Traditional Jazz in The North West (UK)

 
READ THE NEWS & VIEWS THEN CLICK HERE FOR THE MAIN MENU
 Last updated Sunday July 12, 2020 at 11:58:24

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 jazznorthwest.co.uk@gmail.com, For anything other than the mailing list, click here
Follow JazzNorthWest on Twitter

Check out
JazzNorthWest
Weekly

includes
News from
New Orleans


This site began as Traditional Jazz in Lancashire in 1995

July 2020 - KEEP SAFE
 

12/07/20 - Many Happy Returns today to Cyril Wroe, leader of the Festival Jazzmen when they were playing. Tomorrow it's a Happy Birthday to bass player Isabel Toner.

12/07/20 - The next in my series of lost tapes has now been uploaded, and one worth listening to. Lost Tape number 8 was made by one of the North West's greatest New Orleans Jazz historians, the late Louis Lince.
 

11/07/20 - Details have been received for the funeral and band arrangement for Joan Fryers (Dove Jazz Club news item 02/97). It will take place on Thursday July 16th. 2020 at Macclesfield Crematorium at 3.20 p.m. Please contact me if you want the full details of the arrangements forwarding.

09/07/20 - I watched an interesting video lesson on The Blues by Wynton Marsalis, uploaded on Jun 30th. Don't often see him on the piano, but this was an After School Sessions for the Benedetti Foundation, quite enlightening to me as someone who was only taught the rudiments of music and English Folk songs at school. You may wonder, 'When is he going to start speaking'? I worked it out later, he was probably waiting for all the latecomers to be seated as he checks his monitor waiting to start.
 

08/07/20 -  So sorry to hear about Bob Jones. I recall him so well from when I first moved into Shropshire and he welcomed me into enjoying gigs with the very fine Salt City Band.  Those were the halcyon days.  - Derek Harrison

08/07/20 - "It is with great sadness I wish to report the death of Bob Jones, drummer & founder member of The Salt City Jazzmen based around Nantwich. He was a driving drummer and singer, which gave the band great energy. He was with the band from 1971 until ill health forced him to retire in 2018. He still came to listen to the band and sing occasionally. He was for many years the organser of all the band's gigs. He will be sorely missed". - Stuart Renn

08/07/20 - Jack Cotterill writes, "I’m teaming up with my long time musical colleagues and friends to bring everyone a facebook live gig. The band will feature Jamie Brownfield on trumpet, Tom Kincaid on Piano, Jim Swinnerton on bass, and myself on drums. It will be filmed live on my drive, alongside my new food business I’ve set up in the midst of the pandemic. The show will be 2 x 45 min sets with a short break. 5.30-7.30pm. Just like a normal gig, but from the comfort and safety of your own home. As much as this is a really tough time for us and musicians alike, we are truly looking forward to be able to do what we love again, play music!   The show will be free, however there will be an online tip jar. Donations are appreciated, not expected. The link for this is - www.paypal.me/jackcotterillmusic. Any donations shall be shared amongst the whole band.  To stay up to date with all details about the event you can go to the event page on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/events/3261296220597638/ for more details you can go to my website - www.Jacks-Place.co.uk

08/07/20 - Brilliant stuff, Norman: Loved the bowed bass. Followed by more videos, all great. Cheers. - Jon Critchley

08/07/20 - Peter Swensson Savoy Jazzmen would like to know if anybody has any recommendations for Public Liability for bands please. This has cropped up in the site some years ago, and may well be out of date now so if you could copy me in to any tips to Peter (peter.swensson@yahoo.co.uk) I can update the page. Peter says, " I cancelled the Savoy’s insurance when the lockdown started but I’ve been advised there will now be a surcharge when I renew and they can’t guarantee the same rates we’ve been on".

08/07/20 - Mart knew Moondog (07/07), and spoke of him but I don’t remember meeting him. - Janet Rodger

08/07/20 - "There are two delights in this video by a player who I've only recently had brought to my attention - Duved Dunayevsky", says Norman Gibson. "Delight one is his amazing musicianship in the manner of Django himself, and the second is for the jazz ladies who visit your site, at one minute in the 'stare' should melt a few hearts.  Enjoy" - Norman Gibson

08/07/20 - It's time for the Wednesday Quiz from Bert Thompson. This one is about 'Conveyances'. Check out Quiz 16 from the Quiz list
 

07/07/20 - Jon Critchley asks, " Anyone got a Conn 4 or a Conn 5 cornet mouthpiece"?  It's now 4 hours after posting - All sorted, My thanks to Roy Freeman for coming up with the goods, and thank you Fred: - Jon Critchley

07/07/20 - Talking about “characters”, does anyone remember the local drummer “Moon Dog” from the 1960s whose real name I cannot remember. He was nicknamed after his better known eccentric musician namesake in America ( see Wikipedia). He was certainly a “character”. I once went to his house in Manchester to pick him up for a gig. The interior walls were all covered in murals that he had painted. - Barrie Quilliam

07/07/20 - A nice story from 2019 from Mike Lovell on Facebook, "There I was...ordering a cup of coffee in Paneras at Lake Sumter, Florida, some 4000 miles from home, when the waiter saw my trombone pendant and said he played trombone in a Disney World marching band. He then asked me whether I would like to borrow his Bach trombone whilst I was in the States. The rest is history, and here it is cooling itself in the pool".  Mike is off to Florida again in a few weeks, wonder if that means this time he'll be shut away (quarantined), for two weeks when he gets back?  No comments please. (Only joking Mike).
 

05/07/20 My thanks to Roger & Hilda Bywater for finding the second of two lockdown videos from the Tenement Jazz Band, this one is Gotta Gimme Some,  "recorded live via Zoom", and that's not " live as we know it Jim ". It usually involves individual recordings and post video editing, but that's another subject, and not one for the faint hearted, however Annie Cousin of Annie's Saints and Sinners, is keen to have a go and wonders if anybody has tried Jamulus, one of the few ways that allows band to practice live via Zoom. There's a CD prize for anyone who can watch this to the end, and hand on heart say they understood it all.

05/07/20 - This site began 25 years ago, and it was a combination of events -  retirement, birth of the internet, and a renewed interest in live traditional jazz. The latter came about because as a radio ham, tuning the airwaves I came across a test transmission from JazzFM (JFM), starting up in Manchester. One item was about Tony's Tradtime which was starting on Sunday 4th September 1994, and listening to that got me interested again. Fast forward to this month, and during my clearout I came across a crudely edited recording of one of the earliest, if not the first programme aired. I know that because Tony mentioned a venue in Lancaster, our very first outing, and one which ended by being told that the band no longer played there (No change there then!). You can hear it at Lost Tape Number 7, but can you name the date of the recording? My guess is it was in the same year that it was launched.


04/07/20 -
Happy Birthday to Eddie Taylor today, Saturday, and next week on Monday, Lindsay Taylor and Tony Dunleavy will be celebrating theirs. On Friday it's the turn of Geraldine Duckles, and on Saturday Ian Royle will be one year older. Many Happy Returns to one and all,

04/07/20 - Following Ian Royle's note about characters, in my pro musician days I was working in Cabaret clubs rather than Jazz Clubs, but it did mean I met a lot of great musicians. I was once in digs for a week with the great George Chisholm who was a fabulous trombonist who loved having a blow. He was in the Fats Waller band that toured the UK before the war and had loads of amazing - but unrepeatable - tales to tell. I asked George who the drummer was and he said Edmundo Ros ! As it happened I worked a week at Edmundo's club shortly after. Sadly however, I never got the chance to get him on his own to ask him about working with the great man.   Another great trombonist I worked with was Kai Winding (of J and K fame) who I believe was for a time musical director of the Playboy Clubs in Europe. We did a week at the Playboy club in London (and we got paid as well) and he sat in with us whenever he could. He also had some great stories about his big band days with Stan Kenton etc. - Dave Moore
 

03/07/20 - Re Ian Royle's characters, I think that's a great idea, but it set me wondering whether, for 'characters' who have died at least, it might not involve repeating a lot of the information already in the Remembering page. And then I began to think about those who died before the Remembering page was set up. In the Merseyside, Chester and North Wales areas Pete Daniels, Jack Clack, Geoff Coates, 'Jumbo' Richford, Tommy Orrit, Laurie Renton, Pete Burkhill, Ron Chesterman, Bruce Bakewell, Ralph Watmough and Mike Holland spring to mind, and Alan and Keith Pendlebury of course - and that's just my mind! It would be good to have the opportunity to remember them; but it would also be good to remember and celebrate people who are still alive but (perhaps) no longer play. If current players started writing about one another as 'characters', might that lead to misunderstandings and fallings-out? And if it did, would that matter? Might some of us be disappointed to find ourselves not written about - or indeed to find ourselves written about? Or am I overthinking it? Anyway, that's my two-penn'orth! - Allan Wilcox.   "Chapter 1,  Ian Royle.....", writes Mad Ed Hughes.  "Good idea. However I suspect most of it would have to be cleaned up and watered down to avoid litigation!!!", says Roy Gregory. "A good Idea, Son!", says Howard Murray.

03/07/20 - Over the last couple of months The Tenement Jazz Band have been piecing together a new album to "fill that tenement shaped trad jazz gap between your ears", and they're delighted to announce 'Tenement Jazz Band Goes South' is ready to go!   It's a patchwork of 12 choice live recordings made on their most recent UK tour, from concerts at Louth, Newbold Verdon, Blisworth & more. Apparently Steve has been toiling long and hard at the mixing desk, and it's going to be on sale from today!  You can order your CD and download a digital copy from bandcamp for only £10, and they'll be shipped as soon as they arrive at Tenement HQ. It's been a while now (almost two months), since the Dixie Beats did their lockdown video and I've seen choirs and orchestras try it, but not another traditional jazz band, although Annie Cousins (Annie's Saints & Sinners) is dying to have a go and asks, has anybody tried Jamulus?  Anyway, I just found out the Tenement Jazz Band did one I missed, earlier in April, so you can watch them now.


 

02/07/20 - Dove Jazz Club has made this announcement - It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that Joan Fryers, Roger Marshall's beloved partner of almost forty years, passed away peacefully last night, at home as per her wishes, following a short non Covid related illness.  Joan has of course been a backbone of support for Roger since the very beginnings of Dove Jazz Club and of our infamous Beer and Jazz Festivals, not least with her role all this time as the Saturday night concert's formidable “custodian of the door”. Through this, and through her regular visits to other venues over the years, including Keswick, Bute, Abersoch, Sand Bay, Malvern and Bude, we know that she has made many friends in the traditional jazz world and that she will be much missed by them, friends who have appreciated her continual efforts, with Roger, to help us all to share the enjoyment of the music that she loved. We are sure that our members will join us in offering our deep sympathy to Roger and his family, and to Joan’s family, for their great loss.  We will circulate details of the arrangements for her funeral in due course.

02/07/20 - Roy Freeman and I have put together a CD of live recordings, "An Evening With The Silver Bell Band, Preston, Lancashire", which has 12 vocal tracks and a running time of 1 hour 5 minutes. Anyone who would like a copy can Email me at blegan@tiscali.co.uk with their home address. They will receive a copy of the CD and an Email attachment in PDF format with chords and lyrics which they can download if they wish and play or sing along with the band in the privacy of their own homes (which I hope are soundproofed!). They will be asked to make a suggested donation of £10 to a charity which supports the NHS. - |Brian Legan

02/07/20 - The description 'character' is frequently used in our musical fraternity. The recent posts about Ron Arnold prove that. With this 'lockdown' business and most of our musos reduced to 'keyboard addicts', how about some posts about the 'characters' we've known over the years playing jazz. Who knows? A book of anecdotes could be a best seller!  - Ian Royle

01/07/20 - Re comment by John Dodgshon 29/06 - Trombonist Louis Nelson wasn't on the Kid Rena recordings. It was Jim Robinson. - Pete Lay

01/07/20 - It's Wednesday and time for Quiz 15 by Bert Thompson. Each of the musical personalities had a sibling (or two) who was (were) also a performer(s). Name a sibling in each case and specify his or her instrument. Click here for the quiz list. Bert responded to John Dodgshon, "John D. is correct - I managed to get the two Louis Nelsons mixed up. Big Eye was a clarinetist  - it was the other Louis Nelson that played trombone. Mea culpa. Thanks for letting me know." It's now been corrected in the quiz.

01/07/20 - A record collector has bought a copy of a 78 by Mart Rodger’s Jazz Aces at a record fair. It’s not the one I have which has “Hiawatha Rag” on it and is the first track on “Allmart”. His 78 has “Si Si Rider” and “Spicy Advice”. He has compared the Matrix Numbers on both 78s and feels sure another record was made at the same time. Mart arranged this private recording and it would have been expensive for a 17 year old on low wages! I know he sold them at the jazz clubs as I bought one from him soon after I started to listen to the band. I know it’s a long shot, but if anyone reading this has one of these recordings or knows of it I would be very interested to hear from them. - Janet Rodger

 

June 2020 - KEEP SAFE

30/06/20 - Norman Gibson wrote, "According to the Knutsford Guardian a Ronald Arnold passed away aged 90 at Whiston Hospital on 1st. August 2018. This Ron had a previously deceased wife called Olive. Maybe this is the drummer everyone is looking for"? Thanks Norman, but  Ronnie's wife was Doreen according to Tony.
 

29/06/20 - Bert Thompson does such a great job on jazz quizzes that I hate to correct him. I recall Big Eye was the nickname of Louis Nelson (DeLisle) an pioneer jazz clarinetist from NO (although I'm told he also played accordion, guitar, banjo, violin, and bass). One of his contemporaries was trombonist Louis Nelson (no relation) and I believe they can both be heard on records by Kid Rena. - John Dodgshon

29/06/20 - Ron can't speak German but used to have some extremely Germanic expressions which were utter nonsense but to anybody who spoke no German, they sounded very authentic.   "Haben Sie bitte mit Frügel und Schlind. Nein deflorag . Schlinden die Brüder. Schlinden die Brüder! Try putting that through Google Translate. The Bavarians thought this to be hilarious and eventually had him teaching them.   The main entrance had a large arch on which it said in big letters. Willkommen in der Waltwirtschaft, Jazzbiergarten.   I'm quite sure that it needs no translation. Waltwirtschaft simply means The Inn in a Forest.   As Biergarteners left, unsurprisingly the sign read:- AUFWIEDERSEHEN.   Being the ever loyal Geordie (Why aye Man!) Ron somehow shinnied up to this arch and attached 3 pieces of white paper (No graffiti damage from Ron! The letters? PET Somebody should write a biography of this guy. - Howard Murray.

29/06/20 - Re: The Lost Tapes and the Natwest Jazzband -  They once called me to dep in a garden party somewhere in South Yorkshire. I suspected that they got more gigs and put out bands with some deps to enable them to use the name. I got the striped jacket, a tie and a straw hat. When I said "Hey.. I am not a bank manager, you know!" "YOU ARE TODAY!" "Well, can I issue mortgages?"   They related a bit of a grump which was going on in their band. Some gigs were better paid than others and a couple didn't like it. These moaners said "Why don't you hold back some money and pay us more on the cheaper gigs?" And these were Bank Managers? - Howard Murray

29/06/20 - It seems that many people are into Zoom etc. enabling them to view and chat with family during lockdown, and  it struck me that if any musos out there fancy a Zoom meeting with like minded people, I'd be more than happy to forward an invitation on my musician mailing list. I'm sure you'd all find something to talk about. Just need an organiser to set one up, and maybe a crowd limit?

29/06/20 - As I recently told you Fred, I spent much of the lock-down over here reorganising my vast jazz music collection. Part of this task included a decision not to keep adding to the collection other than the few illusive gap fillers still on my list. My resolve was, however, shattered when I opened your latest email update to discover the note from Ian Royle and your link to the page on Dave Radlauer's fabulous Jazz Rhythm website with some Ory Hangover Club broadcasts which are new to me. Aaaaargh !!!! The Aaaaargh is a precursor to the fact that, because I split broadcasts, concerts, radio & TV programmes etc. into individual tracks, I now have a few more hours mor to do. The rest of the "standard version" of Dave Radlauer's website is utterly fascinating, certainly worth me having spent the last hour and and half reading interviews and tales about the likes of Burt Bales, Frank Chase, Bill Dart, Bob Mielke, Dick Oxtot, Marty Grosz and others, many of which are accompanied by rare and private recordings. - Graham Martindale

28/06/20 - Nothing to add to what Howard (and Ian) have to say regarding Ron's whereabouts, but I have wonderful memories of the Munich trips with Howard and Ron, and especially of cringing with embarrassment as Ron demonstrated his nonsensical take-off of the German language to a group of Bavarians, only for them to voice their undoubted appreciation and demand encores. Ron was great fun to be with. In those days he played a bright yellow Pearl drum kit (of which he was very proud), and couldn't resist going into music shops to try cymbals. He once explained to me that every cymbal had its own unique sound. I'm sure he came away with at least two, and I suspect one of those was the potential murder weapon to which Howard refers. It would be great to have more news of him.  -  Allan Wilcox

28/06/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Tony Smith & Grant Hogan Taylor on Tuesday

28/06/20 - Signs of normal life returning with Pete & Heather Lay's Winter Jazz Party in Sand Bay Somerset, in January 2021. Watch this video from Jazz Guide.
 

27/06/20 - Re Ron Arnold. I don't know where he is now, sadly. The last time I heard from him was when he'd noticed my name on the register of customers at the Westlow Trout Fishery in Congleton where Ron put in the occasional appearance as a water bailiff !! We worked together many times with Alan Yates (gtr/bjo), Pete Smith (bass), Roy Rogers (clt) and myself on trumpet. We called ourselves 'The Dixieland Hot-Shots' but the name was occasionally changed (to protect the innocent as they say) to 'Ian Royle's Jazz Nuts' under which name we recorded a CD at Castleton Gabriels with Vinnie Parker guesting on piano and Gordon Robinson on trombone. Ron played his socks off that night ! A lovely man-a true 'character' and on his night, an inspiring drummer. - Ian Royle

27/06/20 - I worked with 'Mad' Ron Arnold in the mid / late eighties in the Roy Potts 5 & a Penny Jazz Band, including visits to München at the Waldwirtschaft Jazzbiergarten. He had them in fits with his ersatz German. In the end, they got him to teach THEM 'Goon show German'.  Apart from snippets of news, we drifted in our own ways, thereafter. My own final news was also of a nursing home somewhere In Knutsford.  Have asked around but to no avail. Nearly murdered him one night in the hotel room with his own cymbal! Got lots of laughs out of the incident, in later years. (Only one of a long list of outrageous anecdotes.) Hope you hear news and that he's still with us! - Howard Murray..

27/06/20 - "Now, I suppose being Irish, I often say more than I need to say", writes Norman Gibson". Although, 'our jazz' is the more favoured style, I do have a liking for other forms, particularly back to the earliest of the 1900's. And some 10 years or so back I happened upon a half hour BBC programme going out away past bedtime. It was titled 'Desperate Man Blues' and I recorded it.  It was about a guy called Joe Bussard (pronounced Buzz-Ard) who has been collecting very old 78's since the mid 1940's. I felt like a bit of cheering up today so I had another umpteenth look at it today. I was hoping I could have found the video on Youtube, but this is the closest found. Now is this Joe the most obsessed record collector you've ever witnessed ? 
 

27/06/20 - Tony William writes, "Hello Fred. I'm just wondering if anyone has any information on Drummer Ronnie Arnold. If still around he'd be in his 90s now, around 95/96 I'd guess. Ronnie worked on and off with myself, the late Alan Yates etc in various set-ups in the 70s and 80s. Plus of course his time spent in great local jazz bands in the 60s. Last I heard he was in a nursing home in Knutsford. Me? Retired and making music of all genres online. Living Staffs Moorlands". http://www.soundclick.com/tonywilliam

26/06/20 - Not long after I got back into listening to Traditional Jazz again, in the early 90's, we went to Southport Flower Show and saw that the Natwest Jazz Band were playing on the bandstand. What a great performance they put on, and I bought an LP off them. It was called "You Can Bank on Us", and I was in regular contact with one of the band members who sent me some cassette recordings of the band. I found them in the garage recently along with several others, which I call my lost tapes. You can hear the Natwest Jazz Band and "You Can Bank On Us"  for yourself, and I hope they will forgive me for breaking the copyright as it's Number 6  in my series of The Lost Tapes.
 

25/06/20 - "Morning Fred: I always have a go at the quizzes; Well done Bert and you for concocting them, carry on". - Jon Critchley.  "We love the quizzes, Fred - at least I do. Please keep 'em coming". - Revd. Allan Wilcox. "Yes, I do enjoy the quizzes as do many of Jazz Club 90's 70 strong mailing list who I get in touch with most weeks with links to videos, jokes, QUIZZES etc. It keeps us all in touch while we wait for the jazz to re-start, whenever that might be"! - John and Marie. Howell

25/06/20 - Time for another quiz from Bert Thompson, and even I managed this one. If you are having a go at the quizzes, please send me  quick email to let me know as it takes time to put them on the site and of course for Bert to write them, so if nobody wants them, they might as well stop. Click here for quiz 14
 

24/06/20 - Good to receive your newsletter today. Saw this clip of Spike Milligan which I thought would entertain! Very much reminds me of "Mad" Ed's sense of humour - although thank goodness he has a double bass to stop him walking around the band causing mischief! - Tom Rippeth
 

24/06/20 -  I met Bob Wade a couple of years ago and enjoyed a sit in with him in the “Vieux Carre Jazzmen” at Cullercoats near Newcastle when I visited the Northeast, Great Player and is still in the Northeast as far as I know , plays a lot with a brilliant Trombonist called “ Gordon Solomon” who gave Gordon Sumner his name “ Sting” when Sting played with the “Phoenix Jazzmen’ in the late 60s earl seventies. - Derek Dalton

24/06/20 - I'm pretty sure John Westwood sent me this link to the 'Hangover Club' some time back and if you haven't seen it, it's well worth a listen.  - Ian Royle.  (Thanks Ian I've now added it to my Links page - Fred).

24/06/20 - Bringing people together, it's what this web site often does. If you read the email on 22/06/20 from Justin Holcroft (he said he was happy for me to post it in full), he said, "I do have northwest connections though – my dad was from Warrington and was actually Nicky Holcroft’s (Martyn) dad by his first wife – my mother was his second. I never met any of his kids from that marriage". Well Janet Rodger passed on this item to Nicky Martin's family, and now finally they are about to get in touch with each other. Janet was quite excited about it too. Don't you just love a happy ending.

23/06/20 - Temptation Rag - Ewan Bleach plays this well with F & H, but I have to say this version by Evan Chrustopher is pretty exceptional. The lady violinist shows on her face just how much she is enjoying his playing.! -  Norman Gibson

23/06/20 - Sidney Bechet in Liverpool - Friday 14th. September 1956. Good to see this little conundrum generating plenty of interest and debate in lockdown land. Gathered together all the snippets of input from various contributors, and by the way more welcome from anyone who feels able to add to the mix, but the puzzle now seems to have been solved.  I was thinking the year of the concert might possibly be 1957.... But Bob Lamb, John Higham and Dave Lunt all said 1956. Dave even offered the complete date : - Friday 14th. September 1956. To back it up he read me all the other dates on Bechet's UK tour that year, which included the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. So I guess that's it.    Also what casts some doubt on later years..? Well 1958 is out. That's when I was called up for National Service so wouldn't have been at the gig. And by early 1959 poor old Sidney was ill with lung cancer and in fact passed away on May 14th.   So 1956 - quite a year for jazz in Liverpool ! Louis Armstrong in the Spring and Sidney Bechet in the Autumn. Two absolute giants of New Orleans Jazz in Liverpool within months of each other. Oh and followed not long after by Earl Hines and Jack Teagarden. Happy Days ! - John McCormick.

23/06/20 - Hi Fred, I'm saying the Bechet Tour was 1956. I have the program from the Leicester appearance and while there is no specific date there is a mention in the text that states quote " Now almost 7 years after his last appearance in Nov 1949" Also an ad for Lionel Hampton. Empress Hall, Earls Court, Oct 21st and I also have that program, it shows appearance date Oct-Nov 1956............1956 was a good year, in addition to Bechet, Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines,Louis Armstrong and Stan Kenton all toured the UK that year...   Bechet appeared with Humphrey Lyttelton and his Band in the first half and Andr Reweliotty and his Orchestra in the second half. Happy Days, - Bernie Hives Detroit.

22/06/20 - John Petters was interviewed by Walter Love for BBC Jazz Club on BBC Ulster. He says, "We covered two topics. the issue of the pandemic and its effect on the jazz scene and musicians and venues".  You can listen to it here.

22/06/20  - "Just sent you a request to join the mailing list, but here’s a bit about me", writes Justin Holcroft.   "....saxophonist, born and bred in the UK but currently in South Africa: more of a modernist but with a healthy admiration for all things traditional. Heritage-wise, I was born in Stoke, grew up in Surrey and was at college in Bristol – very active on the scene there between 1985 and 1989 – before moving to Austria and then South Africa. I do have northwest connections though – my dad was from Warrington and was actually Nicky Holcroft’s (Martyn) dad by his first wife – my mother was his second. I never met any of his kids from that marriage (I believe Lex was also a musician – trombonist I think), indeed I only found out they existed two years ago. But I am in touch with the next generation and was sad to hear of Nicky’s – my brother’s – passing last week. Secondly, and probably more obscurely – have you ever come across a trumpeter by the name of Bob Wade? He’s only been back in England for the last 4 years or so and is based on Tyneside but has, I believe, played some gigs in the Northwest. Anyway, he was my business partner for 5 or so years here in South Africa, as well as the leader of a great Trad band here – would be interested to hear if you’ve come across him".

22/06/20 - Thanks to a recent item in your publication I have discovered Swingtime Radio and I’m in seventh heaven. They play everything BBC don’t with accent on N.O. Jazz and I’ve got it on all day (I’m in shielding) and I’m completely hooked. Thank you Jazz North West. - Pete Sumner

22/06/20 - When the cause is good, anything goes but some of you may grit your teeth when watching this video. Let me have your comments. It's all in support of the Preservation Hall foundation.  When you've watched it, you can read more about it here

22/06/20 - List of videos to watch has just been updated with a link to those uploaded by Graham Martindale, who has been making up for lost time I think!
 

21/06/20 - Re: your email of the news.  Brilliant edition thanks, really enjoyed the Erroll Garner tribute : watched all of it. Takes me back to watching the little maestro play at Manchester Free Trade Hall. We were sat at the back of the stage on the overflow seating. He was sat, as usual, on two telephone directories. Also loved the mention of Doug Whaley, my friend Jim Ashton, used to play banjo with him upstairs at the ‘Brunswick’ pub near my parental home at 15 Geoffrey Street, Freetown, Bury.  Doug was a pupil at Bury Grammar School for boys, I failed the entrance exam ‘cos my Dad, God bless him was only a Co-op Insurance agent. Still rankles, but I enjoyed my 12 * admission to Stand Grammar School for Boys in Whitefield, to which I could walk in 10 minutes. The band at the ‘Brunswick’ was the ‘Cotton City Jazzmen’.  Jim played banjo in the late 50’s with me and my Strand Grammar School mates when I played tea chest bass with Howard Taylor ( no relation) guitar & vocals & Phil Walker guitar. We played as an intermission act at Bury ODEON’s showing of ‘Oliver Twist ‘ and on our own at Radcliffe Civic Hall. Howard’s stand out number was ‘Frankie & Johnnie ‘. - Brian Taylor.

21/06/20 - Barrie Quilliam’s Juan-les-Pins Bechet meeting reminded me that, on my way back from a camping holiday in Lloret de Mar, Spain in 1965 with one of my schoolfriends, Keith Legge, we decided to “do” the French Riviera. We “did” it very quickly because we couldn’t afford the prices charged on the campsites along there. We slept in my mum’s mini for two nights. Here’s me aged nineteen standing alongside Bechet’s statute in Antibes. There’s a video online of the inauguration of the statue on 10th July 1960

21/06/20 - "Jazz Musicians are probably best at understanding social distancing", reckons Chris Walker, he says, "They have kept a respectable distance from the melody for years!".

21/06/20 - There is now a tribute page for Harold Troughton which you can see here and contribute to by sending me an email. There is also a page for Nicky Martyn, and I wonder if anybody recalls playing in a band with him? And making up the trio, Chicago Teds original drummer, Jim Flynn

21/06/20 - Many Happy Returns to Wally Fawkes today on his 96th birthday, and special birthday greetings to Barrie Marshall on Monday when he celebrates his 80th birthday. Also birthday greetings to Pete Major on Thursday and to Pete Fielding on Friday.
 

20/06/20 - I was delighted to read the letter and see the newspaper cutting from Brenda Canty-Forest, It took me back to my early days of playing in Bury where I now live. The Y.M.C.A., where the Oriole played. was above Burtons shop on The Rock and I recall seeing the band there on a few occasion. At the time I was playing clarinet with the Cotton City Jazzmen, lead by Doug Whaley, just down the road a piece at the Brunswick Hotel, now demolished. I have no recollection of the Carnival that Brenda mentions, but I do recall that Bruce Bakewell also played clarinet at the Y.M.C.A., but maybe with another band!   Sorry to hear about Harold Troughton, he was a fine player, but I only had the chance to hear him at the time I played bass with the Manchester – Panama Jazz Band at the ill fated Tommy Ducks pub. Harold would deputise for Dave Burk on occasions, both players living in the Saint Helens area I think. - Barry Aldous

20/06/20 - "All Aboard for the Riverboat Shuffle", according to an item in the current Scottish Herald. Just one snag, it was in 1957, but an interesting read nevertheless. It says, "Some 1,800 jazz fans crowded onto the Duchess of Hamilton, looking forward to such bands as the Clyde Valley Stompers (includes a photo), Alan Mason’s Jazzmen, Charlie Gall’s Mainstreamers and the Vernon band would be playing. Check it out
 

19/06/20 - I just read Moe’s reply to my post. Colin, myself and Pete Kennedy, who introduced us to Keith Morrey, Ray Taylor and Rod Hopton, and we used to practise at The Golden Lion In Blackley Village. We started as The Oriole. Think, Moe, that you are getting mixed up with The Crescent JB with Denis Gilmore, Pete and Robin Haslam. When I joined them in 1959 and Colin joined The Zenith Six, that Pub in Middleton was where we played every week. Think Denis’s mum managed it. Can’t remember the name either!  I remember you coming and sitting in, as I also remember you sitting in at The Sportsman’s In Manchester when we had a weekly spot there. Joe Silmon, Ted Calvert, Spanish Fred also sat in with us a lot there too. As did many others. Good times! - Brenda

19/06/20 -  I am sorry to tell you that drummer and comedian, Nicky Martyn, has passed away. He was Nicky Holcroft in the Zenith Six before the death in the early 60’s of manager, Dave Currie, when the band split as some wanted to go professional and the other half weren’t prepared to go that way. Earlier Nicky played with the Eric Pepp Band in Warrington and both bands met when they filmed a “dry run” at Granada, but unfortunately it didn’t make it to be a regular programme. Nicky became a hugely successful comedian working constantly on top cruise ships. Mart was his best man at his marriage. We were on holiday in Australia one time when we suddenly met Nicky and Edwina unexpectedly as they had a few days in Sydney after working on a cruise from San Francisco to meet up there with the P & O World Cruise. When he retired a few years ago he joined Fred’s Jazznorthwest dep page of drummers and played with Mart’s band on occasion. He also made an advert for Ludwig drums in the States and his fee was a top-of-the range Ludwig kit!  - Janet. Rodger

19/06/20 - In reply to Brenda Canty-Forests's letter I remember the Oriole Jazz Band. They used to play at a pub in Middleton I can't remember the name and it is now closed. I used to go there as a youthful 17yr.old and occasionally sat in on drums. As I recall it was the first band that I ever " sat in " with ! They were originally called something else but my memory fails me. - Moe Green.

19/06/20 - I was very sorry to hear yesterday that clarinet/saxophone player Harold Troughton had passed away.  I first heard Harold play in about 1953 when I used to go as a teenager to hear a band of youthful local musicians playing in the upstairs room of the Cuerdley Arms in St Helens. I loved this exciting new music which in the fairly drab days of the early fifties seemed so wild and exuberant and I particularly liked Harold’s enthusiastic clarinet playing, so much so that in no time I’d bought myself a clarinet (on HP!) and had formed a band with some other jazz-mad youngsters.  It’s that indefatigable enthusiasm that I shall remember most about Harold. It showed itself not only in his playing (he used to twist and weave so much as he played that we sometimes referred to him as The Snake Charmer!), but also in the way he kept jazz going over several decades in Rainhill where he lived. He played for a number of years with his band, The Dixie Kings, at the Victoria Hotel, but then at a succession of other venues in the village. Each time they got the sack it seemed no time at all before he’d got a new venue, the last one being the Ex-Services Club, where, despite poor attendances in recent times, Harold soldiered on undeterred.  Also, for well over 20 years, he’d been a leading light in one of the region’s best-known bands, The Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra, as well as popping up in various other bands as a dep.  The North-West jazz scene is the poorer for his passing. - Keith Allcock.

19/06/20 - "Coincidentally I am reading Pops Foster’s autobiography again and he says of Bechet, "He is the most selfish, hard to get along with guy I ever worked with. You really had to try to get along with him. He was a tough baby and all for himself ". - Graham Martindale

17/06/20 - Hi Fred, Have been reading your news and as a lot have been recalling the early days of jazz in the U.K.,and as I have been going through drawers of stuff while being shielded (and it looks like here in North Wales it could go on till mid August!),  thought I would ask if anyone remembers Jazz at the YMCA in Bury? With the Oriole we played there weekly in 1957.this is a cutting from The Evening Chronicle Oct 17th1957 notice that Rod Hopton played with us then.  I also remember playing in Bury Carnival, on a lorry, and Stan Stennett played Colin’s trumpet.that was possibly the same year.  Will be surprised if anyone remembers!!  - Brenda Canty-Forrest. (Click on image for larger version - Fred)

17/06/20 -  "A small but important piece of Merseyside jazz history has left us with the death on 15 June of Fred Jarvis, one time General Secretary of the NUT", writes Bob Lamb. "In November 1947 , following WW2 ,the Wallasey Jazz Club (secretary Pete Kelly), was revived. It resulted, one way and another, in the founding of the Merseysippi Jazz Band. The promoter of the club was the P. Y. M. ( Progressive Youth Movement ), a left wing inspired political organisation with which Fred Jarvis was involved. He and Dick Goodwin met through working in the Education Office at Wallasey Town Hall. Later, on 14 February 1949, the 'birth' date of the Merseysippi , " Merseyside's First JAZZ BAND BALL " was held at the Grosvenor Ballroom. Wallasey. It was jointly promoted as a fund-raising function, by the Wallasey Progressive Movement, successor to the PYM, and Wallasey Rhythm Club. The Merseysippi, then the Wallasey Rhythm Kings, were not named while the headline act was the Smoky City Stompers , described as the " Leading Jazz Band of the North " ..... and " Dancing from 7.30 p. m. - 11.30 p. m ".  When I wrote to Mr Jarvis in 1988 he replied describing and confirming the events, his attendance and local press reporting of meetings of the Wallasey Rhythm Club, while expressing his delight at the success of the Merseysippi.  Thank you Fred Jarvis for your part in creating something which has given so many considerable joy over nearly 70 years."

17/06/20 - It's Wednesday and time for another quiz from Bert Thompson. Good Luck

17/06/20 - Alan Booth has come up with this answer, "Chilton’s excellent bio of Bechet has dates for the tour which took place in Sept 1956. Liverpool was on the 14th of that month."

17/06/20 - My Dad (Guy Fenton), was a formidable New Orleans trad jazz drummer who played alongside Ken Colyer (with Geoff Cole), Sammy Rimington and Brian Carrick amongst many others.  He sadly passed away on Monday in Barnstaple hospital, Devon, the funeral is yet to be confirmed but will likely be week commencing 6th July at North Devon crematorium in Barnstaple. The funeral directors are WS Gayton and Sons : YouTube VideosBude jazz festival 1995...  Any help in reaching this information out to the jazz world is greatly appreciated. Warmest regards - Ed and James, his sons.

16/06/20 - Bechet died on May 14 1959 so Liverpool would have to be before that. John Chilton wrote a biography on Bechet, so, if someone has a copy, the UK playing dates and venues could be in it.  Could save all this head scratching - Norman Gibson

16/06/20 - "I am glad to see the easing of restrictions starting today in England and I send love and best wishes to you all.  Maybe I will be able to come over in 2021 and celebrate my postponed 80 Birthday party!", writes Sheila Collier. Sheila sent me a copy of various cuttings of the 50's through to the 80's which you can see here.

16/06/20 - The Bechet concert couldn't have been 1956. That was the year Louis came to Liverpool and he was the first American jazz musician (at the Stadium). Bechet was several years after Louis. I would guess about 1958 or 59.

16/06/20 - Hi Fred, Memory Lane, I saw Sidney Bechet late 50s in the DeMontfort Hall, Leicester. - Bernie Hives

15/06/20 - Howard Murray writes, "An anecdote from the life of Bechet. He was off to France for another trip and was planning or had been invited to a tour around the Selmer de Paris factory. His friend, one Bill Rheinhart who ran a night-club in Chicago and played clarinet, asked Bechet to try and obtain a particularly good model of their current range, to which Bechet agreed. The tour was completed and the instrument delivered to its delighted, new owner. Rheinhart asked "Great.. What do I owe you Sid?" "Well, I got a great deal and they let me have it at below half price!" said the Great Man and quoted a figure. Rheinart paid up and was delighted with his purchase." Very soon afterwards, an international Musical Instrument Fair was staged in Chicago and the Rep. off the Selmer stand sought out Rheinhart's club and paid him a visit. "My company asked me to enquire if you liked the complimentary clarinet we sent you with Monsieur Bechet?" OOPS!".

15/06/20 - Re. John McCormick's post. In the early 1950’s when I was about seventeen, I went hitch-hiking around Europe with a friend. In Juan-les-Pins, Sidney Bechet was on in a night club (not a jazz club). We went to see him and made one glass of wine each last the whole evening. In the interval he was standing at the bar on his own. We went and had a very amiable chat with him and of course got an autograph. I was also able to “sit in” with bands at local jazz clubs. - Barrie Quilliam

15/06/20 - I'm told that today is it the anniversary of the birth of Errol Garner and that he was a big influence on Tom Kincaid's style of playing. He was born on June 15, 1921 in Pittsburgh, Penn., Garner and his twin brother Ernest were the youngest of six children. Raised in a musical family, he was playing the piano by the age of three.  https://youtu.be/ulacVUzmG5g.


14/06/20 -
Many Happy Returns today to Richard Leach, tomorrow to Dave Wright, and on Saturday, to Tom Kincaid.
 

13/06/20 - Jon Critchley's question " what if Louis Armstrong had played the banjo ? " is intriguing. My opinion is that jazz might have died out by the late 20's. Louis defined jazz. In the 20's he was writing the book as he played. His talent and personality eventually got him known worldwide. He introduced jazz to thousands. He influenced countless musicians and singers ( Sinatra, Bennett, Fitzgerald ) who went on in their turn to influence others. I can't think of any other of his contemporaries who could have achieved that. Oliver, Dodds, Morton ? I think not. Although it would be interesting to hear the intro to " West End Blues " played on the banjo. " Banjo Chop Suey " anyone ? - Moe Green.
 

11/06/20 - Hi again Fred.. (and 'Team').  Well thanks to you, your website and readers we are indeed getting there!  I now have it confirmed that the year was 1956 and the venue was undoubtedly the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.  The band was led by Andre Reweliotty ...who played regularly with Bechet, (as in fact did Claude Luter), up to 1959 the year Bechet died.  Sadly Reweliotty was to die himself 3 years later, in a car crash - just 33 years old!  Good story from Steve Voce regarding his encounter with Mr. B. after the Phil concert when Steve was trying to interview him backstage.  Not the easiest of people to interview...I had heard he could be quite abrasive ...downright rude at times.  Shame ... such a fine player and massively important figure in the 'jazz story'.   But thanks again to one and all for helping to 'fill in the blanks'. Much appreciated ! - John McC ...

11/06/20 - Steve Voce writes, "The Bechet concert, with the Belgian band led by clarinettist Andre Reweliotty was at the Liverpool Phil. I arranged an interview with Sidney, and met him in the Green Room backstage. We sat at a long mahogany table (must have been about 12 ft). I began by saying 'You gave up playing the clarinet in 1948, and we all loved your playing on that instrument. Why did you give it up?'   'That's a very interesting question,' he said, 'and I'll answer it with another one. What the hell has it got to do with you?'  And he got up and walked out.   I have the programme here, and he's signed it 'To Steve, My Best Wishes, Sidney Bechet'. Must have been before the interview. Of course there's no date on the programme."

11/06/20 -
Thanks for all the good work you do.  With regards to John McCormick’s post-Sidney Bechet’s visit to Liverpool was with Andre Reweliotty’s orchestra on September 14th 1956.I don’t know the venue. - Dave Lunt

11/06/20 - An update on the Frog & Henry Tour Jan/Feb 2021, which was  for them to tour with a 10/11 piece band, can be read on Jazz Guide News Page

11/06/20 - Hello Fred, You can tell Mark I am alive and well - sadly Kathy died many years ago.. I struck up a friendship with Tommy Tucker [real name Robert Higginbotham] when he first toured Britain in the 1960s R 'n' B era, a friendship that lasted until his untimely death from food poisoning. He was a jazz pianist before he became a singer, working in the 1950s with the likes of Roland Kirk and the Montgomery brothers [Wes and Monk}. Tommy stayed with Kathy and myself for a couple of days when he toured with the American Blues Legends package in 1975, so that must have been the occasion of the Mellor dinner - which I don't remember. It was probably at the Oddfellows Arms. Sadly, I don't remember Mark either - please let him have my email in case he would like to remind a forgetful 80-year-old! - Chris Lee

11/06/20 -  Reply to John McCormick. I saw Sydney Bechet with the Claud Luter band one Sunday afternoon in the Albert Hall. It was back in the fifties. Mine was in London, though, not Liverpool.

11/06/20 - "Following the comments on the last JazzNorthWest page I checked with our local jazz historian Bill Haesler to see if my recollections of Dennis Tongue fitted in", writes Peter Cowden from Australia. He says, "I have copied below Bill's comments which also asks questions your UK supporters may be able to answer:- Basically, correct, a freelancer particularly over the last 20 years, including the Robbers Dogs Jazz Band. I am trying put an obit together for the SJC July Newsletter by next week but although I met him regularly for drinks over the last few years, I was never able to get him to write down the usual dates and stuff I needed for a biography. Lots of great stories, but no details. Apart from the Vietnam experience. I have his birth date and assume he was born in the Manchester area where he grew up. But I have nothing about his UK jazz activities. Does your source have any details?  It was sad that he went the way he did. All alone. He never answered his phone/iPhone, and may still be on the floor at home if Richard Edser hadn't asked the police to check on him. - Bill Haesler.

11/06/20 - Jon Critchley is wondering, "How the course of jazz would have been had Louis been handed a banjo when he was at the coloured waif’s home?", Well you would wouldn't you?

11/06/20 - Number 5 in my series The Lost Tapes has now been uploaded. It features ex Quayside Hot Stompers leader, pianist Tom Culbert, and it's the tape called, "From Rags to Stride".
 

10/06/20 - Bert Thompson has kindly supplied me with this week's Wednesday Quiz. This time the subject is Birds.

09/06/20 - I used to know  Chris Lee (ex MEN jazz journalist), and his wife Kathy in the 1970s and recall having dinner with them and Tommy Tucker of High Heel Sneakers fame at a restaurant in Mellor. Do you have any news of them or perhaps an Email address? If not, sorry for bothering you.-  Mark Rowley. Anybody know the answer? - Fred
 

08/06/20 - It didn't come late, I forgot to scan it. This month's edition of Just Jazz magazine is now out and available.

08/06/20 - I Recently received news from Australia of the passing sometime last week of Dennis Tonge (Tongue?). He was around and before my early days of playing in Manchester but I cannot remember who he played with. Please post it and ask if anyone can help. I believe he played banjo. - Charlie Bentley

08/06/20 - John Westwood celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday and sent this recording to extend on the Billy Jones theme - "It doesn't convey the relevance as is, but listening to the 'B' side of the only band record under his own name does confirm the ODJB influence, I think", says John.

08/06/20 - Billy Jones is certainly well known to me but thanks to John & Chris for the video links. Never seen them before. Don't you just LOVE those BBC commentaries? The ODJB sailed to the UK in April 1919 with their regular pianist J. Russell Robinson. They were booked into the London Palladium for two weeks commencing 21st April 1919 and played the whole of the second half after the interval. Here's a copy of the programme. Original Dixieland Jazz Band, London Palladium - 1919 - National Jazz Archive. Billy Jones had a quartet playing at Martan's Club in London. The ODJB took an engagement at the club alongside the Jones quartet and when Robinson returned to America with his wife in October, Nick LaRocca asked Billy Jones to take his place. The band also played at, amongst other venues, the Hammersmith Palais de Danse and Rector's Club in Tottenham Court Road where, according to Billy Jones, there was a band playing opposite them which included Sidney Bechet. The ODJB recorded seventeen titles for Columbia in the UK. Billy Jones is on nine of them. They returned to America in July 2020. Billy Jones' only other recordings were with his "Jazz Band" (three titles in April 1936) and four piano solos accompanied by an unknown and fairly sympathetic drummer in 1945 which weren't issued until they turned up on a Retrieval CD in 2011. (The ODJB actually landed in Liverpool at the time I believe - Fred).   - Graham Martindale. Graham also adds, "On the ODJB theme, have you ever watched this? America's version of What's My Line.....I've got a secret".
 

07/06/20 - Having seen several videos recently that have been created individually and then put together in a multi window video, and always up for a challenge, I thought I'd have a go myself with my video editor.  The only snag was, I didn't have several musicians to call upon to play along to a  rhythm track. Undaunted I downloaded a video from YouTube that Barrie Marshall had put up. I noticed he played the same melody four times and in one section there was an improvisation. So I divided the video into four parts, slid them together, (which reduced the video by a quarter, cropped them, resized them, positioned them and then added some still pictures, but first check out the original here, and then see what you can do with time on your hands. Now then, who's next?

 

07/06/20 - "This has been niggling away at the brain cells still functioning, and concerns Sidney Bechet", writes John McCormick. "It all started some months ago when I bumped into an old school mate and we had a reminisce over a beer or two.  During the course of our musings he said we hadn't seen much of each other since the Sidney Bechet concert in the fifties. I agreed that apart from three or four random occasions since, he was probably right.  We chatted on and on about that gig - we'd both been blown away by it.  As teenagers seeing a New Orleans legend like Bechet in Liverpool seemed unbelievable.  On par with seeing Louis and the All Stars at the Stadium during that same period.  But that's where, all these years later it gets a bit fuzzy.  I can remember seeing the show which was great.  Bechet was accompanied by a French band - Claude Luter's combo I think.  I remember trying to get Mr. Bechets autograph at the end of the gig but gave up when I saw the queue . Truth to tell it was probably the nervousness the callow 17 year old me felt as I drew nearer to him.  And I can well remember, in fact how could I ever forget - after the usual coffee bar chat etc. - the trek home, which took me along Lime St and past the Adelphi Hotel with the sound of Bechet and the guys still ringing in my ears. Drawing level with the main entrance was when the incredible happened. As I glanced over at the hotel steps.... There he was - standing outside !  So nerves determinedly quelled, I got the great man's autograph after all.  But now the real fuzzy bit ....  Believe it or not, despite the wonderful concert and the autograph at the Adelphi etc looming large in the memory banks - the two things I can't bring to mind are - the date the concert took place (1957..?) and the venue?   So this is by way of a plea for help ..!   I'm hoping amongst all the knowledgeable readers and contributors , most with better memories than I have - someone will take pity on me and fill in the missing gaps.  Warmest regards to one and all. -  John McCormick.

07/06/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Des Hopkins on Thursday, and Keith Hockin on Saturday
 

05/06/20 - Does the name Billy Jones mean anything to you?  Well it should do, check out these videos which John Westwood dug up, and Chris Walker subsequently passed on to me. https://youtu.be/9jEkE1IPWHo and https://youtu.be/QtU1vSfL50U


04/06/20 -
Chris Walker has emailed to say, "During the lockdown I have updated my jazzdates website. This now lists jazz venues and bands for all to see. I am offering this as a FREE service to bands and venues with their own websites. Please take a look at www.jazzdates.co.uk and contact me with any updates or additions.

04/06/20 - Some good news. The Palm House have booked The Savoy Jazzmen for most months in 2021. We must be doing something right. Mind you we do get 150+ each month. - Peter Swensson

04/06/20 - It's a day late, but it's here now. The Wednesday Quiz, and once again it's thanks to Bert Thompson for setting the questions.
 

03/06/20 - Peter Cowden in Australia (ex Thornton Cleveleys) writes, "We, here at Swingtime Radio are pleased to announce the launch of our daily Concert broadcasts. They will feature material that may not have been played previously on Swingtime and will generally run for about an hour. There will be a mix of Jazz, Swing as well as some early jazz and a little nightclub style entertainment.  U.K. :- 6am,11am & 5pm."

03/06/20 - A bit of Covid humour with more than a hint of truth from Jon Critchley - "I’ve been looking back over my cancelled gig list, and I reckon so far I’ve saved about £362!! ".
 

01/06/20 - Walter Love's first class programme 'Jazz Club' on BBC Radio Ulster/Radio Foyle of Sunday 31.05.20 features a one hour retrospective of the music of Chris Barber who recently turned 90. Not to be missed and can be played back for one month on BBC Sounds Radio IPlayer! - David Evans

01/06/20 - Thanks so much for posting the info about Ewan Bleach’s Sunday shows. I have heard him at the French Quarter Festival with Tuba Skinny a couple of times and once at the Keswick jazz festival and was impressed. What a treat it was to watch his show today. I look forward to watching him every Sunday. - Susan Enefer, Sidney BC, Canada
 


May 2020

31/05/20 - Alan Wilcox mentioned Tom Orritt in his tribute to George Barnett: Tom was a great cornettist who took no prisoners and led the Savoy Jazzmen so well. A real character. I remember a night at The Leasowe castle Hotel in Wirral, we had three bands that night: The Savoy, The Panama and another band (I’m sorry to say I can’t remember which), and for my money, the Savoy blew us and the other band off the stage. Very exciting playing! Jon Critchley

31/05/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Graham Brook (promoter), on Monday, Brendy Canty-Forrest (Tomkins), on Tuesday and to Jeff Milner on Thursday.

31/05/20 - George Barnett is the latest NW musician to join the tribute page and if anybody has a photograph, I'd be happy to include it. Two more messages of condolence have just come in. - "This is sad news indeed. I'm afraid I haven't seen George in more than thirty years, but back in the eighties I occasionally depped for Peter Swensson at the Savoy 's Monday evening residency at the Helsby Arms, and George and I always hit it off. He was a great clarinetist in a band full of real characters, and his partnership with the late Tommy Orrit on cornet made for a highly entertaining front-line double act. Helen joins me in sending condolences to his family". - Allan Wilcox.  :   "Yes. I remember George well. We had some good music times together with the likes of Bobby Boyd and the Liverpool fringe. Best wishes to Phil and family". - Derek Harrison

30/05/20 - Can you believe I forgot all about Ewan Bleach's live Sunday night shows on Facebook, and I struggled to find if they could be seen in retrospect.  Thanks to Roger & Hilda Bywater who pointed me in the right direction, I hadn't realised that as time goes by, Facebook items can drop down the page faster than a meteor. So I've dug out the links for the 10th, 17th & 24th May videos, and they are below. You don't need to have a Facebook Account, just don't forget to make a donation at https://www.paypal.me/ewanbleach, it's only fair if you are going to watch them. -

10th May - https://www.facebook.com/jamboreelimehouse/videos/106350600407723
17th May - https://www.facebook.com/jamboreelimehouse/videos/953028185133004
24th May - https://www.facebook.com/jamboreelimehouse/videos/626345291287088

30/05/20 - I’ve played with George quite a few times in the past, he was a very good clarinettist, lovely tone, and an admirer of Acker, I remember, as well as George Lewis. Can’t go wrong with those inspirations. Condolences to Phil and family. - Jon Critchley

30/05/20 -  Phil Barnett phoned me last night to say his dad George Barnett had passed away on the 15th May.. He hasn’t been too well for a number of years and had stopped playing 10-15 years ago.   George was a founder member of the Savoy Jazzmen playing at our first gig in May 1960 at the Mardi Gras Liverpool. Sadly Marj his wife passed away April this year.   He played with a number of North West bands over the years.   Condolences to Phil and his family. - Peter Swensson.
 

29/05/20 -  Thanks Fred for putting up that info regarding Ewan live streaming every Sunday. Just watching and listening to the second of the three that he has played. Absolutely fabulous. There can't be any better way of passing a summer Sunday evening in these times.  Hope you are keeping safe & well.  Take care. Roger & Hilda Bywater.

29/05/20 - "It is with huge sadness to let you know that Meryl Gibson passed away peacefully on 27 May. While her husband Norman Gibson was the front man organising fantastic jazz gigs for over 20 years at various venues in Morecambe, Heysham, Overton and Garstang, Meryl was there at every gig, organising food, running raffles and welcoming old friends with a beaming smile. Norman called Meryl his ‘Nancy Spain’ after the Christie Moore song https://youtu.be/5BdZlGIZCsA. She’ll be much missed by her family and many more in the North West jazz community.” - Michael Gibson.

29/05/20 -  Many thanks Fred for showing Ken Horton's photo of the Climax Jazz Band 11.05.20. with Phil Morgan on banjo. He was, as well as being Best Man at my wedding, responsible for the beginning and end , within a couple of hours, of my musical career.  Bear with me..........   When, at short notice, Dave Martin was unable to play at a gig , Phil asked me to dep for him on piano. Limited to an out of tune version of Chopsticks , Tishomingo wasn't in it, this was a weird request. I demurred, but Phil had a cunning plan. " We'll place the piano with it's back to the audience and behind the band . Nobody will see your hands ". And so I ' played ', sort of, accepting the applause for the band. But did I get paid ?  Returning following three years working in Kenya I found that Phil had decamped, departed, fled, to London since when no word. And I haven't played since. Now about my fee..... - Bob Lamb

29/05/20 - "Wearing my other "hat" so to speak I have just finished the attached jazz themed oil painting", says Richard Slater. "It measures 60cm x 40cm and started out as a few sketches / photos I took of the Red Rose Parade Band. The band were playing in Towneley Park, Burnley last May. Some of the Red Rose Band might even recognise themselves in the painting. Who knows?".
 

27/05/20 - Saints at the BBC was recorded in 1963.  Announcer stated that this recording was 20 years after Fats Waller died. (1943)

27/05/10 - Katy Clachan has had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year's Jazz Weekend at North West Castle in Stranraer and has sent out a letter which she has asked me to put on the site here

27/05/20 - It's Wednesday, time for Quiz Number 10. Once again it's a list of ten NW musicians with their names jumbled up. They all appear on the Deps List, so if in doubt check them out.
 

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 aredburke9607@gmail.com 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. https://youtu.be/Le-0kGfKoxw  - 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 http://www.sjhospice.org.uk/NoAudienceJonR.  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 .... @icloud.com. 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 https://ladiesoftheband.wordpress.com/  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. https://public.tameside.gov.uk/imagearchive/ " - 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 richardsbailey@talktalk.net".

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: https://youtu.be/8JimnrbtqyY 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 https://youtu.be/JYa7LJ7nMqA 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 - www.jackcotterill.bandcamp.com  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

 

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
All older news items are archived offline

jazznorthwest.co.uk@gmail.com


Click here for Main Menu

Please Visit my HOME PAGE
 
`q