The Smoky City Jazz Band c1976
I have scanned some stuff which relates to 1976. That year I was back in Stockport staying with my father on leave from teaching in South Australia. I was lucky enough to rejoin the Smokies in either February or early March. So three of the photos are of the Smokies at The Band on the Wall
Here is a photo of our first LP cover taken at The Band on The Wall in Manchester with sleeve notes by George Melly and review by Ray Colman of the Melody Maker . I thought it would stir a few memories ! We played The Band on the Wall in the 1970s every Wednesday from 9pm till midnight - Sheila Collier
Some years later
Smoky City disbanded in January 2004 due to many other commitments
The Smoky City Jazz Band has been in existence for over twenty five years, passing through various stages of change in style and personnel. They have had much success from Cornwa1l to Carlisle, as well as in Europe where they appeared as the first of the North of England bands in the Jazz Festivals of Holland. Their professional approach ensures their audiences go home happy and contented.
The Members of the band were:
BOB JONES - DRUMS - Bob had a style he had carefully developed over the years, whereby he kept the Band swinging without over-exposing himself. The ideal drummer who can be heard keeping the rhythm together by skilful prompting to the rest of the rhythm section. The "Daddy of the Band" - Bob was the longest serving member of the Smoky.
PETER WATTS - GUITAR - Pete is well known for his blues solos and delicate accompaniments to the various singers who appear with the Band. His quiet demeanour belies the youthful vigour of the mind which conjures up surprising phrases for his nimble fingers. Pete had many years playing with Big Bands and Dance Bands. He can play anything and has the respect of many guitar players.
REG KENWORTHY - DOUBLE BASS - Reg started playing piano at the age of fifteen, mostly in dance bands, but switched to double bass in 1956 when he joined the famous Saints Jazz Band. Over the 20 years with them, they regularly backed several well known visiting American jazz musicians. Reg became a personal friend of Trummy Young and Red Allen. Since the break-up of the Saints he has played with lots of local bands, always much in demand, the Smoky are pleased to have him on board. (Reg died on 28th Jan 2013)
MIKE PEMBROKE - TROMBONE - Mike has been a colleague of leader Bill since their youth and they were both in the legendary Mike Pembroke Hot Seven J.B. Paths diverted for several years but now they're back together creating the kind of music the public enjoy. His style follows the hot Chicago trombonists of the 20's and 30's.
BILL SMITH - CORNET - Bill is the perfect lead cornet, and organiser for the band. He can play well on solos and plays ballads beautifully. He instills a spirit of joy into the rest of the musicians and forces innovations and superb phrasing. The audience also like his sense of humour on mike. Winner for the 3rd year running of the "Ain't Misbehavin"' Jazz Award, for most popular trumpeter in the North!
MAURICE GAVAN - PIANO/CLARINET - for many years Maurice concentrated on his piano playing. He ran his own Band for several years, playing Trad. Jazz, Mainstream and Dance music. He's been on the jazz circuit for more years than he cares to remember. His piano style ranges from George Shearing to Stride piano. Since joining the Smoky he's returned to his clarinet which he plays with much skill and enthusiasm, greatly influenced by Sandie Brown and Archie Semple.
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