something that happened on that date and find a fitting tune, last week Petite Fleur because Sidney Bechet was born on that date. I was struggling for the 21st then something popped up, I'm going to play Summertime, here is the reason.  To save energy and help the war effort, the Summer Time Act 1916 advanced the clocks in the UK for 1 hour from May 21 until October 1 in the same year. Summer time, or DST, proved so popular that it was named British Summer Time".

20/05/20 - My thanks to Bert Thompson for providing me with the next quiz, number 9. This time you have to match musicians with his or her signature prop.

18/05/20 - Reading Paul’s article of 18/05/20 about standing the same way over the years, it reminded me of a photo of me (front right) in the school orchestra, taken a little over 30 years ago, when I was still getting used to long trousers: I decided that I would adopt the sitting position of Bix in the photo of the Wolverines in 1924 (Thereafter, the similarity sadly dwindled). Incidentally, sat on my right in the photo is my physics master: trombonist Ian Robertson, who ran an after-hours jazz practise at the school. He gave me the sheet music for “Tiger Rag” and said “Come back next week, Critchley”. I did and we played it: all of us started in Bb except me because, not having transposed the sheet music for trumpet I played it a tone out. I thought it was OK but he stopped us and said, “Everything alright, Critchley?” “Yes, why?” I said. Not sure what happened after that. - Jon Critchley. (click on picture for full size version).

18/05/20 - The third cassette tape in the series, "The Lost Tapes" has just been uploaded. This time it's the French Quarter Band playing live at Fallowfield Bowling Club. If you know the date, please let me know. It features John Brunton on reeds, Dave Copperwaite on Trumpet, Rod Hopton on trombone, Annie Hawkins on bass, Ron McKay on drums, and Les Moore on banjo. Quite a line-up. Coincidentally Graham Martindale uploaded a track of the band playing That same old love to YouTube yesterday Recorded in 1993 at Eagley Sports Club, Bolton. It features  David Copperwaite (tpt/vcl), Jack Jenkinson (tbn), John Brunton (clt/sax), Les Moore (bjo), Annie Hawkins (sbs) and Graham Martindale (dms).

18/05/20 - During the Lockdown, I was minded to browse through some of my photo albums and noted the similarities in the two attached pics, taken sixty years apart. My playing stance is still the same. The only differences are the larger waistline and the bigger trombone. The first photo was taken at Temple Tennis Club in Sale whilst I was sitting in with the Phil Howard Band, Phil Howard, piano, Joe Silmon, tenor, Frank Baxter, trumpet, Gerry Cambridge, banjo, Mike Ogden, drums, Pete Smith, bass, Howard Burrows, trombone and myself also on trombone. The second one (click here to view) was shot at The Old Brown Jug in Newcastle where I was depping for Laurie Cooper in Stuart Renn's Beartown Stompers with Howard Murray, tenor, Lily Lynch, bass, Glyn Bennett, trumpet, Brian Woods, drums, Stuart Renn, banjo/guitar and Paul Medina, bass trombone. - Paul Medina

18/05/20 -  Peter Maguire from Brussels writes, "Happy to see your site problems are sorted and the mail continues to roll in. Jazz dead zone here with no prospect of coming alive at this moment in time.  Chris Barber:  I Played with the support band - The Ray River Jazzmen - long ago when I was in the RAF at Yatesbury, Wilts. It was at concert in Swindon. I was in New York at the airport changing planes to make my connection to Florida. Rushing along, trombone in hand, I passed Chris Barber waiting for another connection.  I said "Familiar Face".  He said, quick as a flash "Familiar case !". Best Regards"  PS. Was sad to hear about the Silmon archive. Not a surprise. Families with little or no interest rarely appreciate the importance of such things.

17/05/20 -  "This is one for all the bass players out there!", writes Chris Howse. "Check out the monster we created out of hardboard on a wooden frame with a little help from the trumpet players dad!  This picture was taken in 1963 and we called the band The Reliance Jazz Band- a sort of prototype Harmony Hounds!  Thank goodness we have Colin Turner on Bass Sax now!  As far as I know I'm the only member of the band still playing jazz, don't know what happened to the bass, perhaps one day it will be found in the corner of someone's garage! Seems like people have more time on their hands during this crazy time so it's been good to read the things which have been sent to you. More work for you though !!

17/05/20 -  "I've finally reorganised my mp3 jazz library", says Graham Martindale. ". Even though I say so myself it's one hell of a collection starting from the 1917 ODJB recordings though to the present day. When I eventually join Gabriel at the golden gates (or feel the heat of the other lot) I hope someone will take it (and my photos, autographs, programmes etc.) off my hands and enjoy them all as much as I have. My son has recently started to take more of an interest so maybe it will stay in the family. Otherwise it's a toss-up between the UK National Jazz Archive and the amazing Limoges Jazz Archive which started with Jean-Marie Masse's vast collection. I try to educate my musician friends in the jazz with which I grew up and I send them stuff and put the odd thing on Facebook. I've attached something I did a short while ago which got a reasonable reaction.  A number of your readers may remember pianist Bob Webster, originally know by name his mother insisted he be called ... Arnold. It would be good to know who does remember him.  In my legitimate life away from music, the first property development I ever completed was a small shopping mall in Fingerpost, St Helens and, in a remarkable coincidence, the first time I ever played my drum kit with a jazz band was on 1st March 1968 in the upstairs room of a pub in exactly the same place.  Having heard a couple of my "Jazz Record Requests" on Humph's radio programme, Bob had contacted me and organised that session and he and I went on to play together for many years. One of our bands was "Webster's Washboard Wizards" with whom, as you may surmise, I played washboard although I only brought it out for one or two numbers during a gig. I bought the washboard in a junk shop (they call them antique shops now) in Southport. I still have it and still play it over fifty years later.  I have produced this video from a cassette I found in a box a few days ago. It's myself on washboard and Bob on piano playing in 1975 at what was a regular gig for The Wizards in one of Liverpool's iconic pubs, The Brookhouse on Smithdown Road. Listen to the end to hear some hot washboard breaks !!!   The other "Wizards" were Derek Jones on trumpet and Bernard Bibby on clarinet.  - Graham Martindale

17/05/20 - I've been exchanging emails with Alex Clarke recently, over how she put together that video. Alex told me, "I have been furloughed from my teaching job at the moment, although I’ve just heard today that I’m being released back to work from the 26th in order to help with the care for children of key workers. It will be nice to get back to it again, and have a purpose to get up in the morning! Meanwhile, I’ve actually got a weekend evening job as a Domino’s Pizza delivery cyclist (a career move that I never thought I’d be making!!) - whilst the weather is nice, it’s actually quite pleasant cycling round Warwick, getting some fresh air and exercise". No doubt her frisbee throwing skills have come into good use too!.

16/05/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to John Higham on Monday, Paul Medina on Tuesday, and Peter Fryer on Wednesday.

15/05/20 - Well I've been waiting for it to happen, and I've had one or two questions on the subject. How to record bands during lockdown using multi screen videos?  I had a good idea how it is done, and I've been advising on the pitfalls, because it's not easy due to time delays meaning everybody being out of step. I'm sure you've seen examples on TV where  Zoom/Facetime/Skype calls have sync problems. so it requires each individual, with possibly a backing track, to record separately, and then a video editor to assemble them  Well one band has managed it. John Percival emailed to say, "Like most bands The Dixie Beats have missed - performing, our regular audiences and each other. However, it transpires that within the band are people not just musically talented, but who are also tech geniuses (should that be genii?), so, from our homes, scattered across Bolton, Oldham, Manchester and Warwick, we've put together a little feature which we hope will help keep spirits up".  So who's next?

14/05/20 - Here’s a lovely memory for your page. 1966 Manchester Sports Guild Sheila Collier and the Kid Martyn Ragtime Band with Emanuel Paul on Sax from New Orleans - Barry Martyn Drums, Pete Dwyer Trombone , Brian Turnock Bass. Captain John Handy and Kid Sheik just off the photo with the Barry Martin Band. Thank you for posting Brian Turnock,  who lives in Belgium  - Sheila Collier.     Brian wrote, "1966 at the MSG with all those young Martyn boys; we were all below 30 in those days. Down here like every other musician I am jobless.............and I can't even sell any books either because all of the book markets are close until at least June". Click on photo for larger version.

14/05/20 - The Smoky City cassette tape, "Exactly Like Us". I'm afraid that all I can tell you is that it was recorded in 1994. Thanks for digging it out. - Mike Pembroke

13/05/20 -
Peter Bledge [ likes his hot pot ! ] ' sure has started something ' now. I'm going to suggest the youngest female star musician as Elsa Armengou, she was just turned 7 when the Sant Andreu Jazz Band recorded 'Undecided' 30 Nov 2011 at Palau de Musica Barcelona. She was cute, masterful and unperturbed by the company, and size, of Wycliffe Gordon (tbn) and Jesse Davis (sax). Andrea Motis is in here too, and about 16 then, see video. Should be interesting and I would expect some surprising ladies' names to come up. - Norman Gibson

13/05/20 - I’ve just had an email from Carl Thompson thanking me for sending him the photo of the Climax Jazz Band. He led it in the late 50’s & 60’s. He now lives in the South of France.  He says wonderful memories and sends his good wishes to all his old musician friends. - Peter Swensson.

13/05/20 - Hello Fred, a friend of mine has just published a blog  It charts the career of Mabel Willis-Browne, (1911-2001) with lots of information and photos of the bands she worked with. I know its not strictly JNW material, but may be of general interest. - Peter Jezzard

13/05/20 - Another reference to Peter Bledge's note about Andrea Motis. Some time ago, Trevor Stent put a piece in Just Jazz about the Sant Andreu Jazz Band and their charismatic leader Joan (not Juan) Chamorro. They are a very young band from Barcelona which J C started and still runs and they are sensational. We watch the news at 10.00 then, to lift the depression, we put them on for half an hour before we go to bed. Apart from Andrea Motis, who also plays alto check her out playing 'All too soon' with Jesse Davis, her sister Carla plays guitar and they are just two of a long list of talented and enthusiastic youngsters. Another favourite track is 'Easy Money' a classic big band chart by Benny Carter. Treat yourself and have a look. - Bernard Selby

13/05/20 - Morning Fred, Just to say that I enjoy the quizzes, keep them coming!  By the way, great live Facebook broadcasts from Enrico Tomasso, with various accompanists; well worth a listen!   Cheers - Jon Critchley

12/05/20 - Time for Quiz No.  8. The questions all relate to the deaths of jazz personalities, and once again supplied by Bert Thompson. All the quiz questions are listed here. I've not had much feedback other than when I've made the odd error, so maybe I should make you all ask for the answers then I'll know whether it's worth continuing.

12/05/20 - Re Peter Pledge's reference to top class female musicians, we must not, of course, forget to include our own young Alex Clarke on reeds and flute. If you haven't seen Alex, simply type in "Alex Clarke Jazz" into YouTube. Well worth watching! - Paul Medina. (And of course Amy Roberts - Fred).

12/05/20 - This photograph of the MJB rhythm section was given to me some years ago by bass player Dick Goodwin. He couldn't remember where it was taken. I wonder if any of your eagle-eyed , brain-sharp readers can identify the location. Dick thought it may have been near Southport. Possibly the white piano and stage panelling may hold a clue ?  The photo, c.1960, shows Frank Robinson (pno) Ken ' Nob ' Baldwin (bjo/gtr), Dick Goodwin and Trevor Carlisle (dms) - Bob Lamb

12/05/20 - Whilst my roots are in the love of pure New Orleans music I have a broad appreciation of most styles and I come across Andrea Motis whilst listening to the brilliant tenor sax player Scott Hamilton who was accompanying her. Apart from her endearing vocals her trumpet playing is pretty special. This brought me to reflect ion the number of female musicians playing jazz today at a very high standard. (Looking back I can only think of Kathy Stobart in Humph’s Band).  Now we have Shaye Cohn from Tuba Skinny, Marla Dixon from Shotgun, Molly Reeves from Jazz Vipers, Chloe Feoranzo from Shake em Up and of course Gunhild Carling to name a few. Can we expect a resurgence of New Orleans Jazz The roots are certainly there. - Peter Bledge.

12/05/20 - On the 1st May I uploaded a cassette tape that I'd come across during a clearout, and today I have uploaded the second one. This time it's the Smoky City Jazz Band playing "Exactly Like Us", and I don't know when it was recorded, but it says,  "'Volume 1"'. I hope you enjoy is as much as I did listening to it again. As soon as I heard it I recognised the distinct sound of the late Maurice Gavan, clarinettist and pianist. It was recorded at Eagley Jazz Club's old venue the Sports & Social Club, with the help of Bernard Callaghan. The band disbanded in 2004, although Bill Smith and Mike Pembroke are still going strong.

11/05/20 - Ken Horton, the Savoy Jazzmen’s trombonist sent me this photo of the Liverpool’s Climax Jazz Band taken in the late 50’s. They played in the Cavern, Iron Door, Jakaranda and at various university and college gigs. The band members are Ken Horton trombone, Les Woodhouse bass, Dave Jones clarinet, Carl Thompson trumpet, Dave Martin Piano, Phil Morgan banjo & Tony Brown drums (not on photo) Be lovely if you could post it. Just hope the photo is OK? - Peter Swensson. Click on photo for larger version - Fred

11/05/20 - I was fascinated to see the pic of the bass banjo, made by Gibson, no less. I was also interested to read Paul Medina's comment about the orchestra that he used to conduct, with this instrument as part of the line up. I continue to be amazed by the things that Paul has done in his life time. When I first met him I thought he was 'just' a double bass player!  The main thing I'd like to comment on, however, is the entry on 5 May by Mark Stevens, which touched on my own past experience, in particular the excellent female trio 'Cool Breeze'. They were two sisters called Patti and Rose, plus a third member called Wendy (who had replaced the original member). You may have seen Patti Gold, perhaps not realising, as she went into acting, appearing in popular TV series such as 'Heartbeat', Russ Abbott's 'Madhouse' and Jimmy Cricket's 'And There's More'. Her sister Rose married an ex-professional footballer; a Blackpool player called Phillip Kendrick. He was running a successful cabaret club at the time - the Springfield Hotel in Halkyn. Rose left Cool Breeze but carried on singing with the resident band, and I was recruited to add guitar and write/rewrite arrangements of songs in her keys. Rose, Phil and I became very good friends. Now I know there's not much connection with jazz here, but I have now found out that Patti's husband is Stuart Atkins. He plays piano and trombone, and was the MD of the legendary Batley Variety Club. One of the many great artists to appear there was - of course - Louis Armstrong. A tenuous link, I know, but I hope the story is interesting. Apparently Stuart loves jazz and swing, and he can be heard playing on every Wednesday at Betty's Tea Room in York. Perhaps others know of him? - Alan Jeffs

11/05/20 - My thanks to Peter Eddowes, who rang me tonight to let me know that there was a series called "Jazz" on Freeview Channel 91, PBS America (I had to retune my DVD Recorder to get it on there). Part 1 is  called Jazz: Jazz - Gumbo: Beginnings to 1917.  It was originally broadcast as "Ken Burns - History of Jazz ". A definitive documentary series that begins in the 1890s in New Orleans. I have a feeling, this series, directed by Ken Burns, may have been on Sky Arts, or other channels, but for those of us less fortunate, you'll be pleased to know that part 2 is on tomorrow at  9-15am, 2-20pm & 5-55pm on channel 91.  If you missed part 1, you can watch it here. In fact all episodes are on YouTube if you look carefully.

11/05/20 - What Jon Critchley was too modest to say in his comment about working with the Mags, is that he had/has a terrific harmonising instinct, great ears, and lightning-quick reactions. I can’t think of anyone better suited to stand next to Ken Sims in that band. He’s modest to a fault! - Phil Probert

11/05/20 - Jazz Guide News has issued a Corona Virus Update. “Latest announcement from the Jazz Guide Team:"

11/05/20 - Hi Fred: Good to hear again that first Blue Mags EP that the band made shortly after I joined: No prisoners taken there!  Phil Probert was saying to me that he didn’t remember any band rehearsals when he was in it. I don’t think we ever did when I was in it either: Sometimes during a song at gigs Ken (Sims) used to sing the next cornet break or riff to me whilst we were playing and usually they came off. For more arranged songs such as ”Mabel’s Dream”, “Snake Rag”, or “Sobbin’ Blues”, Ken hand-wrote 4 part harmonies, handed them out as homework! to be learnt for the next gig. Worked well. It was fun. - Jon Critchley

11/05/20 - I've just updated Frank Parr's tribute page with a photograph supplied by Ken Ames, and I also discovered an obituary by his stepson in The Guardian. I didn't realise Frank had a role on television shows including Psychoville (2009) and in films such as The King's Speech (2010).

11/05/20 - "I read with interest the info about the Ashton based Jazz band ‘The Saints’ from the 1950’-60’s. I work in Tameside Local Studies & Archive Centre in Ashton and we’re working from home at the moment answering enquires, writing articles and blogs to put out to our customers at this difficult time. I am just wondering if it would be possible to use a couple of the photographs of The Saints, on the blog, I can reference the website as source. We do have some of the band on our image archive. " - Jill Morris.  You can visit the site and search for Saints Jazz Band to see them. The photographs were supplied in 2001 by Mrs Barbara McNama, wife of the band's original trumpet player, Mike McNama.

10/05/20 - A lovely bit of history now graces the web site. Trevor Stent and Phil Probert, both ex Blue Mags musicians, got together and have recalled their earlier days in Liverpool jazz, with the Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra before they eventually took away to 'foreign parts", lessons that perhaps only the Blue Mags and Liverpool could .teach young musicians. As we all grow old gracefully, and musicians are unable to play at their usual venues, perhaps they could consider doing something similar? Time is short.

10/05/20 - Musician Rosie Harrison from Garstang has posted a lovely video on Facebook. Even if you do not have a Facebook Account, you should be able to watch it by clicking "Not Now" at the bottom of the page when asked to sign in, then click on the picture. It's "A collaboration of Tom Kincaid on piano and Rosie on vocal for VE Day. Observing social distancing (about 50 miles!) it's a combined video where Rosie sings, and Tom plays, I'll be seeing you (in all the old familiar places) seemed an apt choice for these strange times. "We hope you enjoy it", says Rosie.

10/05/20 - Many Happy Returns today  to Norman Gibson, jazz promoter/ex-jazz promoter/jazz promoter retired?, who celebrates his  birthday today. Back in January, before Covid-19 took it's grip on the nation, the Frog and Henry boys dropped in at their new abode for lunch, on their way to Kendal Jazz Club. Jim Swinnerton took the opportunity to meet up as well and, as he always keeps his upright bass close, an intimate little playing session ensued. This duet Ewan Bleach/Laurin Habert interpretation of Si Tu Vois Ma Mére (If you see my Mother), was particularly pleasing, and Norman says, "I am glad to be able to share it with fellow locked down jazzers on my 85th birthday".  Other birthdays this week include Darren Lloyd on Monday, Martin Bennett on Tuesday, John Barnes, 93 on Friday if he's still with us?, and Phil Lucas on Saturday. Birthday greetings to you all.


09/05/20 - Seeing Jon's pic of a bass banjo, recalls a time in the 1970's when I used to conduct Showboat - The Macclesfield Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra. They had such a bass banjo.  The orchestra, unusually, was made up of teenagers.They had a very old prewar repertoire and, for the life of me, I can't recall any of the titles. Regardless, I dispensed with that and commissioned the late NDO arranger Pat Nash to write some arrangements specially for the orchestra. The BMG went on to win a few competitions with the likes of numbers such as A Train. Over time, I've lost touch with the members of the orchestra and, regrettably, have no photos of that enjoyable period. - Paul Medina

09/05/20 - At FestJazz a couple years back my wife and I were not only fortunate enough to see Chamorro's full jazz orchestra, but got an invite to spend about a half hour on stage in the wings. That was some experience watching the process of the pre-planned exchange of young musicians, ensuring that all the kids got on-stage time. They were such a massive hit I would expect Trevor to have them back at FestJazz again. It would pay to keep an eye on the website. - Norman Gibson

08/05/20 - Dear Fred, Re: Pete Darwin's mention of Andrea Motis, 06/05/20 -  This gentleman is a genius at teaching children music and jazz. Andrea Motis is just one of many youngsters that have benefitted from his method. There is a great short film The Jazz Kids  that he has produced that shows other youngsters as well of some of the older ones like Andrea (note she has appeared at Ronnie Scotts with her own quintet ). I think music teachers could benefit from his methods. One thing is he puts promising instrumentalists with mature and very good rhythm sections, he gets the kids to sing their parts before playing etc. His small and large bands are well schooled and all seem to be enjoying themselves ++. I note that most of the kids are girls, perhaps then apply themselves better.  Names to mote, Carla Motis guitar, Rita Payes trombone, Alba Armengou trumpet.  Very enjoyable you-tube watching in these ‘Quarantine” days. - Michael Walmsley (Mississauga Ontario)

08/05/20 - Sam Wood writes, "The 75th Anniversary of VE Day is making me feel old - because I can clearly remember the 50th!". To prove it, Sam has sent along some photographs and tells us what happened in 1995. Click here to view it.

08/05/20 - "Just when you thought things couldn't get worse", says Jon Critchley when he sent this image of a Gibson Bass Banjo. Looks like Jon is clearing out the attic of his magazine collection. The Gibson bass banjo first appears as a production model in the June 1930 dealer price list. It was subsequently listed in the dealer price lists until November of 1931, at which time it appears to have been discontinued.

07/05/20 - Re: Blue Mags cassette tape, Loved it. Keep them coming Fred. Never heard this band before, I need to delve deeper into their recording history.- Ron Smith

07/05/20 - "I have today been given permission by a third party to inform you that the very fine Leeds-based trumpeter, Jim Fuller, renowned throughout West Yorkshire & beyond, sadly passed away on April 2nd - Easter Monday - 2018.That there has been such a lapse of time since then is due to Jim’s own wish that news of his death was delayed, as was his prerogative. His partner, Dorothy, has now conveyed that it can be made public, and this has been passed on to me by my old friends, Ros and Dave Lewis, who played with Jim for so many years in Martin Boland’s White Eagle Jazz Band....and it is to Ros that any queries should be directed - she knew him much better than I did. You can find her on my Friends portfolio". - Ian Pickles,

07/05/20 - Re: Liverpool Stadium, That photo must have been taken during the second half. My distinct recollection is of empty seats near ringside. Louis came on for the second set and waving to we plebs in the cheaper seats invited us to come on over and fill the ringside seats which we did, vaulting the seats in front. The photo isn't clear but they played off a revolving stage. - Bob Lamb. 

I was a steward at Louis's Stadium concert. The band was on a revolving stage, so it faced only part of the audience at any one time. As a steward I was able to walk continuously around a circular aisle and able to be in front of the band the whole time. My daughter Louise (named after Louis) had been born a few days before the concert. Louis gave me a photograph, which I still have, signed 'To Louise, from Godfather Louis Armstrong.' - Steve Voce

07/05/20 - During my fledgling jazz piano career l played a few gigs with Joe, l seem to recall that his baritone sax was almost as tall as he was! I tended to steer away from playing mainstream jazz and ended up on the cabaret circuit for a few years. I remember Dad (Jack Florin), coming to a concert he reviewed for the MEN. I was playing piano in a band backing The Bachelors. Also on the bill was a girl group called Cool Breeze. Dad's review began...... Normally I wouldn't cross the street to see this act, but having a parental interest l felt duty bound to. Representing the glamour aspect was a female vocal group named Cool Breeze. May l suggest a change of name to The Hurricanes might be more appropriate together with the recommendation that the audience bring their own ear plugs. Joe, by the way was a great player, very melodic and equally at home on all the saxes, clarinet and flute.   Another well known name is Terry Brunt trombonist extraordinaire and wearer of florid scarves who is still playing. He has played with a number of bands, Tame Valley Stompers, Golden River City Jazz Band and the Jazz Gentlemen to name three. I mention his name because as a young teenager he invited me to play Sunday League football in his team called Ladybrook Lads. We were never going to challenge the likes of Man City, but Terry was an uncompromising centre half who always used to apologise to the opposing players if he tackled them. At that time (circa 1968) l had no idea of his musical talents. It wasn't until many years later that l found out...... from my Dad!  I also remember Gordon Robinson giving me regular lifts in his red clapped out Triumph Spitfire to watch the Alan Hare Big Band in Didsbury on Monday nights. Gordon of course played with Alan's band. He always got me home in time to watch Elliot Ness and the Untouchables on ITV. - Mark Stevens

07/05/20 - re Howard Murray's letter about Jack Florin. I too was featured in his Solo Slot way back in 1959 when I played for the Jazz Aces at the Thatched House in Manchester. Talk about feeling famous ! He had a colleague who wrote a column in the Evening Chronicle calling himself Dave Duke ( Douglas Ennefer ) As I understand it when Alan died the late Joe Silmon inherited all his library. What happened to it when Joe died I don't know but it is ( was )? an important record of jazz in the NW. -  Moe Green. (Paul Medina and myself both tried to find out what was happening to Joe's collection from the family, but unfortunately we never got far. - Fred). In the 1950’s I had a band ambitiously called “The Barrie Quilliam All Stars”. After coming to hear us he commented in his column “ How many of the band members are Stars ? “ . He was right as we were all unknown. - Barrie Quilliam

07/05/20 - T J Johnson and Dominic Halpin have both got 'front room' shows on facebook (TJ also on his website) if any of your readers like their kind of music.  Also 'The Jive Aces' have a 1hr show on Facebook called 'Jivestream' every night at 8-30pm - the 50th last night since lockdown and previous shows still available to see - Gunhild Carling guesting tonight. If you're short of birthdays for this week Ian Clarkson (Jive Aces Leader) is Thurs 7/5 - and if you're very short I hit the big EIGHT ONE yesterday! -  Alec Crow, Bedale and Northallerton Jazz and Swing

06/05/20 - I was wondering has any N.W. jazz fans ever heard of Andrea Motis or her mentor Joan Chamorrow (John Muskett mentioned her in 2016 - Fred). Chamorrow is the music director at St Andreas School in Barcelona . Not sure if this is up your street. Not Traditional Jazz but a lot of talented kids from this place. -  Pete Darwin.

06/05/20 - Allan Wilcox sent this message to accompany the announcement of the death of Barry Palser.  "Dear Fred, I am forwarding a message I received this morning announcing the death on Monday of Barry Palser, a trombonist who had led the Cambridge/Huntington- based Savoy Jazz Men since 1959. Not a north-west band then, but they played in this area several times and we had lots of musician friends in common. (For example, Louis Lince was his regular banjo player at one stage, and I've played Burton Jazz Club with him annually since 2006.)    Barry was a big man in every respect, warmly generous with a big personality, a big tone and a big voice, but he could also sing and play quietly and lyrically, and bring tears to your eyes. I first met him twenty-one years ago while living in Holland: he needed a European bass player for the Bergen-aan-Zee festival (to make the travel economical); someone gave him my details, and we played the same festival annually for several years afterwards - including the night before our move back to Britain! Without a bass-player Barry and the rest of the band could all squeeze into one vehicle, driven by Bridget, Barry's wife and the band's roady, who survives him. There is only one road into Bergen, and one of my favourite stories is of how a young Dutch policewoman was standing on that road and stopping all the drivers leaving Bergen at the end of the festival. She tapped on Barry's window and asked him whether he had had anything to drink. 'Oh yes,' he said in his big voice. 'I've have had lots. I've been drinking all day.' 'Then I must ask you to step out of the car,' she tentatively replied. 'You can ask me to do anything you like, my dear, but [indicating Bridget on the other side of the car] she's the one who's driving.'  Thank you again, Fred - for everything you do". Photo courtesy of Farnborough Jazz Club.

06/05/20 - This message has been passed on to me by Allan Wilcox - "Dear colleagues, friends and acquaintances of Mr Barry Palser,  It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Barry in the early hours of Monday 4 May 2020. Bridget was near by. Barry warmed many hearts with his music, spirit and banter, and he will be remembered with great fondness by all who knew him. I am aware that some of you will have had this news already, through Barry's vast network of friends. Bridget is coping well and is surrounded by family.  Further arrangements are not yet clear and will be complicated by the continuing lockdown. I hope that you are well. Yours Sincerely, Simon Hopkins (Son-in-law) ".

06/05/20 - Time for another quiz. How are you getting on with them, I never know?  This weeks, quiz number 7 is another bunch of NW mixed up musicians. Good luck.

06/05/20 - It seems the Blue Mags cassette tape that I put on the site on May 1st has proved to be very popular, because I received a warning that my download allowance was likely to be exceeded this month, with an extra charge incurred, the biggest downloads being on the three days following it going on the site. I'm hoping I've overcome that by moving the mp3 file to Google Cloud, and linking to it there. It may take a couple of seconds to appear, but If you have any problems playing it, please let me know and if needs be, I'll restore it to the original place.

05/05/20 - Re: "Jack Florin" 29/4/20, He had a regular item in the Manchester Evening News. It was called Solo Spot and usually featured a Jazz Musician from the Manchester Jazz circuit. I was eventually invited (must have been running out of names!) I really felt that I'd made it.... about 21.. I still a have a glossy copy of the photo. Alan Stevens had an office somewhere in Mc/r where he interviewed and photographed me but I've no idea where it was. I didn't know Manchester then and hardly now!!! I bumped into him from time to time at jazz venues. I think that Solo Spot or something similar was taken over by Chris Lee, whom I never met. Lots of water gone under since then and HOW. That was when you had to go early to get in most venues. Black Lion, Thatched House, Bodega, MSG and many others now forgotten, by me at least - Howard Murray

05/05/20 - As an incomer from 1979, I'm intrigued by these references to Liverpool Stadium. The row of numbers above the stage suggest the old half-time score displays at football grounds. Are we talking about Anfield?  - Allan Wilcox. "I’m no scouser, but I think you could go 15 rounds there!" - Jon Critchley, You could, Jon; I’m afraid I’m a bit past it now, but it’s obvious now I look back at the picture. Thank you. - Allan. Merseysippi used to play Monday nights at The Cross Keys, next to the Stadium back in the 70s: used to leave the Liverpool College of Building at 9pm (night school 3 nights a week) and dash down to catch them there. Wonderful. - Jon

04/05/20 - Peter Swensson kindly sent me some photographs taken at Liverpool stadium when Louis Armstrong played there. I've posted them on an existing page called Jazz at Liverpool Stadium

02/05/20 -  This week - No gigs, no birthdays, what is the world coming to?

02/05/20 - You may recall twelve months ago I received an email from Kate Abendstern regarding ways to help her dad, Jack Palmer, to regain some of his zest for life through Jazz. She subsequently wrote to say that he passed away on 17 April. It was a tremendous response I received at the time and I've finally got round to including Jack Palmer on the Tributes Page. There is a photograph on there and I wonder if you can identify the musicians?

02/05/20 - Sid Bailey writes, "If any jazz lovers are searching for a particular book, please contact me let me know as I have been collecting for so long I might just have that volume you have been looking for years, and perhaps we could negotiate a price?  Sid Bailey 01273 430311 or".

02/05/20 - Many Happy Returns of the day to ex leader of the Blue Mags - Trevor Stent, who you can hear playing on the page I uploaded yesterday. Trevor has now seen it and sent this comment - "I was delighted to hear the cassette of the Blue Mags on your site last evening. Absolutely no problem at all as far as I am concerned and I’m certain Roger Hewitt and Les Harris would feel the same. We are very pleased and flattered, in fact!".  Trevor has sent me a useful contact, and some interesting information about the Blue Mags, which I will follow up soon.

01/05/20 - Yesterday was supposed to be de-clutter day, so it started well as I came across more than a hundred floppy disks (remember them?), and loads of cassette tapes. That's when the job stopped because you have to check what's on them don't you?  Some of the cassettes are no longer available I'm sure, so I thought it would be nice to put one on the site once a week. So at the risk of copyright infringement, the first one to go on is "Skeletons In The Cupboard" by the Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra recorded in 1991. Click here for more details.

APRIL 2020

30/04/20 - Ian Royle writes, "This is my son Tony. His daughter (my Grand Daughter) works as an NHS nurse".


30/04/20 - Here at WAC-19, we're marking the anniversary of Duke Ellington's birthday, and International Jazz Day today, with a short story entitled Jam Session. It's not about a jazz band, but it is a very funny story that you might enjoy. Every day, I put a new short story on the site, something to put a smile on readers' faces and lift their spirits. I have been writing all my life and have had many articles and stories published in the past and have written several novels. - Louise Moss

30/04/20 -  Terry Birkinhead writes, "I thought I would let you know that the Savoy Jazzmen celebrate their Diamond Jubilee (60 years) on the 3rd May. There are not many bands in the country that can say that, or that they play to an audience of 150 – even 200 on occasions – once a month at the Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool, since 2012. The band have been playing at Widnes RUFC every Tuesday since 1991, and bandleader Peter Swensson has been with them since October 1960, when he was in short pants .Other band members – Brian Legan (clt/alto), Ken Horton (tbn), Derek Skepper (tpt), Mal Horne (bjo/gtr), John Rothwell (dms) and Linda Rushton and Margaret Hughes (voc.) Founder members Bart Poole (tbn) and George Barnett (clt) are now sadly retired from our music.  Barbara and I have followed them since 1989 and still enjoy their vast and varied repertoire. Sadly, Covid 19 means that we will have to postpone any celebrations for the time being – hopefully not too long.  The  attached photo is of them performing for Lansbury Bridge school at St. Helens on Mardi Gras"

29/04/20 - "Hi, I  am Alan Stevens' (aka Jack Florin) son.  My dad was a renowned jazz critic and well known for his articles in the Manchester Evening News, Melody Maker, Crescendo and many LP cover notes. He played sousaphone in Manchester's first trad band and also in a spin off band called The Tassle Alley Washboard Beaters. He co founded the Sid Lawrence Appreciation Society with a friend called Bob Marr from Bristol. He used to take me as a young teenager to the many concerts and appearances by famous musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Earl Hines, Stefan Grapelli, Maynard Ferguson, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Buddy Rich, Dave Brubeck, Peggy Lee and Louis Armstrong to name a few all at local Manchester venues and the Free Trade Hall. I was also lucky enough to have piano lessons from Alan Hare who taught me about chord shapes and progressions and John Featherstone who taught me stride piano style. It was thanks to my Dad's LP collection that I taught myself boogie woogie by playing along with the likes of Meade Lux Lewis, Jimmy Yancey and Pinetops Smith mostly in the key of C.  I hope you find this info interesting. Kind regards, Mark Stevens". Thanks  Mark, and your dad features on no less than 10 pages on this site, so obviously well respected - Fred

29/04/20 - Twelve months ago I received a tremendous response to an email from Kate Abendstern regarding ways to help her dad, Jack Palmer, to regain some of his zest for life through Jazz. She now writes to say, "It’s with very great sadness that I’m writing now to let you know that he passed away on 17 April. He had been suffering for some time from vascular dementia, which had deteriorated over the course of last year, and I was unable to interest him in anything except from a couple of pieces of music that he had found on the iPad. He did remember you, Barry Aldous, and was pleased that you remembered him. Sadly, he struggled to be able to work any of the technology that would have allowed him to listen to the music that Martin Bennett very kindly brought for him, except when we were there. His funeral is tomorrow in Lytham St Annes. It is our regret that we can’t give him the funeral that he would have wanted, due to the Coronavirus restrictions. He always wanted a procession led by a traditional band.  I’m sorry to bring sad news and I’m so grateful to all of the people who responded so positively to my initial message. I hope that you will say a prayer for him and remember the Jack Palmer Jazz Band.  With love and best wishes and hope that you and your families are staying safe and well".

29/04/20 - Time for this week's quiz, and once again it's from Bert Thompson and Quiz No. 6 is called The Comestible Quiz. 

27/04/20 - There is now a Tribute Page for Jim Flynn. Unfortunately I don't have a photograph of him. If you have one and would like to send it, I'll add it to the page.

27/04/20- "Some news, as a lot of people who visit your site will have known her. Eunice Pye, widow of John Pye, passed away peacefully yesterday aged 91. Eunice was well recognised at the Manchester Sports Guild". - Jim Swinnerton. Eunice is mentioned in Part 2 and Part 9 of Jim's father's articles - The Manchester Sports Guild (M.S.G.) by Jack Swinnerton which are reproduced on the site. In the picture are L-R John Pye, Philip Humphreys, Wild Bill Davison, and Eunice. Taken at Manchester Sports Guild. January 1965. Click on picture for larger version

26/04/20 - An abundance of birthdays this week. Today it's Anthony Mason,  Laurie Cooper and Martyn Sharp's Birthdays. Monday  will see Jon Critchley having a double locked in celebration  when it's his birthday and him and Kay's wedding anniversary. On Wednesday it's the turn of Wilf Jenkinson, Thursday Dave Pogson, Norman Pennington and Sue Parish, and  on Saturday Trevor Stent who this year, unfortunately  won't have the Châteauneuf-du-Faou jazz fest to organise. Birthday greetings to you all.

25/04/20 - Derry City and Strabane District Council have announced the delivery of a virtual City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival.  The annual event was due to take place in venues across the city area next month but was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, Council have instead put together a digital programme that will be broadcast as a live event on the City of Derry Jazz Festival Facebook each day from Thursday May 7th to Sunday May 10th - called the 'Virtual Jazz Festival. Sofa Sessions'.  People will be able to see and hear from their favourite bands and artists, as well as taking part in some jazz dance classes.

25/04/20 - I've had a go at setting this week's quiz myself, so that should be a challenge for you if I've made my usual deliberate mistakes. This time it's an anagram of North West musician's names. Good luck with it.

23/04/20 - NW Jazz musicians Barrie Marshall & Jon Critchley take to the streets on Thursday night to show their support for the NHS and all other front line workers. Well done both of you, and hope there were many more jazz musicians doing the same thing.


23/04/20 - A NW band was approached a couple of months ago by NOMM365, New Orleans Music Meeting based in Holland, inviting the band to enter a competition in which the prize would be a trip to New Orleans all expenses paid. It has now been postponed. Has anyone else heard of it, or been approached?  They have Facebook and Twitter accounts, which doesn't prove a lot, but it seems they were only set up last month. They have an interesting FAQ Page, so is it a case of too good to be true?

23/04/20 - "Hi Fred, I was looking forward to my Trip to the UK and Europe this year but the Virus stuffed that up , maybe next year...Tony Kennedys mention of “The Dixieland Bar” on the Central Pier in Blackpool brings back a lot of memories, my brother Terry and I used to go there after our sessions with the Jack Hawkins band at the Locarno Ballroom in 1971, The Alex Welsh Band” was on one night , what a band ! I remember I got really drunk on that night . my Brother said that because I had a cold that the best thing was a couple of Rum & Peps, I think I had more than two, never mind I survived. my problem was I wasn’t a drinker, Thanks Terry ..Not.. " - Derek Dalton.

22/04/20 - I am very sad having seen this news. I was fortunate to play with Jim in both Alan Pendlebury's band at the Dixieland Bar, Central Pier, Blackpool for the summer, I think in 1971! and also in the Harlem Hot Stompers.  One of the best as a musician and a friend. Our thoughts and prayers here are also with Kath at this time. - Tony Kennedy

22/04/20 - Re: Jim Flynn.  Well ..That disproves the old adage that only the good die young.  What sad news... One of the best drummers and certainly one of the best geezers!     - Great memories of Jim!  - Howard Murray.

21/04/20 - Kath Flynn rang to tell me Jim Flynn passed away yesterday.  He had been battling cancer for a long time.  Jim was the original drummer with the Chicago Teddy Bears  Our thoughts are with Kath at this time, when it is difficult for friends and family to be with her. - Tony Dunleavy

21/04/20 - The May edition of Just Jazz Magazine has landed behind the door. You can see the listing of contents by clicking here

20/04/20 - This message about Fest Jazz from Trevor Stent, "Just to tell you all that we have decided to cancel Fest Jazz 2020 in Brittany. The situation is just too uncertain to risk it. All the other festivals in July in the region have been cancelled and even if the festival was allowed to take place, they will almost certainly insist on everyone wearing masks and standing 2m apart, which is not exactly the kind of atmosphere we want! It’s possible too that older people won’t be allowed to be present which would mean a) we’d lose a lot of ticket money and b) I wouldn’t be allowed to attend (I’d be really fed up!). So rather than take a huge risk financially we have decided to cancel now rather than risk financial meltdown and lose the festival in the future. The transport/entry situation into France for UK people is also uncertain. ! information concerning the repayment of tickets will be published soon on our website.  This has been a terrible disappointment for everybody. We’ve had to lay off our young, paid assistants which is really sad but hopefully we can bounce back next year . The dates will be 23rd – 25th July 2021. Put it in your diaries ! ".

19/04/20 - Many Happy 'Stay At Home' Returns this week to Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, Derek Vaux on Thursday and Eric Brierley and Digby Fairweather on Saturday.

18/04/20 - Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2020 is the latest jazz festival to be called off after running for 42 years.  It was due to take place on 17-26 July.

18/04/20 - "Quarantine Boogie", definitely not written by  Jimmy Yancey, Albert Ammons, or Meade "Lux" Lewis, this is played and written by Ladyva. Wonder if it will last longer than the virus?

18/04/20 - This from "The Lawyer", A lovely example of musicians overcoming obstacles to create something great: Clifford Chance partner Gunnar Sachs and his jazz band, The Bourbon Street Stompers, have recorded the well-known Italian song Bella Ciao from their home offices. So come on NW musicians, how about it?


17/04/20 - Norman Gibson writes, "Trevor Stent tells me that the FestJazz festival end of July has not so far been cancelled. Him, and his team, were hopeful Macron would have included in his excellent speech something to help festival promoters, but failed and they remain in limbo. However, to cheer me up while holed up in isolation, he has sent me this link of the ten members of the Syncopation Society Orchestra ( Berlin ) playing 'Feeling the Spirit' over one of these conferencing computer apps. As they say on the video " We couldn'meet . . . So we didn't " Enjoy".

17/04/20 - Pleased to see that the Wigts have responded to my castigations and a Guestbook page has now been opened on the website:  It appears to be getting some support so pleased that I'm not flogging a loser here. There's a nice, but little-viewed file on YouTube which is timely: Odd to hear Humph introducing, rather than playing in this situation, though.

17/04/20 - Happy Birthday to Chris Barber on 17th 90 years young.  I cannot believe it was 65 years ago when I nipped with him to the Blue Posts Pub behind the 100 Club London. A legend in his own lifetime. - Gerry Travers

17/04/20 - It's the 17th April 2020, and it's Chris Barber's 90th Birthday. Congratulations Chris. If anybody deserved recognition for services to music, it's Chris Barber. Many thanks for years of entertainment, and pleasure. - Fred

16/04/20 - It doesn't pay to try and be clever. I have now created four quizzes to keep you going, but I tried to hide the answers which could only be revealed by highlighting, and in some quizzes I put arrows at each end of the answer to indicate where to highlight. Well the latter fell down because not everybody had the font that showed arrows, and so a substitute font was used which displayed "7" and "8" at each end.  When I asked someone to have a look for me on an iPad, it was obvious that highlighting didn't reveal the answer, and there was doubt over what I meant by "highlighting". So hopefully those who couldn't see the answers will find the latest offering much better. You can see the list and select which quiz you want, and hopefully, the right answers.

15/04/20 - Bert Thompson has kindly supplied me with this week's Quiz No. 4

14/04/20 - Not a lot left to do during 'lockdown' but if you haven't already seen it, there's an interesting evening's entertainment -  Tuba Skinny live stream March 21st , 2020, and it's at Writes John Westwood. - "..... just no audience!". 

13/04/20 - Walter Love's unique Radio Ulster Jazz Club programme of Sunday 12.04.20 featured Lil Armstrong, Louis' wife in the first half and then great American trombonist Big Bill Bissonnette in the second half. Well worth a listen on BBC IPlayer! - David Evans, Rhuddlan.

13/04/20 - "Hello Fred, I hope you are well in these trying times.   I’ve just released a CD which has never been released before which is available for digital download. I’m trying to source a bit of income due to losing everything due to the current circumstances. I’m wondering if you could write a post about it on your site?   The link to the BandCamp where it is for sale is -  and more details are available on my website.   Kind regards, Jack Cotterill". Click on the picture for more detail and click on this link to listen to some of the tracks. It features T J Johnson, Suzanne Mott, Tom Kincaid, Jamie Brownfield, Jim Swinnerton, and of course, Jack Cotterill. From what I've heard so far, there's something for everyone, young or old. - Fred

13/04/20 -  This from Jazz Guide News - Dear Subscribers,  Due to the fluidity of the Coronavirus scenario, we are not sure when the next issue of Jazz Guide will be published.  Once we get the all clear that freedom of movement is restored to normal, we will adjust expiry dates accordingly to ensure you do not miss any issues of Jazz Guide.  We sincerely hope everyone out there is coping with this strange situation, which is a nightmare to us all. ....

13/04/20 - This forwarded by Ken Ames - "It is with great sorrow that I must tell you of the death, last Friday, 16th, of the Dear Brother Richard (Dick) Laurie. After a very short battle, he succumbed to the Coronavirus.  I’m sure that many Brothers knew Dick as a clarinet player and leader of the ‘Elastic Band’ which, for more than 20 years, played on occasional Sunday afternoons at the ‘Half Moon’ pub in Putney.   Dick, who was a very accomplished journalist, also edited and produced his band’s newspaper which he called “Hot News” for more than thirty years.  Requiescat in pace - He will be greatly missed!  Please look after yourselves in these troubled times.  Felicitations,  - Mike Hogh". I saw the Elastic Band when down in London in 2013, and in fact met Dick Laurie there, and passed on greetings from John Westwood who had told mew about the gig. I was also lucky to meet up with John Barnes & his wife there as well. - Fred.

12/04/20 - Many Happy Returns today to Andy Henderson. On Friday, Chris Barber, now in a care home, will celebrate his 90th birthday. Well Done Chris, we all think of you. On Saturday, Jack Wilson will be celebrating his birthday North of the border.

10/04/20 - The New Orleans Rascals have a lot of fans over here, so you might like to post this as a timely reminder of them on this Good Friday - John Westwood.


09/04/20 - Just been having a word with John Meehan, leader of Savannah Jazz Band.  After discussing the doom and gloom of cancelled gigs, and the health and well being of one of the band members, John says he is pleased to say that the bookings he had for Keswick and Kirkcudbright have now been extended to next year so his message is, "Don't give up".

09/04/20 - Not wanting to be controversial I feel the request for help for Keswick Festival should be extended to any Festival, or Jazz Club promoter, who will have all lost money in some shape or other, mainly advertising costs. I understand a festival like Keswick having a problem, but similarly Upton would be the same, and the same again if the plug is pulled on Bude...all stroller type festivals. Until a vaccine is found for this virus, we as a jazz nation could be affected by any restrictions longer than shops and offices. More importantly, a lot of venues, generally Social Clubs or Pubs, will never re-open after we get the all clear, due to closures or bankruptcies, so bang goes a lot of existing Jazz venues in one swoop. Finding replacements will be difficult. Instead of being a doom and gloom merchant, which is how this reads, I’m hoping that most jazzers will become pro-active, in resurrecting our jazz scene, and more importantly recreating a ‘new’ interest in going to hear a live band. Let’s be ready to hit the ground running when the all clear sounds!! I hope jazz fans are taking solace in their record/CD collections or watching ‘live sessions’ on Facebook or YouTube, and again more importantly ‘Tipping’ the bands’ ‘Tip Jar’ (usually through PayPal) to aid their finances at a time when their income has dried up. (Don’t believe a word of the government’s help for self employed), when it comes to musicians, the process is so long winded, that by the time they get a ‘loan’ not ‘benefits’, the could have become homeless and hungry. Some or most of the younger musicians have rent or mortgages to pay and a family to care for, not like a lot of us, having our pensions to fall back upon. So let’s think about helping where it matters. STAY SAFE, BE CAREFUL AND BE VIGILANT!  - Pete Lay

09/04/20 - News has come through that the 2020 Marsden Jazz Festival, due to take place in October, has had to be cancelled. More details here

09/04/20 - Mention of Hawkwind by Ken Ames reminds me of an occasion during a concert at Liverpool's Royal Court. During the interval pee-break ,the young guy zipping up next to me, was awed by the attendance of someone who pre-dated the dinosaurs, and offered me his hand to shake. At least I hoped that's what he had in mind to shake as I was mid-stream at that moment.   Having mixed Dippermouth with bands like The Wonder Stuff , New Model Army and ELP I often compared the liveliness and excitement of the audience and thought wasn't jazz, later trad jazz, was once like this?   Playing the Mersey's late Dick Goodwin, the track Tank from ELP's eponymous first album Emerson,Lake and Palmer. He surprised me, saying Carl Palmer's drumming was terrific or "Going a bit ". I hadn't expected to hear such a compliment for a Prog-Rock band from a trad man. Maybe we should listen with 'good ears' as Charlie Haden said , rather than closed ears.   -  Bob Lamb, Chester

08/04/20 - Quiz number 3 is now available. It's called 'Couples'.  Match musicians to their wives. A quiz set by Bert Thompson

07/04/20 - Answer to Laurie Cooper’s question: The other trombonist on that night was, and still is, Laurie Cooper of course, who could forget his presence? And I wasn’t even there. - Jon Critchley

07/04/20 - The unnamed Trombonist in the picture is of course that very fine player Laurie Cooper who kindly depped for Mike Pembroke who was ill. My sincere apologies Laurie for not noticing the omission. - Ian McCann.-notices

06/04/20 - Hi Fred,  I was leafing through your pages last night & I read with great interest the write up in Just Jazz Magazine of the 50 Years of the Harlem Hot Stompers celebration at Didsbury Cricket Club. It was good to hear that dear John Ronan was in the audience & that Derek & Terry played a trombone spot, but I notice from the photographs that there was another fella on trombone who's face is vaguely familiar but I can't recall his name - no mention in the article. Can anybody help jog my memory please? - Laurie Cooper

06/04/20 - I have just read Jon Critchley's plea about the Emmerdale theme tune.  It's not in 4/4 Jon it is in 8. Try counting it and your frustration will end ! Stay safe everybody.  - Moe Green. 

06/04/20 - Just to let you know that although the link to Jazzology Australia on your site still works fine the site is now home to Swingtime Radio broadcasting trad jazz, swing and music from the twenties through to the fifties 24/7. In these times I am encouraging requests for my daily shows so that jazz fans can remain in touch with each other. If possible could you move Jazzology (now Swingtime Radio) to the music section which would be a more appropriate home. - Peter Cowden (Done - Fred).

05/04/20 -  Regular Keswick goers will have received an email last night explaining the difficulties the organisers now face. As anybody who runs, or has run, jazz events will know, nobody makes money out of them and, if volunteers had to be paid, almost all would make huge losses.  I can't imagine how much effort will have already been put into the organisation of this year's Keswick Jazz Festival and the current situation must be devastating both emotionally and financially. We feel that it is in everybody's best interest to do all that they can to help Ian and his team if we want Keswick to continue. If we don't all do the best that we can, we may find that there will be no jazz festivals next year and a lot less work for jazz musicians. - Bernard and Carole Selby

05/04/20 - Spare a thought this week for Jim Lucas on Monday, and Bill Evans, Mike Hayler and Matt Palmer on Wednesday when they will be celebrating their birthdays in the confines of their homes. I guess I don't need to tell you that there are no mid week daytime gigs this week, in fact there are no gigs full stop!

05/04/20 - With a bit of time on my hands (can't go and choose wallpaper yet), I've been cleaning up the web site. The problem is not getting information on, it's finding and removing information that is no longer relevant yet retaining information that has historical value.  The biggest problem is links to sites that have since closed down, transferred to Facebook, or simply changed address. However I'm getting there, but it would be a lot easier if you find a link that doesn't work, you let me know at the time, so your help in that respect would be most welcome. - Fred

04/04/20 - The 'American Folk Blues Festivals', from 1962 onwards. Brian Smith is looking to produce a summary of Paddy McKiernan's part in it, his 'Jazz Unlimited' concerts and local involvement in jazz generally, as he says it's high time his contribution was emphasised.  He says, "If my idea comes off, I'd love a PHOTO of Paddy, as I've never found one -. plus a BRIEF bit of info on his local progress. I know vaguely of (and was at) his 'Rhythm & The Stars' concert in 1956, which led to his Jazz Unlimited shows, many of which I also saw. I always heard he had been one of those behind The Bodega (which I was only able to visit later, because it was licensed!!) Plus, Mr Smith's was also mentioned, but other than those - and that he ` around 1980/81, I'm sadly ignorant. I'm not seeking a detailed bio, but a brief introductory timeline, to kick it off"  Brian is asking if anyone can help please?  If you can. I'll put you in touch. - Fred

03/04/20 - "I find I have two copies of this monumental book, ‘Big Band Jazz’ by Albert McCarthy, published 1974, 355 pages. One of them came to me from my late friend and avid collector, Roger Millington. I’d be happy to mail the spare copy to anyone seeking to while away the long hours with no live jazz, free of charge".  -  Ken Davies. Drop me an email and I'll pass your email address along - Fred

03/04/20 - If you've read my mini 'biography' (if you can call it that), by Andrew Liddle, you'll know that this site started after listening to Tony's Tradtime on Jazz FM. The program was often followed by "Robert Parker's Jazz Classics in Stereo", and I always wondered how he managed to get such perfect reproduction from old 78s. Now I know. I just watched this video of him at work. as he cleans up Doctor Jazz by Jelly Roll Morton. I don't think I stand a chance with a PC running Audacity and the old 78s I've got in the garage (none of which are jazz). - Fred

03/04/20 - Yesterday I emailed pianist Neville Dickie, whom I watched and heard playing piano some years back at Keswick Jazz Festival, to say I couldn't access his web site and I got this sad reply, "Thanks for the info. My dear wife Pat always dealt with these matters and she passed away in February. I will try and sort it out". It must be an extremely hard time to not only loose your wife, but also your gigs and income at the moment, and my condolences go to Neville and his family". I'm pleased to say that Neville's Dickie's website is now back up and running - Fred

03/04/20 - John Westwood just sent me a link to the Lu Watters Sweets Ballroom Orchestra when reminiscing about a copy of "Stardust" that he had. Well that was a "grass shoot" as far as I am concerned because it led me to Stanford University and the Digital showcases for research and teaching where I found "The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection" and "The Charles N. Huggins Project", an absolute treasure trove and one I can't believe I hadn't come across in the past 25 years. If you were a fan of the West Coast Classic Jazz, e.g. Lu Watters, Turk Murphy etc., start by watching the video at the bottom of the page 

02/04/20 - Re the recent Eel Pie BBC4 TV program .I gather from Heather (Fluff) featured in the original edition of the program and in the Eel Pie Island book published by Francis Lincoln (2009) that her interview on the jazz section was annoyingly cut out this time. The book is well produced and filled with good photography.
I never
thought a member of Hawkwind would refer to Ken Colyer with such awe and respect !! It said much about the influence of jazz on other musicians from differing styles. The lady on the door malapropped rhythm and blues when asked "what was on tonight" informing the enquirer " Rizla Blue ". Roll up folk will know the reference. - Ken Ames

01/04/20 - Just when I thought the change of host for this site had settled down, John Muskett has reported that he is having problems. He tells me, "Norton blocks all attempts of mine to tune in, with dire threats of computer virus, second only in severity to Covid-19". I've given John a few tips, we will see if any of them help.  Interestingly Peter Eddowes had the opposite, he was getting dire warnings on the previous site and they disappeared with the change of host. You can't win!  Let me know if you are having any problems accessing the site as I've stopped updating the backup site now.

01/04/20 - How did you get on with Bert's Quiz?  I've got another one for you now, it's a list of band leader anagrams sent in by Trevor Barnes. Have a go and see how many you can get without cheating.

01/04/20 - I'm no fan of Emmerdale on TV, but it's got a theme song that I've always been able to hum along with: that is, when it was in 3/4 time. But some bright spark too clever for his own good has since decided that it would be better if it was in 4/4 time. I am now completely lost in trying to hum along with it, to the point that it has become almost an obsession. As if I haven't enough to do. Is it just me? Probably. Yours, frustrated of Ashton Hayes : aka Jon Critchley


31/03/20 - In Issue 262 of Just Jazz, there was an article entitled "50 years of the Harlem Hot Stompers", written by Barry Pryme. It's now been reproduced on this site

31/03/20 - Upton Jazz Festival scheduled for June has been cancelled until June next year. Item on Jazz Guide web site

30/03/20 - More photographs and tributes have been added to George Allison's Tribute Page

30/03/20 - As someone who spends a lot of time on a computer, this video rang a bell with me and amused me no end. I think you may just find a moment of self recognition in it.

30/03/20 - In response to my mention of a

 to keep us going, Dundee born drummer, Bert Thomson from California (see Just Jazz, number 96, April 2006), sent in  one of several jazz quizzes he had put together for a jazz club newsletter.  Click here and have a go

30/03/20 - My daughter sent me a text yesterday to ask if I'd seen the programme on Eel Pie Island (she took us there a couple of times in recent years), and it seems it was on BBC4. I hadn't , but soon found it on iPlayer and although I've yet to watch it all, I saw enough to whet my appetite, with shots of Geoff Cole playing, and Ken Colyer's band marching along. Maybe someone who visits this site can remember it all?.  Check it out here.

29/03/20 - Peter Fryer rang me the other day to ask if I'd heard that bass player George Allison had passed away. I had met George some years ago when he was playing with the Société Promenaders, and spoke to him on the telephone from time to time, but the last email I got from him was in Feb 2017 when he told me he had returned to the scene after recovering from a deep vein thrombosis. He was playing that week with the London Swing Orchestra (famous for the signature tune of the Jeeves and Wooster programmes) and was also depping for the Pendle jazzman. Peter has sent me his memories of George and I've started a tribute page, but unfortunately I don't have a photograph. 

29/03/20 - I'm hoping to put together a jazz musical quiz in the near future that should help while away the time, but it might have you scratching your heads. If you want to send me one of your own, I'll try and get it on the site.

29/03/20 - Needless to say, there are no midweek daytime jazz sessions this week or any sessions at all for the foreseeable future I guess. I hope you are all keeping well, and I'm pleased to say that I haven't heard of anyone I know, who has gone down with this terrible virus. Let's hope it stays that way for all of us, but I doubt it. Now we are all stuck in the house, like me you are no doubt hearing those immortal words, "Oh, and something else I've noticed that needs doing".  This is one of those times when your children and grandchildren will be saying in the years to come, "I was there when it happened".

29/03/20 - There are two musicians this week who won't be having birthday parties I guess. Stan Williams on Monday, and Ged Hone on Wednesday but we still wish them both a happy birthday.

25/03/20 - Many Happy Returns tomorrow to Richard Vernon (bs), and on Friday to Bert Schroeder and on Saturday, Ed Lloyd-Hughes and Jon Penn.

25/03/20 - An item in today's 'i' Newspaper from Derek Cole in Shropshire reads, "As I sit here at home, not going beyond the garden, I'm listening to Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore".

25/03/20 - Interesting item in the latest Just Jazz Magazine that Brian Turnock reminded me of - "If you were expecting to see your favourite European band appear at your jazz club in 2021 onwards, then think again! It was announced by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, that EU musicians intending to perform in the UK will (after December, 2020) require a Tier 5 Visa. Which in effect puts bands out of a club's financial resources. The cost has been announced as £244 per musician, i.e. £1484 for a six- piece band (possibly more if there are professional roadies/managers). This should ensure that the UK will never again get the opportunity to enjoy European touring jazz attractions".  "Looks highly likely that the Doc Houlind visit in September will be our farewell tour of the UK", says Brian

24/03/20 - Brian Turnock writes, "Passing the time flicking through some old scrapbooks and came across this photo taken in Oct 1964 when the Keith Smith Climax Band played at Peel Park,which was my first visit to Accrington.  In another mail I am sending you a cutting from the Accrington paper about that evening".  Thanks Brian and I have typed out the text from the cutting as it was showing the ravages of time. There is a page on the site about Accrington Jazz Club, so you can find it there.

24/03/20 - Whilst checking links on my site, I suddenly became aware that some of the music on my pages, especially early pages, was no longer playing. The music files were still located on a site called Onetel which I once used, and which was subsequently taken over by TalkTalk. It seems that somewhere along the way, they took the decision to delete them without letting me know. I'm currently working my way through them and replacing the missing music, which in some cases has been lost forever. So that's me kept busy for a few rainy days.

23/03/20 - Walter Love's first rate 'Jazz Club' programme on Radio Ulster last night featured Pete Allen one of the best clarinettists on the British jazz scene over the years and who I remember playing brilliantly as a teenager with the Bernie Allen Jazz band, his dad's trad band, in the Newbury area in the early 1970s. Pete has a new CD and book out entitled 'On the Beat', a very appropriate title, since he also had a brief stint in the Thames Valley Police before gaining deserved fame, not least in the USA. Well worth a listen on BBC Sounds IPlayer over the next month.  - David Evans, Rhuddlan

23/03/20 - The latest edition of Just Jazz magazine has arrived. Click Here to see a list of contents

21/03/20 -  "No need to tell you that our T J Johnson gig on 2nd May at Bollington Arts is also now cancelled", writes Bernard Selby, but Tim is doing a live broadcast on Facebook this coming Wednesday 25th at 2.00 pm for 45 minutes, if any of your readers are desperate for something approaching live music. I think there will be a link to make a donation, a possible way to help out in these desperate times.

21/03/20 - It's a grim time ahead for us I'm afraid, but spare a thought for those musicians whose livelihood depends on being able to play. It's not difficult to find someone worse off than ourselves in these troubling times.  On a lighter note, my computer magazine arrived today and there was a letter from a Dean Schofield, to tell people that The Goon Show is now available on BBC Radio 4 Extra, and I know a lot of you recall enjoying the show first time round, so something to do whilst stuck in. Equally, there are links to Music and Jazz Videos on my Links Page, and if you can add any more, just let me know.

21/03/20 - I've just been through What's On and cancelled all gigs that were still showing as taking place, up to the end of April as "cancelled until further notice". I was surprised how many there were, meaning I hadn't been notified,  but then I guess it's a foregone conclusion now. Resident Gigs that  have been cancelled, are set to be cancelled forever, as they are recurring events. When (and if),  I'm notified it's back to normal I will restore them.

19/03/20 - Malcolm Holland writes, "Hi Fred, the venue in Nottingham (re Chris Barber) would have been The Elizabethan Ballroom above the Co op in Parliament Street (now Upper Parliament Street probably). The Beatles also played there on March 7th 1963 and also Helen Shapiro was there that year. Strangely enough The Nottingham Rhythm Club 75th anniversary concert featured Sammy Rimington's International Jazz Band (one time Barber reedman) and it is the longest continuous running Jazz club in the country".

19/03/20 - I'm finding it odd that I'm now having to ring some venues to find out if the jazz is still continuing, as I'm not getting a response from some of the band members. At least it's keeping me busy.

18/03/20 - Cancellation are continuing to come in, and several venues are asking me to post messages to fans on their behalf. There are too many for me to be doing this, so I have advised that I will only update What's On for the time being as I doubt anybody needs an explanation as to why cancellations are taking place. There are odd gigs still showing as taking place, and I am trying to get confirmation of those in the meantime. I suspect they haven't got round to letting me know although I have previously emailed all the musicians on my mailing list!.  I realise how many of you rely on this site for information, so as soon as the situation changes I'll let you know. - Fred

17/03/20 - Currently I’m putting together a CD of Chris Barber’s band recorded by Allan Gilmour in Nottingham. The gig was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Nottingham Rhythm Club in June 1963. The Chris Barber discography gives the venue as ‘Elizabethan Hall’, but Allan has written ‘Co-op Hall’ on the tape box. Are these one and the same place? Can anyone supply any information, please? The discography information will have come from Julian Purser, Chris’s archivist, but he sadly died a number of years ago and his archive is not accessible. Chris himself can’t help with any information. - Paul Adams, LAKE Records. (I'll pass contact details on if you can help - Fred).

16/03/20 - Norman Gibson has sent me  copy of a letter from Angela - leader of 'Mama Shakers' which he said, "You may post this in it's entirety if you wish, as it is a sad but really thoughtful and nice letter.". - "It's with great sadness that I have to announce that we have to cancel the UK tour with Mama Shakers.  We are entering a period of confinement in Paris starting tomorrow and it might go on for 45 days.  Such a surreal situation.   We were really looking forward to come. I hope that we can postpone to this autumn, fingers crossed! ". Norman continues, "In view of this, and latest breaking news from our government, I cannot see me being able to run any jazz events at Garstang for the next couple of months. As I also had no intention of promoting an event in August, I am standing down with the sincere hope of getting 'Alligator Gumbo' on stage in September. I wish all jazzers a safe passage through this very troubling period".  More gig cancellations continue to come in, so please check What's On which is being regularly updated.

16/03/20 - "The Doc Houlind Band managed to complete its 15 day UK tour just in time I think", writes Brian Turnock. "The two last gigs in Belgium unfortunately didn't survive.  Providing we all survive we will back in the UK for another 15 days in September with a few gigs north of the Midlands so hope to see a few more of our friends then".

16/03/20 - "An interesting idea from Judy Eames - If we aren't actually "banged up" by then, the pub landlord where we do a monthly lunchtime gig near Oxford is thinking of using the garden from May. Our fans are semi self-isolating and don't need instructions from that "boy" Dominic Cummings Things are going to be desperate for the full time musicians so if we can find ways of getting them some work, outdoor gigs might help a bit".

15/03/20 - Many Happy Returns next Saturday to John Dunlop who was bass player with the Druids Jazz Band many years ago on Merseyside.

15/03/20 - Daytime jazz events this week - Jazz over the Pennines at The Cross keys in York on Thu, 19 March, 13:00 – 15:30 and The High Society jazz Band at Carnforth Station on Fri, 20 March, 12:30 – 14:30

14/03/20 - Jackie Wild writes, "I help out at Chapel Arts, a charity encouraging performing and visual arts in Chapel-en-le-Frith.  Amongst other events, we host 3 or 4 live concerts a year at Chapel Town Hall.  Our jazz concert on Saturday 21st March features Julia Titus and her Pig Foot Band as Ma Bessie's Prohibition Party, poster attached. Julia is a top quality jazz performer and evidently sensational as internationally renown Ma Bessie. She performs all over the country and will be travelling quite a way to perform at Chapel so we want to give her as big an audience as possible and a really warm welcome 'Up North'! ".

14/03/20 - I should like the 'young at heart' Jon be aware of my earlier ambition to see established bands bring young players into their ranks, and tutor and inspire them of the joy of traditional classic New Orleans jazz. It didn't happen much, although Alex Clarke was one good example, also the Rae Brothers Band nurtured Ian Wynne who plays to the same skill and enthusiasm as Tom Kincaid. But where did he have to go to get properly paid ? - France!    For my short spell keeping Jim Swinnerton's JC going, I'm trying to put on a decent mix. The Jeriatrics, 6 with total age about 420 years, played with the spirit of youngsters. In June I want to do a 'Welcome back Brian' ( Brian Carrick has had long illness ) matched up with some of the younger guys. Young Leeds band 'Alligator Gumbo' is provisionally booked for September, and, as Scotland seems to be a haven of rising young bands, I may get one from there for October. By then I will be exhausted, maybe even skint, and I can, hopefully, pleased with myself hand Jim's club back to him in one healthy piece. Like Covid 19 it's in the lap of the Gods.

14/03/20 -  Due to the current circumstances, and with immediate effect, my Good Time Jazz Band will not be playing at The Fleece Inn at Addingham until further notice. - Harry Long. Also The Heron Theatre at Milnthorpe has closed for a minimum of one month, with money refunded to those who have bought tickets, which means the Deco Delight gig on 21st March will not now take place and  Jazz Club 90 at Albrighton Sports and Social Club has closed until further notice. At this rate the News Page is going to be full of cancellation notices, so in future I will just update What's On as they come in. Check it before setting out, and if it isn't shown as cancelled, double check with the venue.

13/03/20 - I think it’s great to see bands like The Mama Shakers, The Tenement Jazz band and the other young bands that the young-at-heart and enthusiastic Norman Gibson champions. However, lets not forget that there are many older bands of equal musicianship and bandsmanship creating exciting jazz, indeed some doing it better (and many a lot worse, it has to be said). Trouble is, these older, more established bands tend to look so b****y miserable while their doing it! Their apparent complacency and lack of animation is probably due to arthritis and them having done it so long that they’ve forgotten who they are playing for: answer is “the audience” and not themselves.   I just hope that these youngsters will create new audiences to play to for many years to come.   Ah well, back to my Balkan vodka for another anti-coronavirus bath. - Jon Critchley

13/03/20 - It’s been decided that owing to current circumstances that the Forest N.O. Band will not be performing at the Union Exchange in Colne until further notice. - Jack Moore

12/03/20 - Sam Ralph was at 'Jazz on a Sunday' to record the Red Stripe Band on camera. You can see the excellent results here

12/03/20 - Hi Fred Please let it be known that, as of today, as I have been so lucky to actually get such an amazing young band as Mama Shakers for Garstang on 26th March, I have no intention of cancelling unless the band themselves decide, or are forced to, cancel. By the way Claughton is a big big hall so we can spread people away from each other a bit !! Maybe not too much 'snugging' up eh !! - Norman Gibson

12/03/20 - The Keswick Jazz & Blues Festival organisers have announced, "We are closely monitoring the current situation regarding the Covid 19 outbreak but, as of Mar 12th, have no intention of cancelling at this stage. All artists are booked, as are the venues, accommodation, stewards etc. Unless the government insists that even small gatherings are to be banned then we will continue as planned.

12/03/20 - Martin Bennett has announced on Facebook that "The virus has struck The Old Green River Band! Ayr Jazz Club has just rung to cancel the band's concert that was to have been the day after tomorrow - Friday the 13th. Sounds like a double whammy. Members of the club have been ringing in to say they won't be attending because of the virus sunami. My immune system is bracing itself up for cancellations now somewhere in the pipeline". Any other clubs feeling the pinch yet? Any other similar cancellations? If you are a regular visitor to a jazz club and have decided not to go for the time being, please let your promoter know, Many clubs are running on a shoestring and I don't know of any NW promoters rich enough to finance a band to play with little or no audience!

11/03/20 - Jack Cotterill is hosting jazz at Sandbach town hall on the evening, 19th of April. It’s going to be a night of Jazz and Blues featuring the world renowned vocalist Denise Gordon. Backed by Tom Kincaid (piano), Jim Swinnerton (bass), Jamie Brownfield (trumpet), and Jack on drums. You can find all the details about the event by visiting his website at  Tickets are £15, and are available from -

10/03/20 - Just to let you know the Parade Jazz Band play at The Black Horse pub lower Heswall every Tuesday 8:30 pm. Next Tuesday it's St Patrick night all welcome, fun & lots of fun and Irish times. - Wendy Neumann

09/03/20 - I was pleased to see that someone has taken the trouble to put all of the "Jazz on a Sunday" gigs at Rochdale into Well done, whoever did it, but you might like to edit the October gig as it currently reads, "An evening of Traditional Jazz with the Roarong Twenties".


08/03/20 - Re: The collection of books:  I bought the King Oliver, so no longer available, although there are some other copies available on that website. - Pete Lay

08/03/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to bass player Colin Smith, and a thought for Janet Rodger, as it would also have been Mart's birthday on the same day.

08/03/20 - Daytime jazz this week includes Lunchtime Jazz at The Royal in Hayfield on Wed, 11 March, 12:00 – 14:30, and Jazz over the Pennines at The Cross keys in York on Thu, 12 March, 13:00 – 15:30.

05/03/20 - Ken Ames suggested I might let you know that I have a collection of Jazz Book Club titles for sale. There are 33 of them and the titles can be seen on at John Cockles Books.  Notable among them is 'Call Him George' with a dedication from George Lewis and 'King Oliver' by Walter C. Allen and Brian A.L. Rust - a biography and definitive discography. I am a life-long fan of New Orleans jazz and at 82 still a practitioner on the cornet. My hero is Ken Colyer. Best Regards - John Cockle

04/03/20 - A Pilgrim tenor banjo 19 fret has gone back on the Sales page with a £100 reduction in price.

04/03/20 - The news of Dave Rae's passing has hit me pretty hard (although I did know just how ill he was), as I had a telephone chat with him earlier in the week before he died. What a really genuine decent man he was. I recalled with him, when he readily agreed to drop in with us at Heysham one Sunday morning, on his way up to one of Jazzy Joan's Sunday night 'does' at the Whitewater. The band played some of those gospel numbers, they were renowned for, at a fundraising service in a little local church. He could only be coaxed to take a small sum for additional fuel. We all had a right good meat and tatty pie lunch, and, as it was a good sunny day as we all walked round our quaint Heysham village. He remembered it well ,and I felt the smile on his face. A true gentleman we will remember forever. Rest in peace Davy. - Norman and Meryl Gibson

03/03/20 - Many of you will have come across the Rae Brothers either at jazz festivals or in the days of the regular Sunday night gigs at The Whitewater Hotel. I was notified and have also read on Facebook, that Dave Rae  passed away at approximately 8.30am on February 25th. His funeral will be on Tuesday, 10th March at 12.15pm at St Oswald's Catholic Church in Wrekenton followed by Saltwell Crematorium, Gateshead at 1.00pm and afterwards at Springwell Village Hall. For anyone wishing to, please make donations to Macmillan Nurses.

03/03/20 - Gerry Salisbury, our Granddad & music legend sadly passed away 9th February this year.  We would love to hear from anyone who worked with Granddad or knew him personally to share their memories with us.  Sandy Brown Jazz have paid tribute. Please can I ask that this invite is extended to all who knew him. If people are unable to attend, we would still love to hear their memories or stories - feel free to send them to Grandad (Gerry’s) funeral will be at St Faith’s Crematorium, Horsham St Faiths, Norfolk on Friday 20th March at 11.45. - Cheryl Stout

03/03/20 - The next session at St Helens Bowling Club will be next Sunday, 8th March at 8 p.m. when the guests will be Dave Dixson (clarinet and sax), Derek Galloway (trombone) and Ed Lee (piano), from The Merseysippi JB, The Temperance Seven and The Chicago Teddybears respectively. All three are also fine vocalists. - Keith Allcock

02/03/20 - You are reading this on the moved web site, you will be pleased to know that the site is now back on a new and hopefully much more reliable home that doesn't go down every other day. I'm sorry you have had to put up with the trials and tribulations over the last month, but hopefully things are now back to normal. Or maybe I shouldn't say that?

01/03/20 - Malcolm Bridge writes, "Barbara and I won't be able to get to Garstang Jazz Club on 26th March to see the Mama Shakers, who we too saw in Brittany in 2018, so I did a bit of searching to find out where else we might see them. Their Facebook page lists their appearances, and all but the last of these are evening performances. Although not listed on their Facebook page, Darlington New Orleans Jazz's website shows them as appearing there at lunchtime on Saturday, 28th. As we don't fancy a late drive back from Boston Spa we are planning a weekend in the Dales to catch them at The Buck".

01/03/20 - Deco Delight are set to play at the Heron Theatre in Beetham, Cumbria, on Saturday 21st March from 7-30pm.  More details here

01/03/20 - Daytime jazz this week for those who don't like cold, dark, wet and windy nights, includes, The Savoy Jazzmen, who are giving a concert in Sefton Park Palm House on Tue, 3 March, 14:00 – 16:00, Café Society who will be appearing at Garstang Jazz Club on Thursday 5 March, 12:00 – 14:30, and there's Jazz over the Pennines at The Cross keys in York on Thu, 5 March, 13:00 – 15:30. Having said that, the weather forecast for this week is much better.

01/03/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Roy Gregory on Monday, Jim West on Tuesday, Rosie Harrison on Wednesday and Roy Williams on Friday.

01/03/20 - The latest edition of Just Jazz Magazine is now out, and there are contributions from Malcolm Hogarth, Andrew Liddle, Bernard Selby, and no less than two letters from Jon Critchley. You can get your regular copy here.


29/02/20 - I thank Tony Talk for his approval of Mama Shakers, and I hope this helps achieve a big turnout as it was for Frog and Henry on two Garstang JC occasions. Having enjoyed some ten hours of their playing at two FestJazz Festivals in Brittany, I am very much aware of how good they are.. It is my hope that I can help Angela to get our other jazz clubs 'up North' to join in an extended tour next year. This special event is having to be held at Claughton Memorial Hall, and should any dancers from Lindy clubs care to turn up, this hall has the room to accommodate them. Spread the word. - Norman Gibson

28/02//20 - Make a note of this web address - . This address is a backup for this site, and until I fix the current problem, I will be duplicating certain pages on there - The Home Page, The News Page, The Main Menu, What's On and the Jazz Club Pages. I consider those to be the most important. Trying to access other pages from the menu will produce a page of adverts as I don't propose to upload the whole site just yet. Hopefully you won't need to use it, but it's there should this page be suspended yet again (probably tomorrow, back on Sunday). 

28/02/20 - The gig list for Bingley Mavericks has been updated

28/02/20 - The Parade Jazz band is moving From the Old Quay Parkgate to The Black Horse, Lower Heswall, Corner of Village Rd. and School Hill CH60 0DP. Our first gig there is Tuesday 3rd March 2020. We are there every Tuesday from then. Time is 8.30 - 11 Pm This venue benefits from enthusiastic management good beer, good food, comfortable surroundings and a really pleasant atmosphere. All are welcome. Look forward to seeing everyone there.- Roy Gregory

28/02/20 -  On Tuesday 25th February, The Savoy Jazzmen hosted a ‘Mardi Gras’ parade – the actual day for ‘Fat Tuesday’ - at Lansbury Bridge Special School, St. Helens, for the 6th successive year. 220 or so children and 130 staff enjoyed the celebration and many joined in the parade in the sports hall, many sporting brollies. The band was warmly appreciated and the band members were thrilled to receive “Mardi Gras” ‘Thank you’ cards made by the pupils from 19 classes. Marvellous!  - Terry Birkinhead. Click on picture for larger version.

28/02/20 - Mama Shakers - Norman Gibson has made a great choice there. Saw them at Upton 2018 and they were outstanding in my view.  Quite the Best and what a super surprise! - Tony Talk

28/02/20 - Undercliffe Cricket Club gig list has been updated

24/02/20 - Norman Gibson has pulled off something of a last minute scoop, he's tapped into the 2020 European Tour of the Parisian band, 'The Mama Shakers'.  "It will be an arduous day for them to do their first ever session up North", says Norman, "I feel privileged that they are prepared to drive nearly 300 miles in one day to fit us in. I've booked a very suitable venue just a short distance away from the usual Garstang Jazz Club venue. Fortunately they are not just all round good musicians, but they are young and they are the amazing. All detailed fliers will be available at the Thursday 5 March ' Cafe Society ' event, when a big turnout would be much appreciated. - Norman Gibson ( stand-in Garstang JC promoter).  I'll post details of the actual venue when Norman lets me have them.

24/02/20 - Nick Dellow conducted an interview with re-mastering engineer and widely respected jazz musician, John R T Davies, in 2002. My thanks to John Westwood for sending me a link to this YouTube recording of the interview, which lasts an hour and forty minutes, so sit back and enjoy.

24/02/20 - "After our short break The DeeSide Dixies will be resuming play at The Hand Hotel, Llangollen, on Sunday 1st March at 12:30pm. We'll have Phil Lucas on trumpet and Liam Byrne on reeds as guests, the stalwarts being Mike Pearce (drums), Isabel Toner (str bs), Andrew Mackenzie (tbn) and myself, Malcolm on piano. As a reminder, it's free entry and a hot carvery is served until 2:30pm. Masks and gloves are permitted for the squeamish!" - Malcolm Hogarth

24/02/20 - Thank you Bryan Taylor (20/02/20), sadly, it was not to be . My sister Patricia passed away recently so all plans had to be changed , Hopefully I will come on another occasion - Best wishes Sheila Collier

24/02/20 - Here's something you don't see or hear very often, a musician depping for his dep!   Barrie Marshall has not been playing for 3 months due to a broken elbow, but was beginning to get back to normal and having the occasional sit in.  He was watching TV thinking about a late breakfast when he got a phone call from his dep, who after having travelled 30 miles and parked up, realised and he had left his clarinet at home. Barrie said he's have a go and did the gig depping for both his dep and himself.

24/02/20 - Make a note of this web address - . That address is a backup for this site, and until I fix the current problem, I will be duplicating certain pages on there. Those pages will be The Home Page, The News Page, The Main Menu, What's On and the Jazz Club Pages. I consider those to be the most important. Trying to access other pages from the menu will produce a page of adverts as I don't propose to upload the whole site just yet. Hopefully you won't need to use it, but it's there should this page be suspended yet again. 

23/02/20 - Daytime jazz this week - The North Euston Orpheans at North Euston Hotel, Fleetwood. Adm £6 on Wed, 26 February, 12:00 – 14:30, and there's Jazz over the Pennines at The Cross keys in York on Thu, 27 February, 13:00 – 15:30.

23/02/10 - Many Happy Returns today to Frank Slater (tbn), and on Wednesday to Jamie Brownfield (tpt).

23/02/20 - Site down again today, one day up, one day down, so it's looking very likely that multiple false visits are being made to the site to result in more than 50,000 hits in a day, in the same way that sites are brought down by Denial of Service (DoS) attacks which take place from time to time. Don't try and understanding it, it happens, it's a strange world out there.

21/02/20 - Apologies once again to those of you who tried to access the web site today. I can assure you I am working hard to get to the bottom of it, and if I don't succeed by the end of the month I'll consider moving the site to another host. There were a lot of headaches last time it moved, and it took a month to sort itself out for some people, so it's a route I'm reluctant to take. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that it's a malicious attempt to bring it down, there's some unsavoury people out there.

20/02/20 - I was hoping to see Sheila Collier at the Edgeworth Jazz Club at Dunscar Con. Club on 17 February, but that gig was cancelled, as she had to be in  Sweden. Hope she will return one day ! - Brian Taylor

20/02/20 - After all my years in Leeds during the late 50's early 60's Ed O'Donnell's music kept a few of us sane as we were fed parrot fashion facts in order to qualify as @doctors. I forget the venue but will never forget his clarinetist whose rendition of ? Muskrat ramble was , frankly, awesome. Memory getting a bit past it at 80 but who was that clarinetist and is there a recording anywhere I could download? He was such a pleasure after Bilk's Syd Bechet copycatting. - David Valentine. You might find Dickie Hawdon's Tribute Page of interest - Fred

19/02/20 - Scottish Jazz Weekend will bring together some of the country’s most talented jazz musicians for four days of concerts, workshops and showcases. The Scottish Jazz Weekend will take place between Friday 21 and Monday 24 February and the previously mentioned Red Hot Rhythm Makers will be playing at Heriot’s Rugby Club and is already sold out!. Over the course of the weekend, 17 concerts will take place at five venues across Edinburgh: The Jazz Bar, The Queen’s Hall, Heriot’s Rugby Club, Teviot Row House and St Brides Centre.

19/02/20 - Is Scotland to be the new UK jazz revival scene?.  First we had the Tenement Jazz Band from Edinburgh, then yesterday I mentioned the  Jerry Forde's New Phoenix Jazz Band. Today I came across The New Orleans-inspired jazz and Hokum blues band -  Red Hot Rhythm Makers, an all female band from Central Scotland. Move over Shake 'em up Jazz Band.

18/02/20 - Sheila Collier writes, "Hi Fred, it is my 80 birthday today . Having a jazz party in Helsingborg Saturday xx"

18/02/20 - "Back in the saddle again".  Maybe you'll hear that being played by The Sun Street Stompers at The Olde John O'Gaunt on 1st March because that's when band leader Barrie Marshall will be playing the gig after having deps in for 3 months because of his broken elbow.

18/02/20 - Unfortunately, many of you will have realised the site went down again yesterday and you were presented with lots of adverts.  It's all down to what are classed as hits, and it's not just page visits, but whatever it includes, I surpassed 50,000 in a day!  I've set myself a target to work it out and sort it by month end, and if not to move the site. That in itself can create a month of problems if last time was anything to go by, so I will be admitting defeat if I do.  Of course I could ask you all to restrict your visits to once a week, but then I'd have to rename it "Old News Page", - No chance!  It will be back tomorrow, let's hope for longer this time.

18/02/20 - With the Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival not far off, I'm pleased to let musicians and listeners know that we'll be running the Guest Sessions again at the Packhorse Inn, Keswick, from 2pm to 5pm on all four days, Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th May.  Its free to get in (and out) of these sessions, and we try to ensure that all participants play, sing or dance for the benefit of the audience and themselves. Come and enjoy yourselves, it's later ......  - Malcolm Hogarth

18/02/20 - It's took a little time to get to watching the video Danny Barker's Birthday Bash at Snug Harbor.  Am I guessing right that your News Page posting 10/02/20 was aimed at me ?  If so, verily I am indeed chuffed.  And I must thank John Westwood as the video brought back some great memories. My sister's partner introduced me to Greg back in 2003 in NOLA, and we spent quite some time in his company, when we two couples were at the French Quarter Jazz festival. We all met up again when Greg played Kewick, when I recall he was a little upset doing the Sunday Jazz Service, that it was the first time he had ever been in a church and didn't sing.  Greg returned my call this evening saying he was pleased we are enjoying the video as it was a great session.  The Original Liberty Jazz Band is still going strong and are at Snug Harbor Feb 28.  He also plays Palm Court Jazz Cafe Wednesdays. He has no plans for a UK visit. but as he will be in Denmark July there could be a possibility !!!  Who knows ?  Would that be a coup him appearing at Garstang JC ?  -  no harm in dreaming ! Thanks again John. - Norman Gibson

18/02/20 - Another band new to me from Scotland is Jerry Forde's New Phoenix Jazz Band. Click on that to see a sea of fresh faces. At the moment their upcoming gigs are centred around Scotland, but who knows, like the Tenement Jazz Band we might just tempt them South of the border.

18/02/20 - For lovers of big band music, and I know some of you are, Allen 'Gus' Gustafson has told me about the The Freddie Smith Big Band. He says it is the premier Big Band on the Wirral, located in Higher Bebington. He says it was set up by in the 1970s by professional sax player Freddie Smith, and the band have been performing all over the Wirral and North West since it's inception. He suggests you should, "Come and hear us play every Wednesday 8.30 - 11pm at Higher Bebington Royal British Legion Teehay Lane Higher Bebington Wirral".  There is a Facebook Page here

18/02/20 - The Tenement Jazz Band made it to Rochdale on Sunday, and were very well received. I heard what I thought was one of the best renditions of Petite Fleur I've heard in a long time. When asked to play something medium-fast, Mike White, a regular at Rochdale, got up to dance at a pace that would have put many a youngster to shame. Twirling round and galloping backwards, he got so excited he finished up on the floor pulling his partner on top of him. Thankfully he got up smiling and dusted himself off, but I couldn't help thinking he'd know about it on Monday morning. There is only one barman at Rochdale who has to manage two bars in two rooms, and patiently waiting for the number to end, one jazzer rung the ship's bell to grab attention, only for John, the guitarist, to quip, "I think that was D flat, have we got anything in that key?  As usual Sam Ralph was there to capture the moment on camera, thankfully, not Mike on the floor. Click photo for larger version

18/02/20 - Mike Carnie sent me this video for you to enjoy, but if you've had enough of Brexit, you might not want to watch! 

16/02/20 - Jackie Wild writes, "I help out at Chapel Arts, a charity encouraging performing and visual arts in Chapel-en-le-Frith. Amongst other events, we host 3 or 4 live concerts a year at Chapel Town Hall.  Our jazz concert on Saturday 21st March features Julia Titus and her Pig Foot Band as Ma Bessie's Prohibition Party (see poster). Julia is a top quality jazz performer and evidently sensational as internationally renown Ma Bessie. She performs all over the country and will be travelling quite a way to perform at Chapel so we want to give her as big an audience as possible and a really warm welcome 'Up North'!

16/02/20 - A few years ago I was encouraged by my German friend to see Max Raabe at the Rosengarten in Mannheim. Whatever we jazz fans may think it was a near sell-out.. ...and went down a ( Sex ) bomb with the audience. I would hardly call it jazz but it could encourage some on the fringe. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Raabe is an entertainer and very good at that. Go ...- Robert Lamb

16/02/20 - Many Happy Returns today to Dove Jazz Club promoter, Barry Pryme, and to  Sheila Collier on Tuesday.

16/02/20 - Daylight jazz this week takes us to Jazz over the Pennines at The Cross keys in York on Thu, 20 February, 13:00 – 15:30, and to the High Society Jazz Band at Carnforth Station on Fri, 21 February, 12:30 – 14:30

16/02/20 - In January last year I posted this, "I've just come across a new young band (well new to me), nearer to home in Edinburgh. Have a look and listen to the Tenement Jazz Band at In 2018 (the same year they were formed), they played at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival as well as Dundee Jazz Festival.  If you want to hear more check out Their website  and listen to tracks released in July. You'd think they've been playing together for years (I suspect they have)". Well tonight they will be playing at Rochdale Jazz Club and I hope storm Dennis doesn't keep the jazzers way, but more to the point, their web site says they are playing at "an unknown venue" in Rochdale, so I hope they know where it is now!  Later in the month they appear at Dove Jazz Club, and Boston Spa

16/02/20 - Unfortunately my work on the web site went into overdrive on Friday night and as a result exceeded the number of "hits" allowed per day. If you tried to access it yesterday, you were probably presented with adverts, but the good news is :- that’s what’s enabling the cost of hosting the site to remain free. I’m grateful to those people who offered financial support but I’m determined to get to the bottom of this and restore a 24/7 minimal cost service. The likely cause was a year's worth of news on this page with lots of outdated links and photos, plus some overdue tidying up. Consequently this page now only covers up to 2 months max. I will archive the old pages on my PC should anyone need to refer to an old news item.

15/02/20 - Hi Fred Mardi Gras night at with the Parade Band at The Old Quay Pargate, 25th February, 8pm. Beads Brollies & fun. Thanks - Wendy Neumann

15/02/20 - Very pleased to see John Westwood’s post of the New Orleans Rascals. We have seen Ryoichi several times in Davos, along with his wife, Mieko and have become friends.  The Geoff Bull Band, with whom Ryoichi plays Davos, weren’t invited last year and as it happens we weren’t  there either.  However the Bull band is booked for this year but I have recently learnt that Geoff himself won’t be there due to ill health and that Ryoichi won’t be travelling to Europe either. A great disappointment for Melanie & I and obviously we wish Geoff a speedy recovery. It was a relief to see Ryoichi looking and sounding well on the You Tube video. - Fraser McCombe

14/02/20 -
Back in November last year I posted some great sketches done by Tony Babington of Manchester musicians which brought forward some very good comments.  Tony followed many of the jazz bands in the late 1960s and 70s, especially Zenith 6, Keith Pendlebury and Alan Hare Big Band in and around Didsbury, Midland Hotel, The Jazz Palace, Salford amongst others. He spent a lot of time doing sketches and caricatures of the musicians and has quite a large collection which, thanks to Tony, has now been updated with many more. Any feedback or comments would be welcomed.

14/02/20 - How's your German?  Well here's something that might appeal, I just received a large publicity email about a German 1920's orchestra about to tour the UK  in  Eastbourne, London, Birmingham and Manchester. It's Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra.  After you've watched the show trailer, try this lot on YouTube and you can decide for yourself if you'll be going to watch. Max Raab is billed as "Sussex-born musician looking forward to revisiting his UK roots".

14/02/20 - Re: Graham Martindale's request, 13/02, I don’t know a lot about Frank Etchells, but he was an engineer, a top man in his day, built power stations etc. He did win that Melody Maker poll with his band Etch And His Quads.  In that poll he won top for flute, clarinet and saxophone, he was obviously a fine musician.  The Melody Maker had national dance band competitions in those days, the one he won was regional. I think the band name had something to do with printing, that he was once involved in, he was an instrument technician, woodwind. When I first saw his tenor sax, the crook looked different.  I asked him about it, and he said he had made it. He was full of stories but I can only remember one -  he once played clarinet on his own in a bull ring in Spain. That’s it - Barrie Marshall

14/02/20 -
Ian McCann's next 4-in-a-bar Jazz at the Devonshire Arms is on 25 February with Dave Burke, Andy Henderson and Rae Owens, and on 24 March with Phil Lucas, Dave Parr and Jonathan Spall. However there is a new venue starting 11 March. It's the George & Dragon, 1 Glossop Road, Charlesworth  SK135EZ, with Phil Lucas, Rae Owens and Jonathan Spall. 9.00 till 11.00 Free entry.

14/02/20 - Would you like to download a free copy of, "Bunk Johnson: His Life and Times (Jazz Life and Times)"?  Seems you have to give your credit card details to get a 7-day free trial, and reading the agreement, you need to then cancel within 7  days or you'll be charged a membership fee every 30 days. If anybody tries it, let me know how you get on.

14/02/20 - It doesn't happen very often, but today there is not one traditional jazz band playing in the North West, according to my What's On. So if you know different, let me know and I can correct it.

13/02/20 - The News Page was recently set to automatically refresh on loading, so you should be seeing the latest news as soon as you load the page. It seems to be working well and saves you having to do it.

13/02/20 - Information from John & Marie Howell - "Alex Clarke has a gig with us on March 1st and she has just told me that on piano will be TJ Johnson, someone I have been trying to get back to Albrighton since he played for us at the Harp years ago. This will be a rare chance to see someone who doesn't venture North of London very often!  With them will be Nick Millward on drums and a yet to be confirmed bass player.  Although it is some distance there may be fans in your neck of the woods who would like the chance to see TJ and as always they would be made very welcome at Jazz Club 90.  Gig is from 1.00-3.00 pm and admission £6.00".

13/02/20 -
Graham Martindale writes, "Having a little extra time on my hands than normal I have been catching up with editing more of the recordings I made during the 80’s and 90’s as I gigged around the northwest with my old Rogers kit and portable cassette recorder. Oh that I had had the Zoom available to me during that time.
A session I have just started to edit is one I did with Alan Duckles and his New Riverside Jazz Band at Warton Cricket Club in August 1988. Barrie Marshall wasn’t available for the gig and Frank Etchells depped for him.  I had neither come across nor heard of Frank at the time and know very little about him now. All I could find online are a couple of mentions on your tribute pages which recall others playing with “Etch and his Quads”.  We talked, or, rather, I listened, a lot during the breaks but all I remember him saying was that he had won a Melody Maker poll of some kind a few years beforehand. Can you, or anyone, enlighten me any further?".  Here he is with the band playing Tishomingo Blues.".

13/02/20  - John Percival writes, "Just to let you know that we (The Dixie Beats), are quite excited about our next gig at Southport Jazz Club on 19th Feb as it is the first time we will have both our young prodigies with us - Alex Clarke will be concentrating on sax while Michael Grant will be on clarinet. I can't help thinking that while young players of this calibre are carrying the banner trad jazz has a future. Should be quite special so anyone at a loose end that night come and have a listen".

13/02/20 - "Unfortunately the audience was less than I'd hoped for the very professional Jeriatric Jazz Band at Garstang", writes Norman Gibson. "I said it would be a one-off with certain criteria to be achieved. Well the main one was getting support in setting up and dismantling the hall, and it was there at 10 am in abundance. Thanks a million all of you. It also needed to pay for itself, and my goodness it was close - I now have a kitty amounting to exactly £1.00 ! On this result I shall proceed to number 2 which will be the very entertaining Café Society". See Garstang Jazz Club for more details

12/02/2 - A last minute gig list update for Eagley Jazz Club - "We have now confirmed the following for Monday 17th February at Eagley Jazz Club:  ''The Brooker-Brownfield Quintet'' consisting of well-known reeds man Frank Brooker and the amazing trumpet player Jamie Brownfield, both backed up by crack musicians! ".  Unfortunately Sheila Collier was unable to make it, and had to cancel her visit to the UK.

12/02/20 - Sad to hear about Bob SIngleton. I never played on a gig with him, but attended quite a few rehearsals over the years, at the Conservative club in Leyland, when they were short of a trumpet player, and I always enjoyed the challenge of a difference jazz genre. He was such a nice, gentlemanly man. R.I.P. Bob, and best wishes to his family - Richard Knock

12/02/20 - Bad news seems to be coming thick and fast at this time of the year. Bass player Derek Brown rang me to say that Bob Singleton had passed away on 5th Feb. He tells me that Bob, a jazz musician, was well known in the Preston Chorley area and taught many local musicians. He was playing to the end says Derek. His funeral is on Mon 24th at St Ambrose Church in Leyland at 12.35pm. Hot on its heels came this from Jon Critchley and Terry McGrath, "Just to let you know that Alan Miller, trombonist and co-founder of The Original Gutbucket Steam Orchestra, which became The Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra in 1968, passed away this February. His funeral is at Landican Cemetery and Crematorium, Arrowe Park Road, Woodchurch, Wirral, CH49 5LW : 12.00, Central Chapel on 3rd March".

11/02/20 - There's one weekend away jazz venue that's going from strength to strength, and that's N W Castle Hotel up in Stranraer.  Katey Clachan has sent me details for the next event 16-18th October, and told me there's only 24 rooms left already. I'm not surprised, there's a terrific line-up, check it out here.

10/02/20 - I know one site visitor who will be chuffed to see this video, and even though he hasn't got a Facebook account it should still play. My thanks again to John Westwood for passing this on. It's a special broadcast of the 2020 Danny Barker Birthday Bash concert featuring Dr. Michael White, Gregg Stafford, Freddy Lonzo, Marie Watanabe, Detroit Brooks, Topsy Chapman, Kerry Lewis, Herman LeBeaux, and Yoshie Nakamura.

10/02/20 - "Great that they're still at it.....", so says John Westwood having sent me a link to a video uploaded on 12th Jan of The New Orleans Rascals, "and the line up has a few changes from when they came here: Kazunori Ikemoto trumpet; Tsunetami Fukuda trombone; Ryoichi Kawai clarinet; Mieko Ishino piano; Junichi Kawai banjo; Ken Murahashi bass; Yoichi Kimura drums".

10/02/20 - Just had an email from the Bohém Ragtime Band to say that their latest CD entitled Just a Gigolo is now freely available worldwide on most digital platforms. So sit back and enjoy it on Youtube, Deezer, Spotify, iTunes and Google Music just click any of those links. Of course you can also buy a copy of the CD  if you are someone who likes to hold and read the covers whilst they play.

10/02/20 - An item on the Jazz Guide News Page about Frog & Henry reads - "Just when you thought you'd REDDIT all!", and if you are a fan you might enjoy reading it. Terry Cheney says, As if you needed any further reason to log this year's tour into your diaries, I can tell you the duration of the tour has already been extended, and, they will be recording their efforts in a well respected studio whilst over here". He says, ""We are pleased to confirm one of our previous news items, announcing the Band intend to tour again in Jan/Feb 2021 and the programme is filling up fast. Those of you who have enjoyed their current tour should make sure to catch next year's extravaganza, as they will be performing as a 10 piece outfit and offering an even wider repertoire".

09/02/19 - Still on the subject of passing musicians unfortunately, Bruce Carnaffin advises me that Roger Middleton has just passed away at the age of 84. He moved to East Yorkshire a couple of years ago, but prior to that he lived in Cumbria for many years, and played guitar in earlier versions of the Les Bull Band. His funeral takes place tomorrow, 10 February, near Filey.

09/02/20 - Louis Lince's funeral will be a private affair, no flowers. Donations can me made to Macmillan Nurses and/or The Cats Protection League.  His ashes will be interred in New Orleans, and Jill will be holding a Jazz Party for Louis sometime this year, to celebrate his life.

09/02/20 - If you like your jazz during daylight hours and with the chance to have a bite to eat as well, then pop down to Hayfield on Wednesday for 12:00pm for "Lunchtime Jazz at The Royal" organised by Eric & Maggi Brierley and featuring members of Manchester Jazz and guests.  If you live further East, you could try Jazz over the Pennines at The Cross keys in York on Thu, 13 February, 13:00 – 15:30.

09/02/20 - Many Happy Returns today to Judy Eames. Judy was a regular visitor to the North West in the days of the Zenith Hot Stompers. On Friday it's a birthday celebration of a different kind. Valentine's Day and the Merseysippi Jazz Band will celebrate 71 years of non-stop existence.

07/02/20 - More photographs from Sam Ralph taken at Rochdale Jazz Club. This time it's the Frog & Henry Band

06/02/20 - I've just put a lovely addition on the Louis Lince tribute page - A video of the "The Louis Lince Big Four" at Burleigh Horse Trials in 2018 kindly posted by Ray & Jenny Knight. The band members are: Louis Lince (bjo), Roger Bird (clt), Allen Beechey (tpt) and Marc Easener (sousa), playing "Bouncing Around"

06/02/20 - Those of you who went to The Talbot Hotel, Southport, in Feb 2014, will remember the very entertaining Jive Aces, who were the first ever band to reach the semi finals of Britain's Got Talent in 2012.  Well, the band is returning to Merseyside @ 7:30PM Gladstone Theatre, Greendale Road, Port Sunlight, Birkenhead, Wirral, also on the 7th Feb. 

06/02/20 - Dear Fred, What a surprise. Didn’t know anything about it.   You would have thought they would have shared with us on Tuesday and asked us to give it a plug. 185 attended. We obviously mentioned our own Wids gig. Thanks - Peter Swensson.

06/02/20 - My thanks to Norman Gibson for pointing out something I missed on the Frog & Henry Tour list - An event in Liverpool called, "Krewe de Liverpool" which is taking place at The Palm House, a regular venue for the Savoy Jazzmen (you didn't tell me about that one Peter). It's tomorrow, 7th February at 5.30pm -  "Krewe Liverpool: The Mardi Gras Experience".... "A surreal masquerade ball with music, dance, costume and carnival, housed in Sefton Park's iconic Palm House". So get your glad rags on and get on down there says Norman.

05/02/20 - Jazz for Mary's Meals, a charity event, takes place in St Helen's on 14th March, music provided by The Chicago Teds. Bernard Dillon writes, "I shall have tickets available at the next session at the Bowling Club for a great evening with the Teds. I am sure you would enjoy them". .More details here

05/02/20 - Congratulations Fred on your 25 years with JAZZ NORTH WEST. Your information on all subjects over this time has been great. Well done. - Mike Carnie.

04/02/20 - I have now set up a tribute page in memory of Louis Lince, which you access by clicking here

04/02/20 - First, congratulations on 25 years of publishing. Your column has been of enormous assistance to musicians, organisers and jazz enthusiasts, and has greatly helped to bond jazzers in the North West, and further afield for its duration.   Second, can I record my sadness at the death of Louis Lince. I had encountered him a couple of times before he moved back north, and our paths crossed not infrequently afterwards. He was an excellent banjoist, with whom it was a pleasure to play. I would support Allan W’s endorsement of his love and knowledge of the music and dedication to its preservation. To me he was one of life’s nice guys. My sympathy to Jill. - John Muskett

04/02/20 - The Red Lion Club in Maghull has now closed. From next week (13th Feb) the Chicago Teddybears will play at Maghull Community Association, 604 Green Lane, Maghull, Liverpool L31 2JH. Full details on the Chicago Teds website - Regular Gigs page. - Ed Lee

04/02/20 - Our monthly Manchester Jazz residency at High Lane Conservative Club last night came hard-on-the-heels of news that Louis Lince, our banjo player, had died earlier in the day. We missed him last month when he had only just been taken ill, but at that time we didn't know how serious it was or how little time he had left. When Roger Browne announced his having passed away over the microphone, there were audible gasps of surprise and shock throughout the audience.   Our first number, 'My Old Kentucky Home', was dedicated to Louis's memory. It had long been a great favourite of his, and it was he who had introduced it into our repertoire. When I joined Mart Roger's band five years ago, I had already known Louis for some time, having played with him more than once in Germany and elsewhere. His passionate dedication to the music, his love of New Orleans and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the recorded history of jazz never ceased to amaze me, but he was also a remarkably practical man. Following the tragic loss of Mart last year, it was Louis, with his gift for organisation, who took over the arduous roles of hustling for gigs, booking deps where necessary and setting up the PA, How terrible that all that can have been lost in such a short time! - Revd Allan Wilcox.

03/02//20 - Jazziest Congratulations Fred on 25 years endeavour with Jazz North West.  A massive task keeping the genre alive for all.  Thank You with best wishes from a Cornwall based NW Jazz exile. - Alan Davies

03/02/20 - Our old friend, John Mayall, of Bluesbreakers fame has written his autobiography, “Blues from Laurel Canyon”. I was very pleased when I bought my copy to see that Mart is mentioned on six pages! John and Mart had a duet called The Dreamland Boys when Mart was 18, then John joined Mart’s band The Hounds of Sound which he started as soon as he finished his National Service. Mart later joined the Zenith Six and John played the Blues from then on. We have kept in touch with him all these years. - Janet Rodger

03/02/20 - Jacques Gauthe ? Boy does he bring back a great memory of 2007 at The French Quarter Jazz festival NOLA . Thanks to David Evans. My wife Meryl, and I spent a few hours in Fritzels to the amazing music of Jacques' Creole Bueno Rice Band, which included equally brilliant musicians fellow reed player Ryan Burrage and Jim Hession pianist. Jim's stride playing solos were bril. We were tired out after a whole day of jazz and left them still playing after 12.30 am. Next day I was told they didn't stop until after 4 am ! Regrettably, it was only a short time later that Jacques returned to his homeland France, where I believe he passed away in his sleep. I shall get Walter's programme up on i-player as soon as I get a chance. Of course, there is a lot of video to pick up on Youtube. - Norman Gibson

02/02/20 - Walter Love's informative Radio Ulster Jazz Club of Sunday 02.02.20 featured two greats of New Orleans Jazz namely, Jacques Gauthe, French clarinetist and soprano saxophonist and 'The Big Easy's' own Don Vappie, legendary banjo player.  Well worth a listen during the next 28 days on BBC Radio Player! - David Evans, Rhuddlan

02/02/20 - Many Happy returns on Monday this week to Alan Matthews , trombone player in Woodplumpton, Preston.

02/02/20 -
Daytime midweek jazz - The SAVOY JAZZMEN are giving a concert in Sefton Park Palm House on Tue, 4 February, 14:00 – 16:00. Fred Shawcross's Jeriatric Jazz at Garstang Jazz Club on Thu, 6 February, 12:00 – 14:30 and Jazz over the Pennines at The Cross keys in York on Thu, 6 February, 13:00 – 15:30.

01/02/20 - 25 years! Thanks so much Fred - a lot of work for you, and it’s certainly very much appreciated. Congratulations and best wishes. - Geoff Parker.

01/02/20 - I see in The Guardian that Manchester born Hylda Sims, the skiffle singer, poet, songwriter and activist, has died aged 87, after a short illness. Hylda was a strong presence on the 1950s music scene in London and with her husband, Russell Quaye, ran the City Ramblers Skiffle Group. The couple also started the Skiffle Cellar in Soho. The club ran seven nights a week and everyone on the skiffle, folk and blues scene played there, including visiting American artists such as Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

01/02/20 - Congrats on the fantastic anniversary Fred. I do rely on the emails to keep me in touch from all the way up here in Scotland since we retired from the Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn. Many thanks, Steve Marquis.

Have Fred email the News to you as it happens -  Send an email with the subject "Add Me"
I guarantee your email address will not be passed on without permission

Click here for Main Menu

Please Visit my HOME PAGE