Last updated Sunday August 01, 2021 at 20:19:42

Traditional Jazz in The North West (UK)


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01/08/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Mike Lovell on Tuesday, and to Mark Challinor on Saturday

30/07/21 - At long last live music is emerging from hibernation, and jazz players are rubbing their eyes, stretching, and checking that their instruments still work. Kendal Jazz Club have planned gigs over the next 3 months, with the first being the Pete Major Trio on Wednesday 11 August - Bruce Carnaffin.

30/07/21 - Geoff Bull in Australia has also confirmed the bass player on the George Lewis recording, "In The upper Garden", and gives us a little more insight into it.  "To answer your question, the recording that you refer to is almost certainly one from a session where George recorded all hymns and I sure is the only time George ever over dubbed one of his own recordings. The session was a Trio comprising George, the Bassist is Placide Adams and it is Joe Robichaux on Piano but playing in a strictly vamp style which George apparently had asked him to play as he missed the Banjo chords that he relied on as a self taught “ear” player. This would explain why it could be mistaken for a Banjo. If you listen to all of George’s recordings done after Joe Robichaux replaced Alton and when George stopped using Banjo after Marrero had died, Joe Robichaux plays that chord vamp style in all of the ensembles on those recordings. Hope this helps".

30/07/21 - At noon Monday 9th August the Savoy Jazzmen are starting a new weekly residency. The venue is Sefton Cricket Club, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park. L17 1AP. We will be playing between 12.00 - 14.00 hours. There is an admission charge of £5.00. As the session is at midday you are very welcome to bring your own lunch however tea coffee etc must be purchased at the bar. There will be a raffle. There is a good car park. - Peter Swensson (Savoy Jazzmen)

30/07/21 - The programme for the Fleetwood Hesketh jazz Club in Southport has been updated.

29/07/21 - Fred .. I see no mention on your news page that the wonderful Kenny Ball / Chris Barber bassist Vic Pitt passed away on Tuesday last. I am posting this
just in case you had not heard this sad news.-- Des Hopkins. Took me a while to confirm this, but it is on the Chris Barber site where it says, "Vic passed away on Tuesday July 27, 2021 - RIP Vic".

29/07/21 - The latest edition of Just Jazz Magazine has arrived. There's good news for overseas subscribers. In an attempt at eliminating high bank charges incurred when renewing their subscriptions to Just Jazz, there's an easier and more cost effective way of paying. Just Jazz has set up a PayPal account, and although it is mainly for non-UK readers, customers in the UK can, if they wish to, use PayPal to pay their subs as well. Pay to:

28/07/21 -  Daniel Gottlieb writes, "I came across your website while searching for a band my Grandpa was in. The band was Smoky City Stompers and I'm after a physical copy of the recording where he played guitar. As far as I can tell they only released one vinyl under the label Addison according to Discogs. I'm wondering whether you have a physical copy of the vinyl or know someone who does who would be willing to sell it?".

28/07/21 - Gerry Owen's tribute page has been updated.

28/07/21 - Didn't take long for the answer to the bass player to come along, both confirming the bass player to be Placide Adams. "The Bass player on 'The Upper Garden' track is Placide Adams, but I only know that because it says so on the Album sleeve.  Unfortunately it doesn't credit the Banjo player". -  Norman Gibson. "It is from the CD – George Lewis Plays Hymns – Milneburg Records MCD1 – recorded New Orleans 1964.  George Lewis (clarinet), Joe Robichaux (piano), Placide Adams (bass) ... as you see NO banjo ... just block chords from the pianist. There are 15 hymns/spirituals and an interview with George on the CD. It is worth looking out for on eBay or Amazon". - Pete Lay.

27/07/21 - Quite a few of you bought copies of the "George Lewis in Japan 1963" DVD 11 years ago through me which was made available through a great deal of effort by Australian trumpet player Geoff Bull, in conjunction with the New Orleans Rascals. I met up with Geoff & The Rascals when they appeared at the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival in July 2010.  John Muskett's question has prompted me to email Geoff & Linda to see how they are, but before doing so, I came across this video about him and his latest venture uploaded in June this year at It's a short video but well worth the watch to see how young and not so young are getting together.

27/07/21 - While roaming around YouTube I came across a recording (sound only) of George Lewis playing “In The Upper Garden”. I thought that the bass playing was superb – resonant plucked notes (no slapping) accurately delivered, chords clearly described, mix of 2 beat and 4 beat playing until the final (4 beat) chorus, sympathetic lines, neither too simple nor over-complicated. The banjo playing (plectrum rather than a tenor model?) is discreet, and a second clarinet (George multitracking?) joins in half way through.    I’m sure that there must be George Lewis enthusiasts who can identify the bassist. He (she?) and the banjoist don’t sound like Pavageau and Marrero to me. Any answers? - Harmoniously, John Muskett

27/07/21 - Sheila Collier writes, "Maybe this band was not based in Manchester, but I have been singing again in Copenhagen and Bornholm !  It’s great . Here is a photo

26/07/21 - Ed Lee tells me that Rae Owens' birthday was on 29th June, better late than never  I suppose.

26/07/21 - Re: The Barber CD set - I purchased it last week. If you have a lot of Barber in your collection, you will have a good majority of the recordings. However, an excellent tribute. Although there are two Colyer tracks on the CD, the reviewer makes no mention of Ken. Without Ken, Chris would not have had the 'springboard' he was given in 1953. The band would have started out its professional life without Pat Halcox, I wonder who Chris would have got? Others in the frame at the time, didn't want to turn professional. Things could have turned out completely differently ... funny how fate has a part to play. - Pete Lay

25/07/21 - Jazz is back at The Hope & Anchor pub in Ulverston on 29th July, "Hope Springs Eternal" will hopefully be playing regularly on the last Thursday in the month. See What's On for more details

25/07/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Les Harris, and tomorrow to Charlie Bentley. On Thursday it's Happy Birthday to three musicians - Barry Aldous, Rae Owen and Tom Rippeth. Two more musicians complete the week's birthdays on Friday - Jim Swinnerton & Ken Binns.

24/07/21 - The Recommended Album page has been updated, Time for Volume 2 of Vintage Merseysippi Jazz Band

22/07/21 - I think the Times article is referring to a new 4cd boxed set of Chris' music, and is reviewed by Denny Illett. Here's a link: - Jon Critchley

21/07/21 - Chris Barber: A Trailblazer’s Legacy review — the innovator with a taste for tradition - That's the heading of an article in the Times, published on Wednesday July 21 2021, 5.00pm. Unfortunately you have to pay to read it unless you are already a subscriber. Sadly, I'm not.

21/07/21 -  Congrats to Eagley Jazz Club. A venue I remember with affection having guested there many times with the fabulous Jim Wilkes and his energetic Stompers. Happy Days! - Derek Harrison

20/07/21 - Now for the bad news - The Classic Jazz Party at Whitley Bay 2021 has been cancelled and also Pershore Jazz Festival 2021 has been cancelled

20/07/21 - It's good news bad news time. First the good news - Annie’s Saints and Sinners are playing at Macclesfield Treacle Market once again between 11am and 12 noon outside the Town Hall. This is the first time since the first lockdown and Annie Cousins says, "Please forgive any mistakes if anyone comes to hear us as we have only managed one short practice in the garden".  Dave Bateman tells me that the High Society Jazz Band is back at the Bare Village Club on Sunday 15th August, 4.00-6.30pm. We are hoping that this will become a regular monthly gig again, and we are looking forward to seeing old friends and making some new ones. Admission is free, but a collection will be taken. There is ample car parking and a well-stocked and reasonably priced bar, but they do not serve food at the moment. Thirdly Allan Wilcox tells me, "Manchester Jazz  monthly session at High Lane Conservative Club begins again on Monday 2nd August". Finally Derek and Trish Galloway tell me that "The Canal Street Stompers resume their residency at the Railway in Sale on Wednesday 28th July at 8.30 and The landlord is looking forward to welcoming all you jazz fans back after such a long enforced break So are we !!".

20/07/21 - In this week's programme, Walter Love takes me back to the days of my youth - and beyond - again! Nothing to do with the North West but a stunning reminder of how it all once was on the London scene. Do give it a listen. - John Westwood

20/07/21 - Many Happy Returns today to John Percival leader of the Dixie Beats.

20/07/21 - I asked Ann Lord how it went last night at Eagley, and she told me - "John Hallam and Tom Kincaid and the lads put on a really great performance of a mixture of various genres of Jazz and were greatly appreciated by the audience. I videoed the finale which I'll put on our Facebook site for all to see. It was really great to be back to almost the ''old'' normal, apart from a few face masks. In terms of numbers, we were up to 88 registrations yesterday but had several cancellations at the last minute due to self-isolations, illness, heat and general nervousness about going into confined public places. Nevertheless, we still had around 74 people attend, which isn't bad! Most of them were members and the rest were John Hallam fans, a few of whom were interested in joining our club. It's very gratifying knowing that so many people had a good time, listening to great music and catching up with old and new friends in the club! Long may we continue to provide this service to our members!".

19/07/21 - To celebrate the Sefton Park Palm House’s 125th Anniversary, the Savoy Jazzmen are appearing there between 1 - 3 p.m on Tuesday 27th July

18/07/21 - Photo taken last Sunday at All Saints’ Parish Church Childwall. Never had so many 2nd liners before. A wonderful turnout. - Peter Swensson. Savoy Jazzmen.

17/07/21- Many Happy returns this week to Chris Pendlebury on Monday, Bob Pickersgill and Mike Carnie on Tuesday, Isabel Toner on Friday (23rd, not 13th as previously shown), and Brian Singleton on Saturday

17/07/21 - Quintessential Jazz, a new four piece busking band, are out on the road again, this time they will be playing outside Scoota Mart on Victoria Road in Cleveleys. The band first played on Booths Car Park in Garstang on 7th July.

17/07/21 - I've just been going through my list of 21 jazz clubs. Fifteen of them have yet to show any sign of advertising future gigs, which is somewhat depressing.

17/02/21 - Scottish Jazz Archive Board Member Graham Blamire has put a considerable amount of ink to paper in producing an excellent outline of traditional jazz and mainstream in and around Edinburgh. If you thought this site was a great collection of traditional jazz material, you ain't seen nothing yet!  Click HERE to read

17/07/21 - Saturday is new album day from now on. John Westwood suggested we should feature a NW Band, and recommended the album - " Vintage Merseysippi Jazz Band Vol.2.",  as he had just been listening to it. Nothing wrong with Volume 1, so Vol.2 can wait until next week. Click here to enjoy

16/07/21 - I've just received notification of the 37th Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival 2021. It's from Friday 16th July, every day until Sunday 1st August when this region will once again become the centre of jazz and blues interest with 136 performances, 129 of them free admission, featuring 203 musicians in 52 bands appearing in 63 venues throughout Birmingham, Sandwell, Sutton Coldfield and Solihull as well as shows in Dudley and Redditch. It features Dixieland, Bebop, Modern Jazz, Swing, Rhythm & Blues – and there’s more - Jitterbug and Charleston dance lessons, Ukulele and Harmonica Workshops, and you can join the Festival Sketch Crawl or  get involved in the photography – and that’s all free as well. Looks like there's something for everyone, so check out the programme here

16/07/21 - A few days ago I was sent a very interesting article, written by the late Geoff Walker in Feb 1991, and printed in Jazz World. It was called, "In Defence of the Banjo", and I've taken the liberty of reproducing it on the site. Musicians in particular should find it very interesting.

14/07/21 - Eagley Jazz Club, 19th July, 8pm: John Hallam and the Tom Kincaid Trio, Ann Lord says, "If you'd like to go, please would you register your name, contact phone and email by emailing or by phoning Ann on 07938171684. At the moment, Eagley Jazz Club have decided to ask for registrations for just the 19th July as it is something of an unknown quantity, also it's John Hallam who has a massive following". The application form has also been updated for those who would like to become members, so why not  save yourself £2 for this event and join now.

13/07/21 - I am hosting a real and in person live concert at a brand new and beautiful venue in Stoke on Trent, Etruria Methodist chapel. It shall be featuring Jamie Brownfield, Andrzej Baranek, Ed Harrison and yours truly. The date is Saturday the 31st July. It would be great to have the support of some of wonderful jazz fans in the northwest, if we get enough support it could continue as a regular venue promoting guests from around the country! For more details and tickets head to my website - .Jack Cotterill

13/07/21 - My granddaughter Ellie and I, are the last of very few who had accommodation booked at Fest Jazz, to have to cancel. Ellie, having secured a new job, cannot get time off. Trevor tells me that the lack of 200 from UK (who usually attend booking weekend passes), means this loss will put a large dent in the festival's finances. But the festival is definitely going ahead - I'm really miffed missing it. - Norman Gibson

12/07/21 - Anybody out there got an Amazon Echo?  Did you know Alexa sings the blues?  Have a listen

12/07/21 - Normally on Monday I update the Recommended Albums page (there is just one in the pipeline), but I forgot to send out News Updates via email on Wednesday, and that meant it was only yesterday that some people were notified of the latest album. In future I will update the album page on Saturdays, so enjoy ,"Kid Ory meets Red Allen 1959" a little longer.

11/07/21 - Now You Has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz - Special Louis Armstrong 50th Anniversary Show - Monday 12th July @7pm. Tune in on Monday (12th July) night at 7pm (UK BST, 18:00 utc/gmt) repeated at 1-2pm UK BST Wednesdays and 1am (00:00 utc/gmt) Thursday. Don’t miss the hottest sounds of classic jazz on sound of Spitfire. Tune in on Monday at 7 here : Keep Swinging, - John Petters

11/07/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Ian Royle. I recently uploaded some videos of Ian taken over the years and well worth a watch. Also Many Happy Returns to Cyril Wroe, who has retired from playing, but ran the Festival Jazzmen for several years.

09/07/21 - My condolences on the sad loss of Gerry Owen, and love and best wishes to you two , Derek and Trish. Hope we can meet again one day. Love - Sheila Collier

09/07/21 - Wednesday 7th July, in case you missed it, was the European Cup semi final day, with England winning 2-1 against Denmark. Not a night to hold a jazz club event you might think, especially as Covid restrictions don't end until the 19th. Well Joan Lester, who runs the Fleetwood Hesketh jazz club in Southport, deserves a medal for pressing on with it, as do the ten people who came to listen. I'm surprised there were so many!  I wonder if Rae Owens realised the significance of that date when he accepted the booking and recruited 3 fellow musicians to join him?  He did tell me though that when England beat Germany in the 1966 world cup, he was playing in Germany!

09/07/21 - Jonny Spall recommended I contact you about a new fortnightly residency for my traditional jazz band, starting Tuesday 13th July at 8pm at the Penrhyn Arms, Pendre Road, Penrhynside, Llandudno, LL30 3BY. Free entry, but we ask for donations in the pot in the interval please, preferably paper money!  The band is Liam Byrne, reeds, Andy MacKenzie, banjo/guitar, Neil Yates, trumpet, Andrew MacKenzie, trombone. i have attached a digital poster.  Great pages, by the way, keep up the good work!  - Neil Yates

08/07/21 - Graham Martindale's personal tribute to Gerry Owen begins with the well-remembered voice of Geoff Coates, banjo-player with the New Orleans Express before retiring from his deputy headship and moving to Spain. Graham also shows his photo, briefly, before switching back to Gerry for the beginning of Hushabye. His quick, deadpan humour is evident in his introduction of Gerry ('He was a fractious child. He broke both his legs') as 'Geraldo Owen' with his 'Cuban rhythm section' and of Hushabye itself as 'a lullaby sung to Gerry by his mother round about 1904'. Touring with him was a laugh a minute. //  Sadly, Geoff died in Spain nearly ten years ago, but not before publishing Going Home: The Story of the New Orleans Express in 2010. I'm sure both these events were reported in these pages when they happened, but Graham's tribute to Gerry has also stirred memories of Geoff that I felt moved to share.  //  Yesterday I found a nice YouTube clip of him playing Bourbon Street Parade with his 'Dixie Swing Band' in Nerja, Spain in October 2011 when, as we now know, he had only a few weeks to live. For anyone interested, click here

08/07/21 - Our first jazz session (what is one of those?!) will be on July 25th at The Royal, Delaware Avenue, Albrighton, Shropshire. WV7 3BW. The Club opens for customers at 12.00. Session from 1.00-3.00 and Admission is £7.00. Marie’s world famous rolls will no longer be available but rolls are sold from the bar as are tea and coffee along with the usual pub drinks. You can get more information, bands etc., by going to  - John and Marie Howell

08/07/21 - The funeral of GERRY OWEN will take place on Tuesday 27th July at Christ Church Thorley Lane Timperley Cheshire WA15 7AN. The service starts at 10 am and Gerry will be buried in the Church graveyard. - Derek and Trish Galloway

06/07/21 -  I was coming home just now and heard this great programme on the Car Radio, "King Louis the First of Britain" it is about Louis Armstrong’s many visits to Britain between 1932 and 1968. He died 50 years ago today ! He won over many admirers in the UK. Well worth listening to - Mike Feltham

06/07/21 - Very pleased to announce the return of jazz to the Royal British Legion, Pensby Road , Heswall on the 1st, 3rd & 5th Tuesdays, starting Tuesday 20th July. The Peninsula Jazzmen are looking forward to playing for old friends and new faces, in fact for anyone who wants a relaxed evening of jazz. Music starts at 8 o'clock and we finish at 10.30. See you there!! - Dave Dixson

05/07/221 - More tributes have been added to Gerry Owen's page

05/07/21 - This week's shared album - Jon Critchley says, "Kid Ory meets Red Allen 1959" : my introduction to Red Allen years ago. Superb. Do you have an album you'd like others to hear?  Let me know

04/07/21 - Many Happy Returns to three trombonists. Today to Eddie Taylor, and on Tuesday to Lindsay Taylor and Tony Dunleavy.

02/07/21 - Busking has returned tomorrow, with the Quintessential Swing Quartet playing on Booths Car Park in Garstang

01/07/21 - John Westwood sent me a message - need cheering up? If so, try, Well it certainly cheered me up, thanks John

JUNE 2021

30/06/21 - The latest Just Jazz magazine has arrived, and with it, my name on the front page. Wow!  It's a tribute to all at Just Jazz that they have managed to keep the magazine going through the pandemic.

30/06/21 - Graham Martindale has posted his own personal tribute to Gerry Owen on YouTube.

30/06/21 - Leeds Jazz Club have postponed their reopening until Tuesday 20th July due to the current situation with the Covid restrictions. The first night will be Frank Brookers Happy Chappies. - Mark Croasdale

29/06/21 - Tribute Messages have continued to come in throughout the day for Gerry Owen. Please feel free to send me any memories you have of Gerry and I'll add them to the page.

28/06/21 - We are sad to announce the death of our dear friend Gerry Owen. Gerry died peacefully in hospital on Sunday 27th June, he had been ill for some time. Gerry played sax and clarinet with many bands including River City Jazz band, New Orleans Express, Tuxedo and Canal Street Stompers.  Funeral arrangements will be announced later. We send our condolences to Kay and the family.- Derek and Trish Galloway.  There is a tribute page set up for Gerry which you can view here

28/06/21 - Need a smile, check out this cartoon sent to me by Ian Royle (link corrected)

28/06/21 - "The music of Jelly Roll Morton" is the suggestion of Keith Garner for this week's recommended album which you can listen to here

27/06/21 - "It is with great sadness that the Committee of Eagley Jazz club has made the difficult decision to cancel our event with the Tame Valley Stompers on 5th July. Our main concerns are the safety and enjoyment of our members, guests, musicians and staff of Dunscar Conservative Club. The continuing restrictions and high levels of Covid19 in the area have influenced this difficult decision. All being well, we will go ahead on 19th July with John Hallam and the Tom Kincaid Trio. Members will soon receive a mail shot from us with full details of our programme and our club's development. For further information about our club and its activities, please email us at" - Ann Lord

27/06/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Tony Smith & Grant Hogan-Taylor. They both share birthdays on Wednesday.

26/06/21 - Just received my copy of Jazz Guide, noticeable by the lack of venues and as a result, a thinner than usual copy, but cheers for Terry Cheney for keeping it going, it must have been difficult.

24/06/21 - Unfortunately the Favourite Album page was not updated this week, so I'll leave you with Humph for another week.

24/06/21 - Jazz Guide Magazine is back!  The relaunch magazine July/August 2021 has hit the mailing house, so should be with all advertisers/subscribers by the end of the week.

22/06/21 - As restrictions remain in place, The Canal Street Stompers have postponed restarting jazz for a month. We will welcome you all back to the Railway in Sale on Wednesday 28th July. - Derek & Trish Galloway

21/06/21 - The Lockdown Pictures had come to an end, even though the lockdown hasn't, so here's some souvenir photos sent in by Keith Wadeson.

21/06/21 - The gig at the Boathouse in Ellesmere for 8th July has been cancelled due to you know what. It has now been re scheduled for 5th August. - Mike Carnie.

21/06/21 - The Savoy Jazzmen are leading the worship at All Saints' Parish Church, Childwall Abbey Road, Childwall, Liverpool. L16 5EY. at 3.45 p.m. on Sunday 11th July. The service starts with a Mardi Gras Parade from the church hall car park to the church. Everyone welcome. Bring your brolly/parasol and join in the parade numbers. There will be a special parade for the children.

21/06/21 - Joan Lester has rung and confirmed that despite freedom day not arriving today, it's still all systems go for the Fleetwood Hesketh on the 7th July when the Rae Owen Quartet are set to play.

20/06/21 - The nephew of Bangor-born Harry Parry, the famous clarinettist and jazz band leader, is asking the people of Bangor for their memories of Harry or his siblings.Mike Taylor is writing a very personal biography of his uncle and has asked the people of Bangor to help with any memories they might have or stories of Harry & the Parry family who lived at No. 60 Caellepa which have been passed down by grandparents or parents. More on the story here. You can also see a video of the band

20/06/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Tom Kincaid. Tomorrow, Roa Island Jazz Promoter Malcolm Cookson will celebrate his, along with clarinet player Wally Fawkes who by my reckoning will have reached the grand old age of 94. Tuesday sees another clarinet player,  Barrie Marshall,  having a birthday celebration, and on Friday it will be the turn of pianist Pete Major.  Finally, on Saturday, bass player Pete Fielding will have his birthday. Many Happy Returns to you all and I hope you have a great week.

19/06/21 - Ann Lord writes, "Just to let you know that despite the current restrictions, Eagley Jazz Club will continue with the first 2 events on 5th and 19th July. Our venue has allowed us to have 60 people in the audience with similar rules to restaurants. We will contact all members by email and post this coming week to inform them that we will be taking registrations for both events. All being well, the 19th will go ahead as normal, with John Hallam and the Tom Kincaid Trio, and we should know by 12th July. Anyone wishing to be added to our mailing list and requiring further information, please email ".

19/06/21 -  An article on Louis Armstrong (50 years on, and still on song) has appeared in Jazzwise Magazine

17/06/21 - Jazz at The Fleetwood Hesketh in Southport in the future will start at 8pm instead of 8-30pm

16/06/21 - David Leithead writes, "Banjo & Guitar sale - David Straker, a mate I've known for 73 years, is having a clear-out of some of his instruments so I've offered to notify all my contacts who may be interested in acquiring any of them. The collection is being taken to Auction next week so give David a ring a. s. a. p. if you are interested in making a purchase. They are located at Nottingham".  Contact me for more details - Fred

16/06/21 - Sorry to say that the much awaited return of The Original Panama Jazz Band to The Irby Club will now be 4th August, delayed due to you-know-what. - Jon Critchley

14/06/21 - Ed Lloyd-Hughes is now down to 3 double basses having sold the one that was advertised on this site a month ago.

14/06/21 - John Howell has chosen Humphrey Lytttelton to feature on the Album of The Week

13/06/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Keith Hockin who made several trip to the NW when he was leading the Antique Six, and Barbara & I have called to see him on a couple of occasions at his antique shop in Stow on The Wold. Tomorrow it's Many Happy Returns to Richard Leach, and Dave Wright on Tuesday.

12/06/21 - I started a project some time ago when Ian Royle sent me copies of copied video tapes that had been transferred to DVD, but as you can imagine the video quality was somewhat lacking, but it was worth it for the the audio content which had suffered much less.  I selected a couple of video examples taken from videos of the different bands Ian had played with and created a playlist called Focus on Ian Royle which you can now see on YouTube, and well worth a listen.

12/06/21 - I've just added a link to Keramos Jazz Echoes. Keith Garner writes, ", I recently set up a YouTube channel called Keramos Jazz Echoes with the idea of putting up some of the audio recordings I've made down the years. Virtually all the recordings were made while I was part of the band so getting anything usable was largely a matter of luck, but my main purpose in doing the channel  is historic rather than sonic. A good example of what I mean is "Fidgety Feet" which was recorded in 1971 when the Mardi Gras Society Band used to play at The Midland Hotel in West Didsbury. It's definitely not hi-fi, but it does capture something of the enthusiasm that was always a feature.".

12/06/21 - The mystery of the singing bird is solved says Jon Critchley. "Well, I’ve been chatting to Maurice Baker; he has numerous Youtube entries and is an expert:  He has analysed it and done a spectrograph of it to determine that the bird is......................  A Great Tit.  Geoff, your suspicions are confirmed.  The Great Tit has over 70 songs in its vocabulary.  This particular one doesn’t feature on his YouTube pages.

11/06/21 - Ian Royle writes, "John Brown assures me that the bass player was Ken Ingarfield who played with Sid Lawrence's orchestra. I should have remembered that because I did regular 'deps' for Sid. I have a terrific video taken at 'Battle of Flowers' week in 1984 (Orwell eat your heart out-we had FUN) and I played with Andy Smith's 'band within a band' (Ken was a member), otherwise known as the 'Hundred Proof Jazz Band' within Sid's unit and down at the James Brindley pub in Birmingham".

11/06/21 - "Those contemplating going down to Fest Jazz Brittany may find this Guardian article helpful", writes Norman Gibson. Mind you here in Lancashire we are currently advised not to leave the County, and the way the Covid rate is currently rising, no other country will want any of us anyway! 

11/06/21 - The unknown bass player with John Brown's Bodies on Music While You Work is not Dickie Hawdon, sadly I never worked with him (though I met him at the College). I'll e-mail John Brown !! - Ian Royle

09/06/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Brian Turnock, bass player who spent time in the NW but now resides in Belgium and plays with the New Orleans Z'hulus

09/06/21 - Hi Fred, I think that the “unknown” bass player on Ian’s broadcast would have been Dickie Hawdon.  I did a one-off broadcast with the band in late 1979, and Dickie was the bass player then, having moved up to Leeds after playing trumpet with John Dankworth’s Big Band. Like Ian himself and Dave Browning, Dickie was one of the few great jazzers who were also great lead trumpeters. - Frank Slater

08/06/21 - Jazz at The Lakes with John Hallam & Friends has been added to the Jazz Weekends and Festivals page

07/06/21 - I've spared you all Jon Critchley's version of his mystery bird played on his descant recorder, because he's just tweeted me the real thing. Now someone out there should be able to put his mind at rest, my money's on a traditional blackbird. No modern ones allowed on this site. Shelley Perry writes, "Having now heard the real thing, I’m convinced it’s a blackbird!".

07/06/21 - In reply to Paul Medina yesterday, Personnel were John Brown (leader clarinet. alto sax,) Colin Hulme (clt/alto) Mick Burney (tenor,hughes

 clarinet), Bob Wilson (tbn), Ian Royle,(tpt), Bryan Layton (pno), Jim Birkett (gtr), ? (bass) and John Gibson (drums).

07/06/21 -  The Parade Jazzband is returning to the Black Horse Lower Heswall starting tomorrow night Tuesday, the 8th of June.

07/06/21 - A new week and a new favourite album, once again, through lack of suggestions, you'll have to put up with mine. It's an LP I bought and which to me at the time after endless plays of Bobby Shaftoe, Merrydown Rag and Ice Cream, was refreshingly new and different, Chris Barber like I'd never heard the band before -  Elite Syncopations.

06/06/21 - I thoroughly enjoyed Ian Royle's links to John Brown's Bodies on Music While You Work. I would be interested to know if Ian can recall any of the personnel on the recording. - Paul Medina 

06/06/21 - Bert Allen has now been added to the tribute page

06/06/21 - Many Happy Returns on Monday to someone who I have been communicating with for years first in Spain, now back in the UK, and who has sent me endless CDs over the years  - John Westwood. On Friday, Happy Birthday to an ex Mancunian musician, now in his home country, Ireland - Des Hopkins. Truly an international flavour this week.

04/06/21 - It would appear we have no twitchers in our readership as nobody came up with the solution to Jon Critchley's query "I keep hearing this bird, but never see it. Can anyone tell me which one sings this, over and over? Well it struck me that if we had, they may not be readers of music, so here's Jon's version of it for those who aren't sight readers. Can't say I've ever heard a bird sounding like this though.

04/06/21 - I was interested in your view with regards the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Jazz Survey. You are correct in saying; “if we ignore it, we don't exist, so do your bit and have a go at it”.  I did the survey three times (I’ll shall never recover that 45 minutes in my life again) as a Promoter – Musician – Audience. As you say there are glaring omissions, which makes it very difficult for Traditional/Mainstream/Dixieland partakers to complete the survey with honesty. Just Jazz is mentioned – only once – but only if you do the survey as a musician. Jazz Guide is not mentioned at all, neither your own excellent website Jazz NorthWest. As a musician or promoter there is no mention of African/American or American White or Australian White or Black or various ethnicity ... WHY??  I can’t see how this survey is going to be a saviour for our music or return us to normality after we rid ourselves of Covid. To me this survey is to collect data about ‘political correctness’ about diversity and equality – it has really nothing to do with getting back to business and performing properly again or being able to promote events to capacity audiences. It is data collection!! - Pete Lay

04/06/21 - "Happy to inform you that we now have a complete programme for the year! The missing date of 1st Nov has been filled by the very excellent Harlem Hot Stompers!  - Ann Lord for Eagley Jazz Club

03/06/21 - It is a sad task for me to report the death of my very close friend and jazz vocalist, Bertram (Bert) Allen, yesterday morning..2 JUNE 2021 after an illness of a few months. In his last weeks, Bert was in the tender care of his friend Christine who assures me that he slipped away peacefully in the company of his two sons and his friend, the vicar of his church. In view of current restrictions, the funeral, not yet dated, is likely to be a small, family event but the two sons have asked me to invite a few musicians who frequently gigged with BERT. Should restrictions suddenly change, normal customs will apply. Bert sang with all the names in Manchester, notably the Saints, Smoky City, Harlem Hot Stompers, Pete Haslam's Collegians. Between us he and I ran The Taverners and the Howard Allen Band..or was it the Allen Howard band, based in Blackley. Bert also 'depped' when bands needed a vocalist. Missed and remembered on Manchester's Jazz circuit. - Howard Murray

03/06/21 - Dave Lethead's cartoon (30/05/21), is no joke it is true. I can think of two clubs where we have had two change seats where they have all been showing their holiday snaps and generally talking over the musicians.

03/06/21 - This has just appeared on a local community web site here in Preston, but don't get excited, I doubt it will live up to our expectations, but with no program listing to go off, who knows? - "Preston's Jazzin' the Park is being held online this year, rather than its native home Winckley Square. We have global line up of artist this year who've provided exclusive videos of their performances which have been lovingly stitched together by the Jazzin' the Park Productions Dj crew, with vinyl only sets. Tune in at our website".

03/06/21 - I was a little taken aback this morning when I read this headline in the Scottish Herald - "Festival preview: Pop, Jazz & Trad".  Fear not, Trad Jazz has not been sidelined, it's the abbreviated name for "In The Tradition", a series of Edinburgh International Festival concerts, co-promoted with Celtic Connections and Edinburgh’s Soundhouse organisation.

02/06/21 - John Westwood says, "If you've not listened to Walter Love's Jazz Club from Northern Ireland this week, you'll have missed hearing lots of old friends (including Chris) in action. You can hear it by clicking here

02/06/21 - Re previous item, Jon says, "How stupid. Select from the following:  A: Not worth the time and effort, B: Nobody could glean anything worthwhile from it, and C: All of the above.

01/06/21 - Jon Critchley has alerted me to the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Jazz Survey. Haven't we had one of those somewhere before? There's a separate questionnaire for promoters, musicians, audience, festivals and Organisations. It's difficult to imagine how anyone could conduct a survey that covers every area of jazz, so you'll soon begin to see that some questions just don't apply to our style of jazz and our clubs. Having said that, if we ignore it, we don't exist, so do your bit and have a go at it. I did and soon discovered I could say in answer to question 1) that I listened to jazz daily, and in the next question, I could answer that I listened "Occasionally - I do not listen every day".  Q16 gives a list of magazines, blogs etc., and asks which ones I read.  I couldn't see any (what happened to Just Jazz?), so answered 'None of these', only to be told I must choose 3, so I chose "Sandy Brown Jazz", "Other", and "None of these"!  Andrew Liddle would have a hard job analysing this one!

MAY 2021

31/05/21 - Howard Murray says, "Did I ever send you this? Well yes you did Howard, in September last year, but it's worth another look. A live streaming webcam in colour on Bourbon Street, New Orleans, and it's starting to wake up again.

31/05/21 - Time for a new 'favourite album', and this week John Westwood recommends "Here is Chris Barber.", John says, "I know you're seriously thinking of ditching it, and I know it's a month since a serious birthday went by almost in silence but this one album that contains a dozen classics: One of the tracks has had almost a million Spotify plays, but I wonder just how many readers have heard the others?".

30/05/21 - Leeds Jazz Club will be starting up again on Tuesday 6th July, 8pm and then every Tuesday after that. Due to the closure of the Armley Conservative Club it will now be held at The Main Line Club, Pudsey Road, Leeds, LS13 4LS. The club has a large concert room with a stage and plenty of car parking.  Band details will follow shortly. - Mark Croasdale

30/05/21 - Many Happy returns on Tuesday to jazz promoter Graham Brook, and on Friday to musician Jeff Milner

30/05/21 - The June issue of Just Jazz Magazine is now out and about. My thanks to the editor, Pete Lay, for giving a plug and link to the post covid jazz survey I carried out with the help of Andrew Liddle. In the same issue there's a letter from Tony Sheldon (Jazz on a Sunday) wondering what the future holds for musicians and fans alike and asks some very pertinent questions. Well worth a read

30/05/21 - Dave Lethead sent me this cartoon, which quite amused me.

30/05/21 - Ian Royle writes, "Hello Fred, Thought you'd enjoy this. The Beeb had a 'nostalgia week' which among other things had five days of 'Music While You Work' featuring, among others, Edmund O'Ross (the Irish Latin American specialist), Ray Ellington and errr, us !! This is John Browns Bodies a bit antiseptic but it was a Beeb session".

30/05/21 - More details of the jazz weekend at North West Castle in Stranraer have come in, including details of bands and pricee

30/05/21 - On 13/05, Susan Enefer asked for help locating a newspaper article which her father wrote. She now writes, "I’ve found several articles about Louis’ 1956 UK visit in the Louis Armstrong House Museum’s digital collection (thanks to Steve Andrews for his suggestion). I was able to view them online and the one I’m looking for was published under my father’s Dave Duke byline in the ‘Manchester Evening Chronicle’ not the ‘Empire News’, as I thought. I’ve submitted a request for an official copy, as there are copyright issues, and am waiting for their reply. Again, many thanks to you and your readers for helping me in my search".

29/05/21 - Like the Phoenix rising from the Covid ashes,  the Worth Valley Hot Stompers has been reborn as the Worth Valley Hot 7  led once again by Mark Croasdale and is now listed on the Band Spotlight page. The new band starts with a Jazz Evening in the grounds of Kiplin Hall on Friday July 9th

28/05/21 - "Recently, I came across a magazine produced in Crail, Scotland, in 1957, when I was doing National Service and It brought to mind my time there when, among other things, I remembered playing jazz with Gordon Stafford in the camp hall, where we were both serving; he was a far better musician than I could ever be". So starts an interesting reminiscence  by Peter Cottee which I've added to the end of Gordon Stafford's tribute page

26/05/21 - Hello Fred. Anything Goes swing trio...... In March we lost our brilliant guitarist and friend David Allsop to cancer. We have now re-grouped with David Bateman on guitar and banjo and Gerry Clayton on Bass. We have had a couple of little outside gigs so far this year as part of our practice. This weekend we are playing outside at Rubys cafe. On the prom in Morecambe, (next block to the Clarendon hote)l. Starting at 12 noon. Anyone wishing to come please bring picnic chairs as seating is a bit limited. There are teas and snacks but no booze.

26/05/21 - Two jazz clubs have been in contact to say they are back in business - Eagley Jazz Club with gigs for the rest of the year, where Ann Lord tells me, "I've been hanging back to see what happens with the Covid variant in Bolton but these variants could go on for ever - at some point, we just have to get on with life!  Fingers crossed we don't have to cancel anything". And The Fleetwood Hesketh in Southport where Joan is taking a tentative step to see what the reaction is, although the fans are telling her they are looking forward to returning.

24/05/32 - I never met Mick Potts but played with one or two guys from Preston and the North who had done. This anecdote is probably the only one I dare ask Fred to print, and came from a Blackburn and Darwin Piano and Clrt. player. Potts had been booked at "stately " type home near Preston, for a very formal dinner dance..tails & black tie an' all that, eh?  The 4tet arrived in very good time and as the guests went in to dine, Pottsy, as my friend called him, realised that there was fine collection of paintings, scattered around the reception area and on walls up a very impressive, noble stairway.Apparently, Mick had an appreciation of such art and waiting to be called in to play, he was half way up this staircase studying at the paintings. Suddenly, the front doors burst open and an everso, terribly terribly, young couple burst in , he in formal garb and a white scarf and she wearing a skirt which wouldn't reach her knees without a rope ladder and almost wearing a blouse which would be low topped if it indeed had a top. She saw Mick in dinner jacket and mistaking him for a waiter, said in an awfully, cut glass accent."I say! I say !"  (Who likes being addressed as "I say!"?), "We're dreadfully late! Where are the guests?"  Pottsy is recorded as saying, with maximum, Maitre De pomposity.  "Modom. The guests have gone IN to dine. Should I announce that the Strippagram has arrived?"

24/05/21 - The Wednesday Quiz might have ended, but Jon Critchley has come up with an unusual quiz for musicians and bird lovers. He says, "I keep hearing this bird, but never see it. Can anyone tell me which one sings this, over and over? Remember to play it with feeling, up a tree. It's almost the middle 8 of "Over the Rainbow", as whistled by Richard Briars in "The Good Life"! ".

23/05/21 - Re Gateway Jazz Band, Thanks for putting this on, Great band: Great vocals also. Mick Potts was A1. - Jon Critchley

23/05/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Malcolm Hogarth on Wednesday, and Bruce Carnaffin and Dave Dixson on Thursday.

21/05/21 - Some time ago, I raised the memories of V.O.A Jazz hour and the presenter Willis Conover. (What a distinctive voice!). It has just passed the 100th anniversary of his birth. Recently I got this from a Ham friend in Florida, asking if it was of any interest to me. Not Trad but good viewing. Enjoy, - Howard Murray

21/05/21 - Great news ! Jazz at The Railway in Sale is back. The Canal Street Stompers resume their residency on Wednesday 30th June at 8.30 and then every last Wednesday in the month.  We hope to see all you Covid survivors there soon. - Derek and Trish Galloway

21/05/21 - Terry Birkinhead has a collection of 50 L.P. records (and 1 EP) of Traditional Jazz bands from 14 different countries – excluding the U.K and the U.S.A. – that are for sale, all in good condition, from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The proceeds would be donated to the North West Air Ambulance Service. Further details are on the Sales Page

19/05/21 - A suitable home has now been found for the cornet case from Steve Duckles.

19/05/21 - Steve Duckles (son of Alan and Gerry), writes, "I am currently engaged with the sad task of clearing my parents' home of possessions, so that the house can be sold. I have a soft case for a cornet which is filled with various accessories - several mutes and stands etc. I would love to find a good home for these items if possible - I'm giving them away free of charge if someone can collect them from me in Lancaster. Could you possibly spread the word for me please?".  If interested, please contact me and I'll pass any enquiries on, and that way I can announce when they have gone. - Fred

19/05/21 - On 06/05, Don Armstrong recalled depping for one of two brothers from Carlisle, when they played at a King's College Newcastle Arts Ball at the Oxford- alleries. He couldn't recall the name of the band and thus started a string of memories of the band - The Gateway Jazz Band, and its members, one of whom was bass player Colin Smith who played with Mart Rodger's band. Linda Smith, wrote to me and sent me a photograph, and a copy of the LP they had made.  I've added this to the list of lost recordings, and it can be heard by going to this page

18/05/21 - End of lockdown and end of the lockdown quiz. I'm sure all those of you have enjoyed the 60 sets of quizzes provided by Bert Thomson, will join me in thanking Bert for keeping the brain ticking over, all these past weeks. Today's final quiz is the fourth in the Hidden Instruments series

17/05/21 - Graham Martindale ends the series of lockdown pictures, with a couple of photographs in lockdown pictures 8

17/05/21 - I first played with John Barnes at Hyde CC. jazz, It was the day I had bought my Baritone Sax.. John spotted it (never met him before) and instantly wanted to buy it. It is a Pan American, badge-cloned Cohn. He had an identical one with him and said that head been searching for a second one for years. I didn't take him on but he repeated the offer at the end of the gig. When he was playing he had this mock disdain for musical quoting.. ie slipping in a phrase from something else well known. (Often did it himself) He would pull a disapproving face or frown. At Southport, with the Smoky City Jazz he gave a couple of frowns and eventually put his hand in his top pocket and flashed me a red card. The crowd howled with laughter. Alway VERY entertaining to crowds and musicians. His playing must now be enjoyed on YouTube. - Howard Murray

17/05/21 - My show this week on (20 May - 9PM) is my first instalment of "Ellingtonia". All pieces by Ellington and Strayhorn with some performed and arranged by other bands .Expect to hear the likes of Joe Temperley, Loren Schoenberg, Echoes of Ellington, Don Sebesky, Mark Masters, James Chirillo and Joe Henderson. Diggable sounds abound... - Frank Griffiths

17/05/21 -  "Humph and Buck Clayton in perfect accord and I think mutual appreciation and respect for each other", says Jon Critchley as he selects this weeks Spotify Album

17/05/21 - Welcome to the start of Covid freedom, and with it comes the ability to visit your favourite jazz venues once again, but be aware there are still distancing procedures in place and seating will be restricted. What's On has been completed cleared out and now only shows the events have been recently confirmed.

16/05/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Phil Lucas (today), John Higham (Tues), Paul Medina (Wed), Peter Fryer (Thu), and Dave Donohoe (Sat).

16/05/21 -  Susan Enefer writes, "Many thanks to you and Peter Eddowes for your help and suggestions (13/05/21). I had already tried the British Newspaper Archive but didn’t find the article but will try the John Rylands archives. I’ve also contacted the Louis Armstrong House Museum in NYC and am waiting to hear back. The Google results you found all concern my father. Besides being a newspaperman he wrote detective fiction novels, many of which were translated into foreign languages. He also wrote two books about jazz - Daily Dispatch Jazz Book and Jazz in Black and White - plus a few TV scripts and a play. He had a jazz column in various Manchester and other newspapers under his own name and also used the byline Dave Duke. Friday/Saturday nights he DJ’d at the Bodega Club.  A few years ago while visiting my brother, who lived in Sale, I came across the original of the Louis Armstrong article among a pile of faded newspaper clippings - my father had kept all his ‘Empire News’ show biz articles. Unfortunately, all these clippings went missing after my brother passed away in 2017.  Thanks, again, for posting and your help. I’ll let you know if I’m successful."

15/05/21 - My thanks to Alan Bond who spotted I had John Barnes' age incorrect. He was actually born in 1932, making him 89 today.  Back in 2017. I announced his 90th, and last year I announced he was 93. Both those inaccuracies went by unnoticed, so where were my proof readers when I needed them?

14/05/21 -  At a committee meeting at Wilmslow Conservative Club last night, the decision was made to allow me to recommence my weekly jazz shows with a grand opening date of August 3rd. As soon as I have August and September booked, I (or, in reality, Neil Clarke) will update my website accordingly.- Graham (Brook)

14/05/21 - Re: The Gateway Jazz Band, I have a recording of a broadcast in Holland, October 1982.- Gerard Bielderman

14/05/21 - The Chicago Teddybears are ready to accept bookings. "Our regular venues which will be restarting are - Grappenhall Ex-service club Every fourth Thursday starting July 22nd and Eastham Golf club every second Friday starting July 9th. For more details, contact me on 0151 525 6900" - Rae Owens

13/05/21 - Just a thought, but perhaps this lady might try the Louis Armstrong Museum in New York. They have large collections of Armstrong related stuff including lots on his European tours. The director, Ricky Riccardi, is an authority on all things Armstrong, too, so this might be a good place to start. - Steve Andrews

13/05/21 -  Hearing everybody Talking about the Carlisle jazz scene and Mick Potts, I used to play at the Carlisle Jazz Club on trumpet with Gordon Solomon’s “ Phoenix Jazzmen” from Newcastle in the 1960s before I got into the Big-Band scene at the “Oxford Galleries in Newcastle with Jack Hawkins “ Sound of the Seventies” showband, Great times, lots of fun. Derek Dalton

13/05/21 - My father, Douglas Enefer, was the Northern show columnist for the Empire News in the 1950s-1960s and interviewed Louis Armstrong when he performed in Manchester in 1956. I have been trying to find a copy of the published interview, so far without success, and wonder if by chance any of your readers might have a copy among their memorabilia. - Susan Enefer, Sidney, BC, Canada

13/05/21 - There was a duplicated question in Wednesday's quiz, this has now been sorted.

12/05/21 - Curly Jones has retired from running the RiverCity Jazzmen. He's sent me a pictorial history of the band's memorable gigs, and says that, "It would be lovely if we had some feedback from musicians with memories of playing with the band when they see the photos!".  Let me have your memories and I'll add them to the page.

12/05/21 - Hi Fred,  Picked up on this band from your Jazz Site . Bria Skonberg is a the leader on trumpet / vocals . Hope you enjoy this. - Peter  Darwin

12/05/21 - I'm emailing you on behalf of the Alsager Golf & Country Club Jazz Society to say that we are starting up again on 20th May, weekly on Thursdays as before but with all the necessary social distancing rules for indoor music & drinks that you would expect. We kick off with Gair Carson on sax/flute with Richard Wetherall & the house bass & drums for rhythm section. Then we have Darren Lloyd on 27th May, followed by Alex Clarke on 3rd June. Details can be found on our website, linked via yours. A big welcome is assured to all our old gang & hopefully some new faces too. - Kind regards Sarah

12/05/21 - I know that we're not North West but in case any of your readers take boating holidays here goes. Our little band J for Jazz plays traditional jazz every Friday lunchtime at the Foxton Locks Inn, Foxton, nr Market Harborough, Leicestershire. The area is very beautiful, and visitors come from all over the world to see the series of ten locks, and the inclined plane which was used to drag canal traffic up the hill. The pub serves food in a large conservatory overlooking the canal, and there are usually several real ales on the go. J for Jazz is the longest running jazz band in Leicestershire. It is led by cornetist 'Rev' John Timms, renowned for his gospel and blues singing. On trombone is Avo Avison, still blowing strong in his 80s, famous for playing with Acker, and then for years with the Bob Wallis band. Musicians are always welcome to have a blow, so we hope that sometime some Northern folks can join us. - John Irwin (Well at least I know there's one person from that area that reads my emails, thanks John - Fred)

12/05/21 - I've emailed all musicians on my mailing list to inform them that all unconfirmed residencies and gigs currently appearing as 'cancelled', will not appear in What's On after 16th May,  unless told otherwise. Responses are now coming in.

12/05/21 - Mike Feltham sent me an interesting article from The Telegraph which suggested that listening to jazz can influence you in making better dietary choices.  Researchers found that a slow high pitched jazz melody  played on the piano, nudged people towards a healthy meal!  Well that's where I've been going wrong then, I've been listening to fast foot tapping stuff in the belief that the  exercise would help my weight problem! Unfortunately if you click the link you might find you can't read the article unless you are a Telegraph subscriber.

12/05/21 - John and Marie Howell who run Jazz Club 90 in Albrighton, writes, "I told you that we were planning to start on May 30th then we had some bad news yesterday!  After all the planning and working out the "safe" capacity of our new venue would be 65-70 we were told that it is reduced to only 50, this means our already booked audience of 67 would have to be whittled down.  The problems this would create in deciding who couldn't come for the gigs in June meant the only fair way to do it was to cancel them all.  This then meant the lovely job of cancelling the bands and notifying the audience....who'd be a promoter?!!  Fortunately we have had no complaints and everyone is happy to wait until July.   I will let you know how we get on as several of the musicians in your area play for us"

12/05/21 - It's Wednesday, and time for the penultimate quiz No. 59 from Bert Thompson. This week it's about  jazz bands who are non-U.S. and non-U.K. Name the country from which each hails/hailed.

11/05/21 -  Lovely to catch up on dear old Horst's travels from John Muskett but how many of us realize that Horst had a big part to play in our everyday safety? Read more from Jeff Roberts at the end of the updated page.

11/05/21 - With reference to Don Armstrong asking about a Carlisle band in the 50's it sounds as though it was the Gateway, the leader being Mick Potts whose brother played clarinet. Mick played trumpet & piano and vocals . My late husband Colin Smith ( who had the nickname Sycamore) played washboard originally ( as in this photo ) he then taught himself tuba and later double bass. The tuba player in the photo is Peter Myers ( who I am still in touch with). Al Potts is on clarinet. I'm not sure who the banjo player and trombonist are on the photo but can find out. I can give more history if Don would like to know more. Colin later went on to play with Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz.-  Linda Smith (Click picture for full size - Fred)

11/05/21 - Re the Peter Bledge info. re the above. The Gateway played at the Garret Club, Devonshire St., Carlisle during the 50/60s. I shared the trumpet chair with Mick Potts when my army duties allowed from 1955 until 1957. When I was available Mick took over the piano stool his first love. The line up was Al Potts clar, Mick. Norman Healy Creed tmb., Albert Holliday dms,. Colin Sycamore Smith tuba, the banjo was shared between Buddy & Cooky. Sorry I can't remember their full names, it's an age thing. - Bill Robinson.

11/05/21 - In order to clarify what's happening in the North West regarding jazz clubs and jazz gigs, as from 17th May, I've removed all residencies andt gigs that were previously marked as cancelled during the pandemic,  All bands will need to notify me of any residencies that have resumed, and any new bookings so that they can be added to What On

11/05/21 - I'm pleased to say that The Original Panama Jazz Band will resume its first and third Wednesday  night residency at The Irby Club on 7th July, 8.00 start, free admission as usual.  The Club has gone to great effort to ensure a safe environment for all the staff and customers. It has had successful visits from Covid compliance officers;  also the Club has been "fogged": meaning that all surfaces have been disinfected prior to the re-opening and is as safe as it can be.  It will be great to see all the regulars again. Hope the band isn't "foggy" as well! - Jon Critchley

10/05/21 - Monday and time for another record on the jukebox of recommended albums from yourselves. This week is a departure in that I recently discovered that one band name that appeared on the site over the years and I hadn't heard on record, was the Zenith Six. Now I've found it on Spotify and can well understand why it was so popular. 17 tracks of sheer joy!  Unfortunately this will be the last album in the series unless I get another recommendation, it doesn't appear to be a popular addition to the site.

10/05/21 - The mention of the Gateway Jazz Band re Don Armstrong’s enquiry brings back many happy memories of Mick Potts. Mick left us in 1993 at the age of 57 after his 3rd heart attack, a true legend in his own lifetime. His older brother was Al Potts who Mick taught to play clarinet and they formed the Gateway in1953. Mick was a classical trained pianist who after getting the jazz bug taught himself to play the trumpet.   Mick was a close friend of Wild Bill Davison and they played together in Carlisle with Mick on piano although I recollect Jim Willis Gateway’s pianist taking Mick's place when Mick suffered one of his heart attacks. Think the venue was near the cattle market.   Mick brought many big names to Carlisle . Oscar Peterson,George Chisholm, Alex Welsh, Britains Greatest Jazz Band, Sammy Rimington, WASO and even Jimmy Deuchar which showed that whilst he was a traditionalist in the mould of Armstrong he could enjoy Modern.   Yes my highlight of any week was travelling the 33 miles from Dumfries down to Carlisle every Sunday Sing Something Simple on the car radio at 7, 0 clock and then entering the real world of Micks Club at 7.45 before returning home suitably refreshed with English Bitter {our wives took it in turn to drive} and JAZZ HOUR on the radio at midnight. Shame I had to go to work on the Monday. - Peter Bledge

10/05/21 - Thanks to John Muskett for his feedback. I’m doing ok here near Paris, i have a steady jazz music teaching job, and hopefully the gigs will pick up soon. On the bass front, no, I have no intention of tuning in fifths! Trading fours between myself (arco to pizzicato) was the idea of session producer French saxophonist Francois Jeanneau. I just practiced soloing pizz with the bow in my hand, so i could switch back fast. I was fortunate to see Red a couple of times in Paris in the 1990’s. For me one of his best recordings is live in Paris salle Pleyel with Mulligan and Brookmeyer in 1954, check it out!  - Gary Brunton

10/05/21 - Long time site visitors  will no doubt cringe when they hear the name Horst Kitzinfangel. Well he's back, and John Muskett has been digging into Horst's early years. For those who were not lucky enough to catch him first time round, you have a lot of catching up to do, simply click here. The rest of you will have to scroll to the bottom of the page to reveal the latest. Jeff Roberts reckoned the trianglist was born in Bermuda, I wonder how he got to Austria, in one of these perhaps?

09/05/21 - Many Happy returns on Monday to Norman Gibson (right), who is celebrating by having his hair cut!  On Tuesday it's Happy Birthday to Darren Lloyd, and on Wednesday to Martin Bennett. John Barnes, will be having his 94th birthday on Saturday still residing in a care home  as far as I am aware.

08/05/21 - I enjoyed listening to Gary Brunton’s tribute to Red Mitchell. A number of us tuning in to Fred’s site probably like jazz in a variety of styles, though I struggle with some of the developments after the post-bop era. Gary gets a lovely springy plucked sound from his bass, and it was good to hear some bowing. On more than one occasion when switching between pizzicato and arco I’ve managed to drop the bow – I’m not sure what the musical term is for the thud as the bow hits the deck (I know what my expression is).  Red was a superb, if idiosyncratic, bassist. Has Gary tried his tuning in fifths? A favourite CD of mine is Jive at Five by the Clark Terry/Red Mitchell Duo. I hope that Gary has managed to find enough playing and teaching work to sustain him over the last twelve months. I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ll get any gigs (paid or unpaid) ever again. - Best wishes to you Fred and Barbara, to all your readers, et bonne chance à Gary. - Harmoniously, John Muskett

07/05/21 - Following on from the 'shed building' comments, Ian Royle submitted this which came from Lee Slater-sax player from Stone. "The longest drum solo was 10 hours and 26 minutes-and was performed by the child sitting behind me on Delta flight 963 from LA to Tokyo".

07/05/21 - Terry Birkinhead has sent in another interesting photograph taken in May 1995 of the Wirrorleans Jazz Band doing their bit to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of VE Day.

07/05/21 - On 26/04/21, Mart Rodger's widow, Janet, mentioned George Buck and the Zenith Six.  Janet kindly told me a little more about Mart's acquaintance with George Buck, and I've added that to the bottom of George Buck tribute page. It was in response to me wondering about the Zenith Six's other recordings.

07/05/21 - After trawling my site, Don Armstrong now seems to feel the name of the band was the Gateway Band from Carlisle, and the leader was Mick Potts. If anyone can add further information, please let me know and I'll pass it on - Fred

06/05/21 - I played Clarinet in the Panama Jazzmen on Tyneside in the 1950's and had a great blow on one occasion, depping for one of the brothers from Carlisle, at a King's College Newcastle Arts Ball at the Oxford Galleries. The other brother led the band and played fine trumpet and I think the name of the band was the Castle Jazz Band??   Do you have any information re their musical careers etc. If not no probs but I often tell people about the great night I had without being able to name names. I now live in Adelaide and play quite often with Derek Dalton and in 2019 I was in UK and played a couple of sessions with Bob Wade and Gordon Solomon in the River City Jazz Band at Ashington Jazz Club. - Don Armstrong

06/05/21 - John Brunton's son Gary, has emailed to say, "I know you guys are mainly concentrated on New Orleans jazz but please take look at this video put together by my record label on a tune i wrote and recorded as a tribute to the great Red Mitchell. My album « Second Trip » will be reviewed in Jazzwise July edition. All the best from France.

05/05/21 - I enjoyed Andrew Liddle’s excellent interview in May’s edition of “Just Jazz” with vocalist Tatiana Eva Marie. She is of French/Swiss nationality and is usually based in New York. Partly as a result of the Covid crisis, she has been staying and performing in France these last few months and we had provisionally booked her for Fest Jazz in July along with a great young New Orleans style band led by Joë Santoni. I was on the point of sending you some videos for your site as I’m not sure many UK jazz fans had heard of her. Sadly for the festival, and happily for everyone else, the health situation has improved and she is returning to Switzerland and the States. No reason however for your readers not to see some of the videos which have millions of followers:  and There are dozens of others on You Tube. I am sure many of your readers will appreciate her. Hopefully, so will we at Fest Jazz 2022…. - Trevor Stent

05/05/21 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz from Bert Thompson, and this week you have to Name the town or city alluded to in each song.

03/05/21 - Hi Fred, Re: Savannah Jazz Band, I met Bob Wade when I was visiting the northeast, he is a great player and a nice guy, I used to sit in with the band at Culler-coats on the coast, - Derek Dalton

03/05/21 - Keith also comments, "Re shed building - Tony Hobson of the Eagle Jazz Band invariably used to follow a Barry Norman drum feature with "You'd have to go a very long way - slight pause - not to hear that".

03/05/21 - Monday is album time and this week Keith Garner suggests we have a listen to Dutch Swing '55! and I have to agree it's exciting, well let's just say I can't stop my leg jumping up and down as I type! It also starts with one of my favourite numbers, Riverside Blues. There's no more albums in the pipeline, so get your thinking caps on and let me have your suggestions for next week!

02/05/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Trevor Stent, the only NW musician (or ex NW musician) with a birthday this week, unless you know different?


APRIL 2021

29/04/21 - This item of news from the Savannah Jazz Band web site - "The Savannah Jazz Band is pleased to welcome Bob Wade to the line up. He will lead the front line on trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn.  For further information on Bob click here then click on his picture. Following the long lay off due to Covid 19 The band has been invited to play at a number of venues during 2021".

29/04/21 - Please don't take the album page down - I enjoyed Jon's selection very much. I actually have the original 10" LP somewhere, but have lost sight of it since I went electronic. I've never got round to digitising most of my LPs and so hadn't listened to it recently - or over the last twenty five years probably. I agree with him about Ken Simms but I do seem to remember Tony Davis playing a version of one of the marches which had Bob Wallis on trumpet, so the arrangements were presumably developed over a period rather than being done for the record.- Keith  Garner

29/04/21 - Hopefully THE  version of the Ken Colyer cymbal story- The late Dave Evans ,with whom I had the pleasure of playing alongside for many years, told me what happened to him.  Ken liked Dave’s drumming as did many including Al Casey in particular.   Ken with his aversion to sizzle and similar cymbals rounded on Dave to stop playing that cymbal. Dave replied “It is not set up and in fact still in the case.  "Yes “   said Ken “But it’s there !!” - Ken Ames

28/04/21 - Lowther Gardens in Lytham has a small theatre which has come up with an innovative idea during lockdown. It has created an online Silver Screen with those self isolating or living in a care home. This week is Jazz Week and Cafe Society can be seen on the screen.  You can view the screen by clicking here

28/04/21 - Voting is now open for the 2021 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, which this year will take place online. Entries are open to anyone, with the final deadline set for midnight on Tuesday 14 May 20201. The Parliamentary Awards celebrate and recognise the vibrancy, diversity, talent and breadth of the jazz scene throughout the United Kingdom. To vote please go  here

28/04/21 - I've now got the latest article in the Jazz Promoter series, and this one is about a jazz promoter some might describe as a 'bit of a character'. Those who have been to Rochdale's Jazz on a Sunday will know what I mean. I asked chairman Tony Sheldon to write about his experiences of promoting jazz, but he initially left out an important part of the story, the bit about himself and the things he gets up to, so after a little delay, Here it is.

28/04/21 - The latest issue of Just Jazz has arrived. I was very sorry to read in it, that Tony Davis who led the Zenith Hot Stompers on their many visits to the North West in the past, had died on 13th March, aged 83. The ZHS opened our very first jazz event at Ingol Golf Club in Preston IN 1999, and in a review which Keith Allcock wrote for me at the time, He said, "New Orleans came to Preston via Birmingham last Thursday when local traditional jazz buff Fred Burnett and his wife Barbara presented The Zenith Hot Stompers at Ingol Golf Club. This popular Midlands band was doing a week's tour of the North-West and had a blank date until Fred stepped in to fill it. It was his first attempt at promoting jazz, but the success of the gig is proof that Preston has a healthy audience for traditional jazz. The large clubhouse was nicely full as the band launched into the opening bars of its first number, On Treasure Island". The ZHS subsequently returned in Feb 2000 to what became our regular jazz club at Fulwood & Broughton Cricket Club.

28/04/21 - Wednesday, and time for the Lockdown Quiz. This week see if you know the first names of some of the listed musicians in Quiz No. 57

27/04/21 - A new recording for you to listen to, is one by Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band recommended by Jon Critchley. There are no more in the pipeline, so come on and tell me which album you think other people might like to listen to otherwise they will all be my favourites. The alternative is to close the page down. Click here to listen

27/04/21 - Terry Birkinhead has sent in two more photographs for the lockdown series. These are of the Delta Jazz Band of Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the 1st Keswick Jazz Festival in May1992, and the Royal Flush Jazz Band from Kobe, Japan at the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival in July 2000. You can see them on Lockdown Pictures No. 8

26/04/21 - There was a Zenith Six gig when Mart was about 24. Ken Colyer's band was top of the bill and he seemed to have approved of the Zenith Six and their playing. However, we went to hear him in, I think, the Wilmslow area not long after and I was with Mart when he went over to speak to Ken Colyer. When he mentioned the band, Colyer was unpleasant and told him that the Zenith Six was a b****y awful band. He was really rude and turned away leaving us both speechless. The Zenith Six was certainly good enough to record for George Buck for his company GHB Records when George moved his business from Decatur to New Orleans. - Janet Rodger

26/04/21 - Another Ken Colyer legend, He had a young drummer as a recommended dep. Not heard but assured by someone that kid was well up to it. He was indeed, but too modern for Ken, who had driven him to the gig. On the way back, Ken's face was like thunder so he asked Ken what was the problem. "That bloody ride cymbal... If you want to do the 2nd of the two gigs, don't bring that cymbal."   OK... If you had said something, I would have used less or even stopped." On the way back from the following gig, Colyer had another cob on.  The young drummer asked again. "That damned cymbal. It's b****y awful!".   "But like you asked... I didn't bring it!"   Colyer scowled. "I know.. It's just the thought of it!" .  If that's not true it ought to be! - Howard Murray

26/04/21 - The Ken Colyer story from Brian Legan seems to have done the rounds for years, and was believed to be true, but it seems some facts stand in its way. The story has been embellished over the years. I can’t explain as I would have to name names, and that’s not fair on the individuals. Let’s just say it wasn’t quite like that. But let’s not destroy the myth!  Clubs ‘down south’ who are kick starting in late June, early July – Colchester Jazz Club, Sidcup Jazz Club, Reigate Manor Jazz Club, The Concorde Club, Hadlow Manor Jazz Club, Amersham Jazz Club. The Bay Jazz Club (Botany Bay, Enfield) are starting outdoor, lunch-time sessions in May (!2.30pm-3.00pm), Bring a seat and a picnic, but use the club’s bar for drinks!! - Pete Lay

25/04/21 - My shed building experience was in helping a friend erect and garden shed and his comment was “Be careful - wood like that doesn’t grow on trees you know!” - Chris Walker.

25/04/21 - More good news as bands are confirming to me that they are raring to go and play again. The Chicago Teds, Old Green River, Cafe Society, High Society, Harmony Hounds, North Euston Orpheans, are just a few of them.

25/04/21 - Good news! Eagley Jazz Club will be back in action, starting on Monday 5th July, 8pm, with the wonderful Tame Valley Stompers! This will be followed on 19th July by John Hallam and the Tom Kincaid Trio. Further bookings have been made and will be revealed later! - Ann Lord. That's good news Ann, because when I checked the TVS web site (and indirectly their page on my site), it came up page not found. I'm not suggesting this is the reason, but I do know some bands decided not to pay the web hosting costs when they were no allowed to play. - Fred

25/04/21 - Lots of musicians celebrating birthdays this week. Many Happy returns to Eric Brierley today who shares his birthday with Digby Fairweather, and to Anthony Mason, Laurie Cooper and Martyn Sharp who all have birthdays tomorrow. Jon Critchley will celebrate his birthday tomorrow Wilf Jenkinson will share his birthday with Sammy Rimington on Thursday. Finally it's happy birthdays to Dave Pogson, Norman Pennington and Sue Parish on Friday.

24/04/21 - The River City Jazz Band based in North Wales is now defunct, so Ian Royle tells me. Some of the members apparently have health problems, which seems to be the case with many unfortunately.

23/04/21 - Eagley Jazz Club is raring to go - starting Monday 5th July, first and third Mondays of the Month! Bookings are now being made and if anyone would like to be added to our mailing list for details of our gigs programme, please email me on - Ann Lord

23/04/21 - I can't help with your shed building query but it reminded me of two stories I have heard over the years. The first was when Ken Colyer's drummer's bass drum pedal packed up on the last number of the evening. At the end of the number Ken turned to the bass player and asked "Do you always play like that? The bassist, anticipating praise said that he did and Ken snarled "You're fired". The second was when Wild Bill was touring over here. He turned to a fellow musician and asked "Are these guys paid by the note?". Brian Legan.

21/04/21 - Following on from Ann's email, could any musicians who have been told that the band they played with pre Covid has now disbanded, please let me know, and don't rely on the band leader to tell me. This web site is an advert for bands, which is embarrassing if they are no longer playing, as it also lowers the credibility of the site . - Fred

21/04/21 - An interesting question from Ann Lord, - Would you happen to have a list of bands who are continuing to play after Covid? Well I should say that as far as I've been made aware, they are all still playing, but Ann says, "Good news about Eagley Jazz Club - we're now planning our up-coming schedule for our hopeful ''release from Jail'' card after 21st June. Our Ted Watton is now busy booking bands. Sadly we've lost a couple of well known bands, who have decided to call it a day. Very sad as they were some of my favourites!  It would be great to have all of the stalwarts appear at our club again"

21/04/21 - I know just three on this latest quiz, 3,8 and 10, as I've been in them all in New Orleans  The Palm Court Jazz Cafe on Decatur is, or was, run by George Buck's wife Nina, ex of Sammy Rimington.  One of the most memorable performances there was by Lloyd Washington in 2003. Lloyd, 82 then, delighted in telling the audience that he was the last surviving member of the Ink Spots group. I believe he was with the group for about 20 years from 1945. It amazed my wife and I that the performance was just so like it must have been at a live show of the original Ink Spots. Sadly he passed away the following year. - Norman Gibson

21/04/21 - Well here we are already, Wednesday, and normally it would be time for a new quiz, but seeing as the last one didn't go on until Monday, I'll leave it until next week. We are fast approaching the last Quiz which will be No. 60,  That should appear in the same week we can eat inside pubs and restaurants and perhaps an apt time to end the Lockdown Quizzes which started in April last year..

19/04/21 - Something went wrong with the Wednesday Quiz. I prepared it, but never uploaded it, so somewhat belatedly it's on now and is quiz number 56 and you have to name the city in which the listed  jazz venue is/was located. Soon be time for the next one.

19/04/21 - My next show (22 April at 9PM UK time on, will feature the music of British saxophonist/clarinettist and composer, Sir John Dankworth. A compendium of his work, including a few tracks with Cleo Laine from 1953 to 2007, when he made his final recording. - Frank Griffiths

19/04/21 - Time for another Spotify Album, and this week it's my turn. Someone said to me, "Can’t think how anyone can have just one favourite album unless they lead a very blinkered life, I’ve got loads".  I suppose I have too, but there's a special place in your heart for the first one you ever bought, but I'll bypass Beethoven and Rimsky-Korsakov, as they were my first LP albums., But before albums there were EPs, and the first I bought were of Lonnie Donegan's skiffle group. I love them today as much as the day I bought them and as they are now on an CD I want to share them with you. Click here to listen

18/04/21 - Re shed building, I recall at some time in the past reading about a band leader who turned to the drummer and asked him with a snarl if he was building a shed back there, but I can't recall who said it or when.  I keep thinking Eddie Condon or Wild Bill Davidson, but I just can't be sure if it was one of them or someone else.  If I come across it again, I'll let you know. - Bert Thompson.  Anybody out there know the origins of the term?

18/04/21 - Last Monday we had our first blow as a full band for over twelve months (see picture). It was great to see everyone again and have a catch up. We’ve booked a two hour slot in a studio every Monday until life gets back to normal. Due to social distancing we could only have five musicians in the room at any one time. It was all very strange but great fun. We have bookings at the Palm House every Tuesday until the end of the year but can’t see us playing there until July at the earliest. Looks as though we're trying to remember how to tune and put our instruments together again. -  Peter Swensson & The Savoy Jazzmen.

18/04/21 - Many Happy Returns today to musician Jack Wilson, on Thursday to Chris Mitchell, and on Friday to Derek Vaux.

18/04/21 - A new 'Lost Recording' has been discovered by John Westwood. Did you know that Alistaire Cook of 'Letters from America' fame was born in the North West. He also recorded some jam sessions for the BBC with some well known musicians. John had them on tape. Check it ot

17/04/21 - Hi Fred,  Its ages since I heard the expression "Shed Builder" describing some drumming styles.  I have use it a few times over the years and I think it originated years ago In the 1950s.  I came across it just after onset of "Rock" when it came over around 1956,  and most drummers then were playing Big Band swing and volume was a totally different dynamic.  I have played many styles over the years I can't be too critical !  How times have changed! - Peter Eddowes.

17/04/21 - One question which pops up from time to time is - "How do I post something on your website, there doesn't seem to be any way of doing it?".  Unfortunately there is no direct input other than by me. So you need to send me an email and I'll post it for you. It might mean a delay in posting, but you can be assured that nothing gets on the site which I consider to be unacceptable, and no links to dodgy sites get on either, a small price to pay.  .

17/04/21 -  Pete Darwin opines for a ' jazz-loving crowd ' being required in making a good jazz club. True.  It wasn't a jazz club but years ago the MJB were playing a social club heavily populated with a young ( sic) audience. While playing their usual music the audience showed little interest. Quiet and the empty dance floor bore testament to that.  The band were also fed up , For a lark and some mischievous micky-taking ( they were good at that ) they embarked on a bizarre version of March of the Mods, deliberately playing all the wrong notes in all the wrong places. Within minutes the floor was full of dervish-dancers . The more crazy the band played the wilder the dancing.....and a good time was had by all. Another great Mersey's night.  Yes you do need a jazz-loving audience, but........   - Bob Lamb

17/04/21 - Andrew Liddle deserves our thanks for analysing and writing up the findings of the Covid Lockdown Customer Survey so thoroughly, coherently and beautifully. Well done, Andrew! - Pops Coffee

17/04/21 -  The tone of Matthew Wright's excellent little book Jazz and Cricket : An unlikely combination, which you mention, is set from the beginning when the author describes leaving .a pub with a group, en route to scattering the remains of Jim Godbolt, for many years a member of the Ravers cricket team.  Noticing Wally Fawkes with an earpiece plugged into a radio the author enquired as to what he was listening.." Cricket " Fawkes replied, " The Ashes *  Totally sums up this book which informs, entertains and gives cause for many smiles. It's said that nostalgia ain't what it used to be Not true, it's alive, kicking and very enjoyable throughout this book - Bob Lamb

17/04/21 - No updates yesterday because I was busy 'shed building'. No I haven't taken up playing the drums, I was helping my sun construct a shed, although I think it might have been easier learning to play the drums though, as the instructions were less than useful.

15/04/21 - The tone of Matthew Wright's excellent little book Jazz and Cricket : An unlikely combination, which you mention, is set from the beginning when the author describes leaving .a pub with a group, en route to scattering the remains of Jim Godbolt, for many years a member of the Ravers cricket team.  Noticing Wally Fawkes with an earpiece plugged into a radio the author enquired as to what he was listening.." Cricket " Fawkes replied, " The Ashes *  Totally sums up this book which informs, entertains and gives cause for many smiles.  It's said that nostalgia ain't what it used to be Not true, it's alive , kicking and very enjoyable throughout this book - Bob Lamb

15/04/21 - Re Jazz & Cricket, a friend’s wife was expecting, and he rang the maternity ward to see how she was getting on: He rang the cricket club by mistake.  “How’s it going?” he said. Man said “Very well:  We’ve got three out so far, hope to have them all out by teatime.  The last one was a duck”. - Jon Critchley

15/04/21 - Jazz survey - Great work Fred.  Re the question "What qualities do you look for in a jazz club?" and Andrew's composite answer - "Something like ‘a variety of good, professional and entertaining bands with good rapport with the audience, in a comfortable venue with good acoustics, a dance floor and a lively jazz-loving crowd.’  - Wonder how many Clubs fit this criteria and meet all of these qualities? - Pete Darwin

15/04/21 -  Your plug for 'Jazz and cricket', reminds me of one of the best cricket stories I ever heard, and it involves jazz. - At one of the early Hayfield Jazz Festivals, a charity match was held between Hayfield C C and the musicians, and my old pal Tony Iddon, of Red River Jazzmen fame was one of the musos who played. Now Tony had played some cricket in his time, his father played for England and Lancs and Tony had played for Lancs 2nd's and for Stockport in the Central Lancs league for many years. The match was on Sunday afternoon, immediately after the morning session, and, as we only lived 5 miles away, Carole and I went home for a bite of lunch. When we returned the match was over and I asked Tony how it had gone. Now I can't remember the result, but I can remember what he said afterwards. He told me that he had played a lot of cricket, but he had seen something that afternoon which he had never seen before on a cricket field. He said that the bowler had appealed for leg before wicket and the umpire gave a wide!! Priceless. - Bernard Selby

15/04/21 - Whatever happened to Bill Brunskill?  That's the question asked by Walter Love on his latest Jazz Club programme on BBC Radio Ulster. Well worth a listen.

14/04/21 - Frank Griffith writes, "My show on on Thursday 15 April "Anglo Saxony #1"  will showcase British sax players of note".

14/04/21 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz and this week you have to match tune titles with their alternative names. It's Quiz number 55

13/04/21 - Your readers might be interested in "Jazz & Cricket – An Unlikely Combination", by Matthew Wright. It tells of the links between the two, through historical information and anecdotes, and features many names you will be familiar with : Mick Mulligan, Bruce Turner, Wally Fawkes, Max Jones, Frank Parr, Jim Godbolt, Vic Lewis, Spike Hughes, Campbell Burnap, and many more, in the traditional area of jazz through to modern players.  It has only recently been published, but already has had favourable reviews: - Matthew Wright. See  flyer for details

13/04/21 - THE RESULTS ARE IN.  Many thanks to all who completed the recent survey of jazz fans and their thoughts about resuming club activity. We can now announce the results. Andrew Liddle has analysed them for those who like to look beyond the graphs. Click here to view

12/04/21 - John Howell has recommended George Lewis at The Free Trade Hall in 1957.for the latest "favourite album on Spotify". What's yours? I've only had this one suggested so far, and I don't want them all to be mine.  Click here to listen & enjoy

11/04/21 - Five more photographs for you to look at on the lockdown pictures series. These are on Lockdown Pictures 8 and feature many musicians from the NW who sadly are no longer with us.

11/04/21 - Many Happy Returns tomorrow to Andy Henderson, and sadly I can't wish Chris Barber a happy birthday this year, he would have been 91 next Saturday.

11/04/21 - My thanks to Barrie Marshall for the latest in The Lost Recordings series. It's the Newwhall Jazzmen who were based in the Lake District. It's a lost LP rather than a tape.

09/04/21 - Sad news I’m afraid; John Beaumont trumpet player with the Lune Valley Jazz Band died yesterday. Apart from Brian Gordon he was the last surviving founder member of the band. His cornet playing was straightforward melody with beautiful tone, it anchored the band. His deteriorating health saw him leave the band four years ago. He would have been eighty this year, if I remember correctly!  - Steve Lister. His tribute page is currently under construction - FB

08/04/21 - The Definitive History of Jazz in Britain, Jazz FM Sunday Night from 10 o`clock for an hour. The first programme started on Sunday 4th.April with the early years up to and including the 1920s. It is still available on “listen again” online and is absolutely fascinating. It goes into great detail about the first touring Americans, their influence on British musicians and the part played in the development of jazz by dance halls and radio. I am looking forward eagerly to the rest of the series. - Jim Heap

08/04/21 - What a lovely surprise for me to read your mail from Rene Van Westen in The Netherlands. Here are photos of the covers of the Smoky City albums he has in his possession . The first album was recorded at The Royal Northern College of music in autumn 1977, and was supported by John Hallam's Dad, the lovely Harry Hallam. It has great sleeve notes by Ray Colman of the Melody Maker, and by the singer and author George Melly . The Band Members - Sheila Collier vocals & band leader, Bill Smith Trumpet & Flugel Horn John Hallam Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax & Flute, Terry Brunt, Trombone & Euphonium, Roger Godfrey, Piano,  Roy Tweedie, Banjo & Guitar, Brian Morrison, Bass, & Bob Jones, Drums.  The second album was recorded 'live' at The Harbour Jazz Club Rotterdam, in October 1979. The Banjo player at this time was Charlie Bentley from Sheps Banjo Boys.  This great Jazz Club no longer exists, it was situated right by Central Station in Rotterdam . The Club proprietor was Albert. The photo of the Band for The Harbour Jazz Club Album was taken in Manchester- with appropriate ' Smoking Towers '! - and me in a white boiler suit ! - Sheila Collier

07/04/21 - Another lockdown photograph from Terry Birkinhead, taken in the lovely surroundings of Keswick. This is in Lockdown Pictures No. 8

07/04/21 - I just received a couple of links this morning from John Westwood, which are more big band than traditional jazz, but with names like Duke Ellington, Guy Lombardo, Louis Armstrong, Tom Dorsey and more, albeit impressions, I thought you might enjoy these Jack Hylton recordings - Ellingtonia and  Dinah to start your day.

07/04/21 - The jazz survey will close on Friday this week, so whoever you are, wherever you are, if you like live jazz, please click here to complete it  if you haven't already done so. The more entries we get, the more accurate the picture. Although it mentions clubs, please include live jazz venues which you have visited regularly, such as pubs, tea rooms, garden centres, pavilions etc.

07/04/21 - It's Wednesday and time for Bert Thompson's Quiz No. 55

06/04/21 - My name is Rene van Westen and I come from The Netherlands. I did a search for Sheila Collier.  I have 2 records and all with signatures on the Smoky city jazz band album (vinyl sleeve) and on the harbour jazz club live albums (on the back). Fantastic music and musicians.

04/04/21 - Many thanks to the 50 people who have so far completed the anonymous survey which it is hoped will give an incite into your thoughts about live jazz after the pandemic. Whether it's an organised jazz club, or regular visits to the pub to listen to a band, we'd like your thoughts. If you haven't already filled it in, please do it, it won't take long, just click here.

04/04/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Jim Lucas on Tuesday, and to Mike Hayler & Matt Palmer on Thursday.


MARCH 2021

31/03/21 - I wish to point out that although there is a slowly dwindling subscription to Just Jazz, the main reason for increased subscription rates was because of the four postal increases in the past 12 months, specifically quite huge increases for overseas subscribers, and of course, over twelve months of lack of advertising content ... the decision to raise the cost was based on those reasons alone. We did discuss putting the magazine online so as to cut out the postal problems and future increases, but the response from our readers was it was not to their preference, rather having the intrinsic feel of the magazine, and more importantly not having to struggle reading it online (not everyone has a 32” monitor). Reading it on a iPad or Smart phone would cause difficulties. - Pete  Lay

31/03/21 - Another Wednesday, another quiz, and Bert Thompson, reliable as ever, has sent me Quiz No. 54 which this week is entitled Myths and Legends. Good luck

30/03/21 - I and many others subscribe to this great magazine (Just Jazz): Unfortunately, it’s had to raise its subscription rate to cope with dwindling customers: It’s an age thing I suppose, some subscribers are passing on. This unique publication is really the only one to promote the music and it would be a great shame if it was to fold, so let’s get behind it. If you like the music, want it to carry on and you don’t already get it, then make the effort and subscribe. To subscribe, merely redirect the vast sums of money you’ve accumulated from not going on holidays or to Jazz weekends in the past year and you’ll be doing a great service to the music! - Jon Critchley (you can use this form - Fred)

30/03/21 - Responses to the survey are already coming in, and grateful thanks to those who have now completed the survey form.

29/03/21 - With just little over a month to go before jazz clubs re-open, I've asked Andrew Liddle (following on from the first survey),  to produce a second survey. This time it's not for musicians, although there is no reason why they can't complete it, it's for jazz fans out there, wherever you may be in the UK, and particularly those fans who have visited jazz clubs and venues pre Covid. Nobody knows what will happen come May 17th, but it could be very helpful if you could spend less than a minute to please complete this form. It will hopefully give an idea of how the jazz scene might look in the future.

29/03/21 - The latest edition of Just Jazz Magazine is now available. Details here

29/03/21 - Peter Kings (P. E. K. Sound) writes in Just Jazz Magazine - "With much regret and after a lot of soul searching I've decided to hang up my head-phones and exit the recording scene. l will not be making any more new recordings or releasing any more new CDs. For the foreseeable future I will continue to supply copies of existing CDs as and when required.  This has been a difficult decision, because the past 25 or so years have been some of the happiest and most satisfying of my life. So many wonderful memories! Being a part of the UK Traditional jazz scene and getting to know and work with musicians has been an absolute joy; for which you have my eternal thanks".

29/03/21 - There's a whole selection of jazz music out there on Spotify, and I'm looking for suggestions for albums that I can share on a weekly basis. Check out this page and enjoy, and don't forget to let me have your choice to share with fellow jazzers.

29/03/21 - Looking ahead in What's On, there is only one jazz event taking place this year -  Deco Delight at Cockerham Village Hall on 11th September. All being well, venues will be allowed to reopen from 17th May, so until bands and promoters let me know, all existing venues and residencies will remain cancelled in What's On.

29/03/21 - Richard Lysons has written a book that may be of interest. It's called "Popular Music at Manchester's Free Trade Hall  1951-1996".  There were some well known jazz and blues musicians appearing there during this period as well as rock 'n' roll, folk and punk bands. If you are interested you can read more by clicking here

29/03/21 - Sorry to hear about Colin Kingwell's passing.  Happens to all of us eventually, but I'm glad he had a good crack at the whip.  He also made some very good jazz!  I only met him once when he and the band came over to play at the San Diego Festival many moons ago. - Bert Thompson (USA).

28/03/21 - Spotify is worth every penny of my subscription and it’s where I go for any item of music to play along to. I’ve had Spotify for at least five years and non of my CD collection has been played in that time. In fact, since my CD player expired I haven’t yet replaced it.  The Chris Barber album you put on today’s News Update can be received loud and clear on my iPad, but then I did change my original to a new one with lots of storage just a couple of weeks ago, which probably helps. Like many people, I suppose, I tend to procrastinate when it comes to upgrading technology, though I tend to do it eventually. It’s a family joke that I only switch on an electric light so I can see to light the gas lamps!  - Ian Cockerill.

28/03/21 - I don't like being the purveyor of sad news, but just had a call from bassist Peter Brooks to tell me that the bandleader/trombonist Colin Kingwell has passed away today (Sunday, March 28) with heart related problems (NOT Covid). He is one of our last connections with the start of the British Traditional Jazz Revival. Colin was still performing, although approaching his 90th year, prior to the lock-downs. He will be sadly missed R.I.P. Colin. - Pete Lay

28/03/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Ed Lloyd-Hughes and John Penn. Also Birthday wishes to Stan Williams on Tuesday and Ged Hone on Thursday

27/03/21 - I have just discovered an option to share a Spotify Album on my web site.  What I'm not sure about is whether everyone can see it and hear it,  If you don't have a Spotify account, unfortunately you will only just get a 20 second sampler of the album, I've had one report that it won't play the sound, so if anyone else has that problem, please let me know before I make it a feature.


25/03/21 - Terry Birkinhead has kicked off Lockdown Pictures No. 8 with a photograph of the Famous Reds & Blues Marching Jazz Band and the Wirral Marching Jazz Band taken in October 1996

24/03/21 - Hi Fred. As indicated by Peter Cowden I contribute a regular program to Swingtime radio. I particularly like airing jazz recordings made privately (with the artists approval) and if any of your readers would like any of their recordings to be considered please send them to me at my email address Stay safe - Pete Sumner

24/03/21 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz, and this week it's the second in the Conveyances set. Quiz 53 by Bert Thompson. Quiz No. 53

22/03/21 - In the latest update to Jazz Promoters in or from the NW,  I've now added Peter Cowden who promotes it on the radio. Makes for interesting reading.

21/03/21 - Many Happy Returns today to John Dunlop and Malcolm Cookson. On Friday we wish Richard Vernon a Happy Birthday and on Saturday Bert Schroeder

20/03/21 - I've just added a link to Peter Cowden's site Swingtime Radio in Australia. Peter has been very active broadcasting Traditional Jazz in Australia for a number of years, and I've got copies of 210 podcasts that he produced of bands from Acker Bilk to Zenith Six. I'm hoping to include a page on Peter before long, he was born in Gatley and then moved to Thornton-Cleveleys, so definitely earns a place on this site.

19/03/21 - More lockdown pictures coming in, the latest ones are on lockdown set 7

19/03/21 -  This catchy little tune Pumpkin Rag  got my attention. I can't recall ever hearing it before or knowing of the band Hot Strings Quintet from Berlin. I wonder  if any musicians out there know the piece? - Norman Gibson

17/03/21 - Regarding identities on MJB album West Coast Shout cover . - Pete Darwin is quite correct, there are 8 musicians on the album and only 7 shown the horse. I guessed the odd man out may be guitarist Nigel Sinclair who was in fact Nigel Scrimshire. Which makes me wonder if Diz Disley was the cartoonist as Neville Scrimshire was/is also a graphics designer. The artist isn't identified on the cover I'm sure that bassist Dick Goodwin is hanging onto the horse's he did to many of those he backed.....and lost  (actually he's sat on the horse's tail and hanging on to a coat tail - Fred).

17/03/21 -  It's Wednesday and time for Quiz 52. If you thought the previous ones were challenging, you ain't seen nothing yet.  Bert Thompson says, "Time for the weekly quiz again. This week the quiz taker is asked to name the branch of the armed forces (U.S.) in which the musician served. The COVID news seems to continue to be encouraging, but let's hope people do not go overboard as Easter approaches".

16/03/21 - Hot on the heels of Mick Welstead, comes North East promoter, Alec Crow, who writes, "After withdrawal symptoms incurred after 16 months without live music, I decided to treat our members with 8 x top shows for 2021 opening up again with one of our favourite N W Bands (Dominic Halpin and the Honey Bees) on Fri July 9th which sold out in 10 days - monthly visits from other top bands are planned for the rest of the year - the venue is currently being refurbished so Boris permitting we'll be ready to go in July!  Feel free to visit our website at Northallerton Jazz and Swing Cabaret Club. to see what we have to offer - always happy to welcome new people from all parts of the country".

16/03/21 - Terry Birkinhead has sent in another photograph for the lockdown pictures series, and the latest is lockdown pictures No. 7

16/03/21 - I've just added several links to other obituaries and tributes for Chris Barber, to this site's tribute page

16/03/21 - Some good vibes coming from down South, Mick Welstead who promotes jazz at the Old Barn in Bookham, says in his newsletter - "Currently I am chasing up Bands that have been booked to visit us from as far back as a year ago. At the moment there has been only one cancellation. I am ploughing through the Bands that have been pencilled in so that we will be absolutely ready for the opening with a full calendar of events".   Anybody booking bands up here yet?

13/03/21 - Some good news just coming through and kindly passed on from Bob Hunt via Des Hopkins - The Big Chris Barber Band: Change Of Management . This is just to let all interested parties know that, following Chris Barber's passing and in accordance with his wishes, the Big Chris Barber Band will be continuing to perform and is under new management with effect from January 12th 2021. The change of management is at the express wish of Chris and the Barber family and the new management have the exclusive right to use Chris Barber's name for the purposes of performance. Any enquiries regarding the band should be addressed to Rebecca Evans +44 (0)777 396 0168 email - Rebecca Evans. Nick White. BCBB Management

13/03/21 - Sadly I have to report another death by Covid-10 of Dick Hamer on the 10 March 2021. Dick led the 'Tommy Lowe Orchestra' for many years which was a big band in the Glenn Miller mould. Dick was a very good tenor sax player and arranger, and for ages had a music shop in Southport that will be known to many of your readers. The band had a number a good jazzers in it's midst who also played with a lot of the trad bands in the North West. He also had a brother Rod Hamer who was a jazz trumpeter in the London area and who played with many of the visiting American jazz musicians in the 60s and 70s. - Dave Moore

13/02/21 - I'm indebted to John Westwood who found his own lost tape and sent me a copy. It's actually a tape of a couple of LPs, and It's a band I know many of you have heard of and been to see many times  in the upstairs room at the Clarendon, but it was before I returned to the jazz fold in the 90's. It's a fabulous recording of the Zenith 6 and one I have never heard before - "Zenith 6 Play Jelly Roll Morton". Keep your eye on the News Page  I'll let you know when you can listen to it. How many of you already have or had a copy of it?

10/03.21 - 
 "This week's teaser -- to name the country a jazz band comes from"., writes Bert Thompson who has sent me the latest quiz question No. 51 "None of the bands is from the U.S. or the U.K.   Once again there seems to be some improvement in the COVID situation here. Vaccine supply seems to be increasing as does administration, but precautions like masks and social distancing remain necessary. Let's hope the light at the end of the tunnel is a glow that illuminates rather than a glare that blinds".

09/03/21 - How's your German? Niklaus Zust writes from Switzerland re: Chris Barber, "Hello Fred, this is a very good broadcast"

09/03/21 - Another lockdown photo. Very early Rioters Dixieland Jazz Band. 1988/89. - John Dorgan

09/03/21 - "How 'bout this for a jazz band?", says Graham Martindale, "Not only sounds good but looks good too".

09/03/21 - Walter Love's BBC Radio Ulster Jazz Club of next Sunday 14th March at 9.00pm will feature the late great Chris Barber and the musical directions he has taken over a successful career spanning 70 years as a bandleader in British Jazz. Surely a 'must listen to programme' either live or subsequently via the Sounds Radio Player facility. My daughter Susan attended the last concert that Chris' big band gave in December 2018 at Goring Village Hall where he held the position of President. Unfortunately, Chris suffered a fall soon afterwards. Consequently, he was not able to complete his planned tour including a scheduled February 2019 date at the Floral Pavilion New Brighton which I had contemplated attending.- David Evans, Rhuddlan

09/03/21  - As numbers are strictly limited at Gerry Duckles' funeral due to Covid rules, and because many people who may have wished to, will be unable to attend in person, her sons have decided to provide the option of viewing the event online. If anyone would like details, please contact me.

08/03/21 - Walter Love's BBC Radio Ulster Jazz Club of next Sunday 14th March at 9.00pm will feature the late great Chris Barber and the musical directions he has taken over a successful career spanning 70 years as a bandleader in British Jazz. Surely a 'must listen to programme' either live or subsequently via the Sounds Radio Player facility.  My daughter Susan attended the last concert that Chris' big band gave in December 2018 at Goring Village Hall where he held the position of President. Unfortunately, Chris suffered a fall soon afterwards. Consequently, he was not able to complete his planned tour including a scheduled February 2019 date at the Floral Pavilion New Brighton which I had contemplated attending.  - David Evans

08/03/21 - Gerry Duckles' funeral will take place on Friday at Lancaster Crematorium at 2-30pm

06/03/21 -  About to file an obit of Chris Barber in my Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Jazz ( 1986 ) I was amazed to find that he wasn't included, not even in the Appendix. One wonders what criteria is used by compilers to make their selection. In the 1980's Chris Barber was well established, Echoes of Ellington with Wild Bill Davis, a collaboration with John Lewis and even into classical music with Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra and so much more. Not worthy of inclusion ? Well I guess they had to make space for Back Door.....who?   - Bob Lamb

06/03/21 - After a struggle, I've now broken up the lockdown pictures page to a series of smaller pages as my editor couldn't handle one page with more than 60 photographs on it. I've now divided it up into separate pages of approximately 10 photographs each

04/03/21 - Jazz Extravaganza At North West Castle Hotel Stranraer.  New Date: Monday 11th-Wednesday 13th OCT.

04/03/21 - I'm sure you know of Nicholas Ball and his great drumming and also historical studies of jazz drummers through the ages. These are recordings by Bill Russell available for the first time! Thought you might be interested. - Geoff Bartholomew

03/03/21 - Deco-Delight-Band has now secured its first gig for some time at the Cockerham Village Hall.. 8pm on Saturday 11th September next. Things are getting better! - Peter Eddowes

03/03/21 - Hi Fred,  Have you heard this yet. Some good photos of various jazzers as well as great music. Humphrey Lyttelton - South (Live and never before released). Peter Darwin

03/03/21 - It's Wednesday, and Bert Thomson, our quizmaster, writes, " This week finds quiz No. 50, the second of the band/leader quizzes where the band has to be matched with its leader. I'm glad to see that a third COVID vaccine has been approved in the U.S.--the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine. Since it also requires only regular refrigeration, it should be a boon to many and to many countries. Roll out some more! (I'm a little surprised that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has not received DFA approval here--in fact, we never hear anything about it. What gives?)

03/03/21 - The somewhat dismal grey look to the page for the last 24 hours, was my attempt to reflect the sombre news about Chris Barber. It's back to normal now.

02/03/21 - Having a bit of a clear-up in the garage the other day and I came across a cassette tape that for the life of me I can't think why it should have been there. It was a tape from the Harlem Hot Stompers entitled "Harlem Strut", and what a great find it was, the H,H,S, was always one of my favourite NW Bands.   Jon Critchley wonders if it now entitled to be classed as 'garage music', whatever that it, says Jon. It's now available for you to listen to and I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. Check out No. 19. on The Lost Recordings  If you see a message about virus scanning, don't worry it's just that Google is saying the files is too large to scan but I can assure you it is clean.

02/03/21 -  Chris Barber has died today at the age of 90. I don't think we can say it's sad news because he had a great life doing what he wanted and playing the music he loved. What was sad was that he finished up in a care home with dementia and presumably nobody able to visit him due to Covid restrictions. Nevertheless it is the end of an era, and I was just one of many who grew up listening to and loving the recordings he made, starting with Rock Island Line when he played bass, up to his jazz and blues and big band days. It is fair to say that without Chris Barbar and Ken Colyer, this site would never have happened. I will of course be putting up a tribute page, and maybe you could think about how he influenced you and send me your story. I recall going to see him at The Free Trade Hall to a packed house, and to a somewhat smaller house at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood many years later. He still went down a storm. See also Jazz Journal and The Guardian

01/03/21 - It was sad news to read about Gerry Duckles, I did a few deputising jobs for Alan in both Tom Culbert's, Quayside Hot Stompers and Barrie Marshall's, Sun Street Stompers when Alan had an operation on his arm/hand what must now be well over 10 years ago. I've also visited and sat in with the band on a Sunday on a few occasions after that. Gerry was always fun to work with and made you feel welcome. Another good one sadly gone. RIP Gerry. - Mark Croasdale


28/02/21 - New Orleans Drumming Part 2 With Hal Smith & John Petters - Monday @ 7pm.Now You Has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz 3rd Show on The Sound of Spitfire at 7PM (19:00 UTC) Monday night, repeated at 1AM (01:00 UTC) Thursday morning.  This week sees the conclusion of my interview with the amazing American drummer and jazz historian, Hal Smith.  We discuss Tubby Hall, Zutty Singleton, Paul Barbarin, Cie Frazier and our own Colin Bowden. - John Petters

28/02/21 - In the early 1960s I went to monthly Jazz Dances in Hamilton Town Hall. It was very lively and all the big name trad bands, Barber, Bilk, Ball, Lightfoot, Mike Cotton, Forrie Cairns etc., played there. There was no Bar but there was a Coffee Bar and Josh Macrae entertained there regularly. He was very popular. He had recorded ‘Messing About on the River’ and often sang it. At that time there was a Scandal involving the Duchess of Argyle who, according to the Scotsman newspaper, ‘is best remembered as a nymphomaniac socialite’. Josh sang to the tune of ‘There was a Little Dutch Boy’, ‘There was a Little Duchess, Little Duchess, Little Duchess there was a Little Duchess and she came from Argyle. If your name it is Larry or Tom or Dick or Harry etc. etc.’  - Willie Mack

28/02/21 - Just Jazz Magazines available free of charge (approx 48). They would need to be collected from South Liverpool. If interested contact Brian Smith on 0151 722 7499. Peter Swensson.

28/02/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Roy Gregory on Tuesday, Jim West on Wednesday, Rosie Harrison on Thursday, and Roy Williams on Saturday

26/02/21 - Just to let you know how proud we are of our committee member Robert ''Pasty Man'' Kaneen! As well as working hard to make sure that Eagley Jazz Club members receive their hot pasties during the intermission and also making lovely cakes for our committee meetings, Robert, or Bob as we call him, does so much work in his local community, taking elderly friends to hospital appointments, doing shopping for them, etc, despite being 83 himself!  His lovely daughter Lesley nominated him for a ''Kind'' award and he was featured on Granada's North West News last week and also in the Bolton News.  Here's the link to the Bolton News feature:  Let's hope that we'll all be back to enjoying live Jazz soon! - Ann Lord

25/02/21 - The latest edition of Just Jazz Magazine is now available. You can order your copy here.

24/02/21 - I'm having to put the Lockdown Pictures on hold for a while as the page has become too big for my web page editor.  Some text and pictures have gone astray, and in some cases text was overwriting the picture. I've already spent a lot of time trying to divide them up, but I abandoned it and need to start again when I get time.

23/02/21 - Multi-instrumentalist Dave Wearing of Ulverston (guitar, bass, clarinet) has recently died. He will be remembered by many for his solid double bass playing in various bands throughout the North-West back in the 1980s after his conversion from bass guitar in the local rock scene, and in more recent years his fine rhythm guitar work in the Furness and South Lakes area. R.I.P. - Bruce Carnaffin

23/02/21 -  "This week's Wednesday quiz asks for the names of animals found in tune titles, and there is a wee assist for each.", says our quizmaster Bert Thompson. The COVID rages on, but with diminished fury. This coming week I will get my second shot of vaccine. There is still much inefficiency here over the distribution of the vaccine, many sites (in California, at least) having to cancel or postpone appointments. So far I have lucked out in that regard, so fingers crossed".

23/02/21 - "Sadly I have to report the death of banjo player Geraldine ("Gerry") Duckles, wife of the late Alan Duckles.  She passed away peacefully on Sunday February 21st with family members at the bedside.  She played in my band for many years as did Alan, and was always full of fun.  She also played in The Quayside Hot Stompers (Tom Culbert's band), for the duration of the band. She was a good straightforward rhythm player and did the job well. She left my band when Alan passed on, and never played again". - Barrie Marshall.

23/02/21 - Whilst the lockdown photographs continue to pour in, Sheila collier has pulled the strings out and sent me some great photographs from her scrapbook, which she hopes will bring back happy memories for people.

23/02/21 - Seems like I'm not the only one looking back during the lockdown, The Scottish Herald has an article - "Remember when .... Scots trad jazz fans gather for band contest", as it talks about "the cavernous St Andrew’s Hall, Glasgow, where an expectant crowd (above) of more than 2,000 trad jazz fans waited for the entertainment to begin. Backstage, in the band room, half-a-dozen groups were running through a final practice". What I found intriguing was that, "The interval entertainment was supplied by Josh Macrae, Scotland’s top folk-singer".

22/02/21 - The lockdown photographs are certainly getting people to dig into their scrapbooks. The latest are a record from Mick Unthank and some cuttings from 1963.  A very young Micky Cooke and John Hallam. sent in by Duncan Hollows.

21/02/21 - Here’s a great website, I haven’t explored it fully, but these interviews with the wonderful trumpeter Herman Autrey are fascinating. - Jon Critchley

21/02/21 - A notice has been added to the Fest Jazz Brittany website. It's quite amazing that the French Ministry of Culture have issued this very helpful statement regarding music festivals this Summer. No doubt Trevor Stent and his young team are well pleased. Maybe Boris will pull his finger out and give the same help here. - Norman Gibson

21/02/21 - Keep your eye on the lockdown pictures, there's one or two coming in at the moment. I'm concerned that all the photos are going to make the page slow to load for those people with a slow broadband connection, If that's the case I'll split the pages, let me know. Certainly proves some people have got time on their hands in the lockdown. Your help is needed on one of them

21/02/21 -  A treat for steam radio fans all next week is the fictumentary dramatisation of Jackie Kays book on Bessie Smith. Mon-Friday 9:45 Radio 4 - Jeff Roberts

21/02/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Frank Slater on Tuesday, and to Jamie Brownfield on Friday

20/02/21 - Early New Orleans Drummers Show with Hal Smith & John Petters - Monday at 7PM on The Sound of Spitfire. I’ve a special treat for fans of New Orleans jazz on Monday at 19:00 (repeated Thursday 01:00). Earlier this week I interviewed the legendary American drummer, Hal Smith, who’s drumming I have admired for many years and who is perhaps the finest player in the traditional jazz and swing styles these days. In Monday’s show, we start with Hal’s “On The Levee Jazz Band”, which he formed a few years ago to play in the style of the great Kid Ory Creole Jazz Band – and Hal neatly captures the full flavour of the style without slavishly copying. - John Petters

20/02/21 - I've just been informed that pianist Adrian Ridgeway passed away on Friday, in Victoria Hospital, Blackpool. Adrian, who originally came from Stoke on Trent,  was well known in the Blackpool area, having played there for many years. Cyril Wroe told me that he had played with Adrian for about 45 years, doing gigs originally with a quartet, and then in Cyril's Dixieland Band, The Festival Jazzmen, and also with a trio, "Smooth Jazz". They played at The Norbreck Castle as well as The Imperial Hotel. Adrian was a builder by trade, and I first  met him when he played with the Festival Jazzmen at Uncle Tom's Cabin at Blackpool, back in the late 90's. His son and daughter are both living in Australia, and Adrian and his late wife Marie, made several trips over there. There is a tribute page for anybody who wishes to remember him.

18/02/21 -
I didn't realise how popular the lockdown photographs would be, and I've reorganised them so that the latest are at the top of the page, where you will currently find one of Cy Laurie, sent in by Barrie Marshall.

17/02/21 -  "That time of week again", says Bert Thompson, "This week's quiz, Something in Common, asks one to identify what the folks in each case have in common. Things seem to be improving a bit on the COVID scene here, but there is still a woeful lack of inefficiency in distributing and administering the vaccine. We are not hearing too much about how it is progressing in the U.K., but I hope it is a bit better.

16/02/21 - I didn't get many guesses for Howard Murray's photograph in the lockdown pictures, so look again and you'll now find the answers

15/02/21 - Dear Fred, Thank you very much for your Birthday Wishes - 81 on Thursday 18 February, 2021 I was a war baby, and I was born in Worsley, Manchester near the Bridgewater Canal . Started singing the music in 1958 when I went to Manchester College of Art . John Mayall played in the lecture theatre in the lunch hour -- I was singing a lot in Sweden and Denmark until my 80 th - then Covid struck, Here we are a year later and it is still the same - My son James has booked me a flight home at the end of April but we don't know yet if it will be possible. Bit fed up with Sweden as there is no sign of me getting my vaccine yet . I send all my love and happy memories to everyone on your page - you really do us such a great service. All the best from Helsingborg, Sweden. - Sheila Collier. Sheila has sent some more photographs which I'll try and post this week. - Fred

14/02/21 - The Merseysippi Jazz Band recorded for Esquire, Clinton Ford for Oriole. - Gerard Bielderman.

14/02/21 - Happy Valentines Day, and Happy Birthday today to the Merseysippi Jazz Band which celebrates its 72nd birthday today. Many Happy returns to Barry Pryme on Tuesday, and to Sheila Collier on Thursday,

13/02/21 - Re: Keith Nichols, I just spotted this - another nice memorial!  Keep warm and well - John Westwood

12/02/21 - Sorry for mistaking Alan St George as Melly. Blatantly obvious now I listen to the tracks again on Spotify. The pub that they used to play at opposite the Liverpool Stadium, was The Cross Keys: I and my friend/ work colleague used to rush down there each Monday night from the Liverpool College of Building where we attended three nights a week doing night school (Heating and Ventilating). They were great nights, super band, I was in awe of them and still marvel at such a great outfit. I read a review somewhere of one of their reissues, and the reviewer said that “the front line swaggered through the arrangements” and indeed they did. Pete Daniels was a superb lead trumpeter and John Lawrence a consummate second horn player. Great days indeed. - Jon Critchley

11/02/21 - In case you enjoyed the Eddie Condon jazz concert (08/02) here the next one from John Westwood. It you've enjoyed them, let me know and I'll pass your comments on to John.

11/02/211 - I was told that Clinton Ford was under contract to another recording company hence the subterfuge. ' Al St. George ' never appeared or recorded with the Mersey's again, nor anyone else for that matter.  My request for Ragtime Goblin' Man ( from Any Old Rags ) was broadcast on JRR 13.02.1971. That night at the Band's party ( Fulwood Park, Liverpool ) I mentioned this track to Clinton Ford. He was almost incandescent with rage and said he'd like to find whoever had requested the record. I quickly dissolved into my shoes.  I bought the record, along with All The Girls (03.03.57 ) and West Coast Shout ( 15.05.56 ), from Steve Voce. He used to give a sound-illustrated talk on jazz between sets of the Mersey's Monday night gigs at a pub near to Liverpool Stadium, the old one .  One night he produced a box of MJB records, discovered at some clearance sale in Manchester, unless my memory has that wrong .They were offered to the audience at a very reasonable bargain price . There must be other copies out there in the jazz firmament.  What a great band that was, and what wonderful nights although the 'follow on' sessions at the Liverpool Press Club could be daunting. One very late night the barman got so fed up he said serve yourselves, went home and left us the keys to lock up!  It was more than jazz. - Bob Lamb

11/02/21 - 
Pete Sumner (banjo player, composer) has just recorded for Swingtime Radio a tribute to Keith Nichols which will be playing in the UK on Monday, !5th February at 12 noon your time. Cheers.....Peter Cowden.

11/02/21 - Replying to Jon Critchley and his answer to Bob Lambs lockdown photo.  I am pretty certain that the vocalist was Clinton Ford and not Mr. Melly.  Clint used a pseudonym of Al St. George because he was signed to a rival record Co . I think that it was Columbia records. - Peter Darwin

10/02/21 - In the middle of a complete rebuild of my PC, which can be quite challenging, so time to take a break and upload this week's quiz No. 47 from Bert Thompson. Bert says, " This week's quiz, the first of two, focuses on musicians who died far too young. Things are still a bit chaotic here regarding the administration and supply of the COVID vaccine. I am one of the fortunate ones as I have an appointment for the second, booster, shot. Others in the 65+ age group have not been so lucky as they are still in the throes of trying to get the first shot. I trust things are a bit better in the U.K.".

08/02/21 - Here's a real treat for you, especially if you are a fan of  Eddie Condon, Peanuts Hucko, Edmund Hall,  Bechet and more  It was first transmitted over the radio 77 years ago this week, and John Westwood recorded it and has made it available for visitors to this site to enjoy, but hurry it's only going to be there for 5 more days.

08/02/21 - ex-pat Peter Cowden sent me this from Australia, "Jazz Festivals in Australia have been cancelled due to Covid but one of our smaller festivals came up with a virtual festival. The concept is quite interesting so if anyone in the UK would like to put one together please don't hesitate to contact Peter Ryan the co-ordinator".  I'm sure your reaction will be the same as mine - Fred

08/02/21 - The missing V.O.A tune ("I'm trying to find the signing off tune of Jazz hour" - 03/02), is Neal Hefti's Coral Reef. I hadn't forgotten it...I never knew it! - Howard Murray.

08/02/21 - Jon Critchley comes up with the answers to Bob Lamb's question - "It’s a 10”LP, 8 tracks, with Alan George Melly vocal, it was their 6th LP". 

07/02/21 - The latest lockdown picture from Bob Lamb is both nostalgic and intriguing, It's a photo of what I suspect it the very first LP recorded by the Merseysippi Jazz Band, and none of the personnel are playing with the band today. But who is the mysterious Al St. George?

07/02/21 - Barry Prime says, re: Howard's Photograph, Ian McCann on guitar?

07/02/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Judy Eames on Tuesday

06/02/21 - AFN must have been responsible for sowing a lot of Jazz seeds in the UK. After the war my parents used to rent a converted railway carriage at Dungeness for holidays, and we got good reception from AFN. It set my elder brother and I on course for a lifetime of listening and playing the music, and also set me off on a career at sea, with of course, a number of visits to both New York and New Orleans. My younger brother was a bit young to be involved, but he must have picked something up because he used tp play a mean blues piano in pubs around Kent in his youth. We also went up to London to Ken Colyer’s club in Great Newport street, and to other venues as well. Then there was Alain Chassagne’s weekly jazz records request programme on the BBC French service. We bombarded him with so many requests that he once dedicated a whole programme to us. Those were the days when you listened to the test matches in Australia on short wave, with all the bubbles and squeaks involved! — Richard Knock.

06/02/21 - "Remember when ... 1957: The continuing rise of skiffle" - That's the title of an article in The Scottish Herald, featuring a photograph of Muir Laurie's skiffle group in action in 1957

06/02/21 - My first "Now You has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz" - Monday show last week got the biggest listenership on the station so far!  I have a fantastic show lined up for Monday at 19:00 (repeated Thursday 01:00). I will be profiling pioneer jazz drummer, Tony Sbarbaro, who made the first jazz recordings in 1917, with the Original Dixieland Jass Band. That historic million selling record will open the show. It' will be on - John Petters

06/02/21 - Could the guitarist and trombonist be Mike Swift and Bart Poole? Both are as good looking as them. - Jon Critchley

06/02/21 - In reply to Howard's post, I can advise that I listened to AFN just north of Rochdale, and the fading I experienced suggested that the transmission was from Europe.  After broadcasting began in 1922, my father built a radio, I think a one- or two-valve set. When manufactured sets became available, it was discarded but he retained all/some of the parts. Round about 1946 when I was about thirteen, he presented me with a kit of parts, minus a cat's whisker, accompanied by a schematic diagram on a piece of paper with a suggestion/instruction to "build yourself a radio ". I had no interest, but, to repay his interest, I proceeded. I can't recall all the details, but a main component was the coil.  In this case, it was the coil from the radio he built and was a sort of multi-coil arrangement on a tube of about three inches diameter with a secondary coil inside the tube at one end which revolved within the main coil tube. Certainly I only needed one of the coils. The aerial was seventy-five yards of stranded copper wire insulated with what looked like a black bituminous material which did several laps of a triangle on my bedroom ceiling. My mother was distinctly unimpressed. Everything was installed in a suitable wood box from the local army surplus store. The cat's whisker had to be poked on the surface of the crystal until a transmission was detected and then great care had to be taken not to jolt the set-up or the contact would be lost and back to the beginning again. Subsequently, I learned that a "permanent detector" could replace the cat's whisker, and I set about procurement from a local radio shop. This proved to be a solid-state component, perhaps an early transistor, and the sacrifice of a lot of pocket money sealed the deal.  The result was amazing. Jolting was no longer a problem and I think it was probably with this modification that I picked-up AFN on a pair of German headphones, possibly from the same source as the box. A "bobby-dazzler"? It was a random group of connected components in a wood box, but it provided hours of entertainment. Happy days, and thank you for prompting their recall. - Alwyn Smith

04/02/21 - Howard Murray has set us another picture puzzle. Can you name these musicians in the latest Lockdown Picture. Could that be Howard himself on there?

04/02/21 - Hi Fred, it’s a small world, I didn’t know Ian Royle was at the Tower Ballroom with Paul Griffin because Paul depped for Alan Robinson at ‘’The Locarno Ballroom” when I was on lead trumpet with Jack Hawkins, I was really impressed with Pauls playing and he told me he was Harry James’s Godson and used to sit on Harry’s knee and play trumpet for him and I said’’ that’s amazing’’ .. Ian also knows and worked with my Brother Wilf in Manchester with “The Millionaires”, fantastic stuff. Paul knew them all Billy Butterfield, Al Hirt.. Ziggy Elman.. Cheers - Derek Dalton

04/02/21 - Re: Pete Darwin's quiz,. picture is Rico Tomasso as Dizzy whose early work has Armstrong DNA embedded in it. - Jon Penn

03/02/21 - A lovely photograph of George Webb supplied by Terry Birkinhead for the Lockdown Page

03/02/21 - Good to read that answer from Alwyn Smith (29/01). Yes, I also went through the crystal set phase and listened to the MW, as Alwyn says "Getting what you get!"  Jazz Hour was specifically Short Wave, one of several bands, as has been declared in various items. Because of the very high number of American forces in Munich, VOA had stations located within hearing range of München but they were all Short Wave. All material broadcast was relayed from Stateside. (Washington I think) (Conover was not well known in the United States, even among jazz aficionados, as the Voice of America did not broadcast domestically except on shortwave,) (Wiki). The same applied to AFN.. American Forces Network which DID radiate on MW. I can only guess that maybe Jazz Hour was put through AFN but I certainly don't remember it. Was rarely heard during daylight which suggests European transmitters. Same applied to MW 208.. Radio Luxembourg. Must also say that Alwyn's Xtal Set must have been a bobby dazzler. I never made one to that standard of selectivity nor sensitivity, unless Alwyn lived near an AFN MW transmitter. I've no idea if they had them in the UK. Best I ever got was BBC Regional Home Service and sometimes the Light programme but the obvious Home service still in the background. BOY Did I listen to the Goon Show! For AFN on MW, I was left to listen on my R1155, radio out of a Lancaster bomber. Tell me about that super Xtal set, Alwyn.  I'm trying to find the signing off tune of Jazz hour. Voice of America shut down with Yankee Doodle. No idea about AFN.. Stars and Stripes?  Listened to John Petter's A1 jazz online. Fred and I both understood Slim Gaillard's number about Communication because we both speak Morse code. Fred speaks it like a native. If Alwyn goes on Y/T, he'll find loads of stuff about the Jazz Hour, some with 1960s QRN and QSB. This is for Alwyn - Howard Murray

03/02/21 - The young band, 'Sweet Peppers', I rather liked when I saw them at Fest Jazz a few years ago, have just put their latest video recording out on You Tube yesterday.  This is it  and I don't think I'm the only one who's going to be impressed ! -  Norman Gibson

03/02/21 - Time for another quiz from Bert Thompson - This week you have to fill the blanks in each song line or title with the name of an action [hint: all end in ing or in’].  Bert says, "Hope all goes well with you.  The virus is still on the rampage here, but at least I am adding to my defence as tomorrow I get my first vaccination shot--finally! ".

02/02/21 - John Westwood captured recordings on tape in 1987, of The Roy Pellet Hot Four accompanied by Humphrey Lyttelton, Rod Mason and Beryl Bryden and has now dug them out and put them together on a CD and has kindly allowed me to add them to the Lost Recordings series at Number 18..

02/02/21 - Peter Darwin has sent me a picture quiz which you can see here. He says, "Hi Fred,  This is a picture  of a well known trumpet star doing an impression of Dizzy Gillespie playing Afro Be Bop.  I know who he is but, how many others recognise him ?

02/02/21 - Re: Jon Critchley's comment on his cellar on the lockdown pictures, - There’s a hole in your bucket,  dear Jon, dear Jon =- there’s a hole in your bucket. Dear Jon, a hole". - Frank Slater


01/02/21 - Radio Ulster's excellent Jazz Club of 31.01.21, hosted by evergreen presenter Walter Love, featured both Chicago and New Orleans Classic Jazz. The programme included firstly Muggsy Spanier from 'The Windy City,' followed by Captain John Handy of New Orleans fame and is one not to be missed on BBC iPlayer Radio.

31/01/21 - Jon Critchley has sent in some photos of the Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra taken off the tele. by his brother Peter, when they appeared on “Opportunity Knocks” in the late 70s:  Another one for the Lockdown Photographs

31/01/21 - Ian Royle has passed on a message from Paul Griffin, who Ian says, "I knew from my days at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. His Dad was first trumpet with Benny Goodman. Some interesting tuff on this!! ". - "American Masters on PBS produced a series called "In The Kingdom of Swing" The producer got in touch with me to connect with my Dad, and they produced these interviews in our Library at The Griffin House.".

31/01/21 - I was very interested in the Willis Conover reference and the ‘Voice of America Jazz Hour’ which was broadcast by AFN ( American Forces Network) in Europe and aimed at the Eastern Bloc. As a youngster in Carlisle in the 1950’s we were just able to hear the broadcasts from Europe on the Medium Wave albeit with very patchy reception and recorded some on an old Grundig TK20 reel to reel tape recorder. Willis spoke very slowly and clearly so that the Eastern Bloc nationals had a better chance of understanding his English. There is a very extensive free library dedicated to Willis here:- Hours of relief and jazz history here to mitigate the lockdown blues. Keep up the good work, - Den Morgan

31/01/21 - Gee Fred, talk about memory lane. I remember watching that program with Willis Conover on Tell the Truth on AFN TV when I was stationed in USAF Goose Bay Labrador, must have been '58 or '59 I was the only guy who knew who he was, also used to listen to him on the radio. Great programs. Best wishes and Happy New Year. Bernie Hives

31/01/21 - Many Happy Returns today to Ken Doran. Also on Monday to Brian Carrick and Tony Pollitt. On Thursday it will be time to say Happy Birthday to Alan Matthews.

30/01/21 - Delcia McNeil has emailed to say, "I’ve just brought some albums out of my cellar, one of which is by the Blue Mags, that was signed by several in the band on 19th August 1975. It’s just called The Blue Magnolia Jazz Orchestra, produced in 1974 Liverpool Sound (Enterprises) Ltd. There's more from Delcia with pictures from the LP in Lockdown Pictures

30/01/21 - I’m very happy to announce that my hot jazz show, Now You Has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz returns to the Sound of Spitfire on Monday, 1st February at 19:00 with a repeat for Stateside and Australian listeners (or insomniacs) at 01:00 utc on Thursday 4th February", writes drummer John. Petters. "This is a show which I hope is a bit different from anything you can hear elsewhere. I hope to be able to do as Lord Reith prescribed in the original BBC Charter, to educate, inform and entertain. I have built up a huge collection of great jazz recordings over the years, which I will be sharing with you".

30/01/21 - Does the name Simon Gronowski mean anything to you?  Must admit it didn't to me. He escaped the Nazis as a child and went on to write and speak widely about his experiences. In April, he began brightening lives by playing jazz tunes from his apartment window at his home in Belgium. Simon  had committed many acts of bravery and generosity in his 89 years of life, and opening a window in April wouldn’t ordinarily have counted among them, but this was no ordinary April. It was the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which hit Belgium as hard as any place in the world. But as a Holocaust survivor, Mr. Gronowski had faced death more intimately before. It's well worth reading this article in the New York Times. Tuba Skinny read the article and then arranged for him to play along with them. Read the article and then watch 

29/01/21 - Peter Boswell is the latest musician to add a contribution to My First Instrument page

29/01/21 - Re Howard Murray 29.01.2021 and Willis Conover, I used to listen to The Jazz Hour in bed on my home-made crystal set, which I think would be medium wave, although with a crystal set, it was a case of get what you can. The opening announcement (from memory) was "AFN, Munich, Stuttgart. This is The Voice of America - The Jazz Hour, Willis Conover reporting".  On the subject of lost tapes, somewhere about 1957-58, the BBC Jazz Club featured a three-way programme with The Saints JB from Manchester, The Second City Jazzmen from Birmingham and the London contribution came from (I think) Eric Silk's Southern JB. It was a terrific programme and it's a matter of great regret that I was between tape recorders, and couldn't preserve a record of it. It's a long shot, but does anybody kno w of the existence of a tape of the broadcast, or indeed, have one. - Alwyn Smith

29/01/21 - Following on from Willis Conover and The VOA Jazz Hour, this site, the UNT (University of North Texas) Digital Library has a wealth of recorded music and interviews, some taken from The VOA Jazz Hour, and also episodes of “Harold and Hazel” a sort of comedy sit com from the 1940s featuring Willis and Nathalie Sherman

29/01/21 - "Hi Fred, Good to see you continue to keep your website as active as ever" - Peter Maguire webmaster for jazz-clubs-wprldwide "News from Brussels - Strange times for all concerned.  For myself, playing most weeks since I was in my teens, it is all something of an existential crisis. I am sure this is much the same for a large number of active musicians.  The Brexit debacle has added another requirement to activate some procedural adjustments. Fortunately nothing too much of a problem. My daughter Laura has full residential rights in Belgium. My son, last year, became a Croatian citizen. The grandchildren have dual nationality, Croatian and British, so they retain their full EU citizenship.  If things get back to normal, touring in Europe and UK musicians and bands are going to have all kinds of problems unless a new agreement is reached. The days of a trouble free tour by say The New Orleans Zulus of UK clubs are over and much the same for UK counterparts".

29/01/21 - Found this on Willis Conover, writes Howard Murray. The story goes:- He wasn't a musician and when he started at VOA, he was a Sports Reporter. His boss called him in and told him that they needed a front man for the VOA jazz hour "and it's going to be you!"  Conover said "I know nothing at about jazz." Boss "Well you'll need to find out then.. You start in a week!" It was a stupendous success. There was a 'What's My Line' type of show on American TV called 'Tell The Truth.' (Run by the same team.) 3 people come on stage claiming to be somebody well known and the actual person is one of them. A panel of celebs has to guess which, by questioning the three. I found the show with Conover as one of the three. I knew the moment he spoke which he was.  Because Conover only ever broadcast only on SW, it's possible that the bulk of your followers never heard of VOA let alone Jazz Hour and Willis Conover. For that reason, in the last one, I only referred to this anecdote to see if anybody responded. I don't think that Jazz Hour was networked on American Forces Network which was on MW.

29/01/21 - Look at this for a line-up says Graham Martindale

27/01/21 - It's time we had another in the Lost Recordings series, and once again it's Tony's Trad No.4 with one his programmes. It was listening to these that got me back into enjoying the music once again, and combined with my interest in all things computing, plus discovery of Lake Record Reissues, it got me into creating this web site. If you discover any old cassette tapes of North West bands you no longer want or can't listen to, post them to me and I'll try and add them to the list

27/01/21 - This week's Wednesday Quiz is the second in the Alternative Names questions set by Bert Thompson. Bert, from America, says, "I still feel a sense of immense relief to know that sanity again prevails in Washington, D.C.. No more having to look at the news headlines in dread of what idiocy or illegality has been perpetrated since the previous day".

27/01/21 - Photographs of the Cotton City Jazz Band are the latest to join the Lockdown Photos series.

25/01/21 Ah, very co-incidental for Howard to mention Willis Conover’s Voice of America Jazz Hour, I was listening to the very same YouTube clips over the weekend: What memories that brings; Still at school and listening to the transistor radio under the covers in bed very late at night, straining to hear the (for my radio) weak signal,. To hear his voice introducing it and then to say “Tonight: Duke Ellington”, or similar was magical and so exciting. Never to be repeated. - Jon Critchley

25/01/21 - The funeral of Pat Bebby will tale place on Monday 8th February 2021, at Altrincham Crematorium, Full details can be found here

25/01/21 - Some more photographs from Graham Martindale in the Lockdown Pictures series, These include the American jazz drummer, Tommy Benford.

25/01/21 - Re: Alan Dell’s dance band days 18/01/21, a Tribute to Sid -  Howard Murray says, "Sid Philips was my 1st hero as a teenager (More were to come! However Mr Dell failed to announce that the version of "I Got Rhythm", was led in by an arpeggio (which I recognised instantly. It was the first I ever learned to play and I was going write in and say that Dell got the title wrong but before I did Philips, had played the theme of his Clarinet Cadenza and gone into I Got Rhythm. The arpeggio was a pig of a thing for a rookie because it's a Bb concert run, starts at the bottom of the instrument, NOT on the tonic and rattles well into the upper range, crossing the break in the instrument effectively changing key to complete it on a high C. Clrts don't have an octave key like a sax. Of course I didn't know ANY of this at the time, otherwise I probably would have dared to try ir. My hero worship betrayed Philips when I also took up a hobby on ShortWave Radio and heard Willis Conover's Jazz Hour on The Voice Of America. Here I found B. Goodman, already! Great anecdote about Willis Conover if anybody remembers him but that's for another time. Amazing coincidence, really. I went on YouTube to find something to remind folk of the JAZZ HOUR sign. tune and the first thing I found was this. There was the tune, Conover's voice and unbelievably, the identical radio set which I had purchased ex-WD out of money saved from my schoolboy paper pound. Must be nearly ten years ago now!!!

25/01/21 - Ken Ames is the latest musician to tell us about his starting point in "My first musical instrument"

24/01/20 - Some lovely tributes have come in for Keith Nichols, including one from Mike Lovell, who gives a a further insight into Keith's talents, stories I have never read or heard before.

24/01/21 - Lots of birthdays to celebrate this week, but there will be no family gatherings I'm afraid. Many Happy Returns to John McCormick today, Paul Blake & Terry Binns tomorrow, Paul Adams on Tuesday, Taff Lloyd on Thursday and Paul Speakman on Friday when he reaches the grand young age of 50. Many Happy Returns to you all, and look on the bright side, you'll be playing again before your next birthday

23/01/21 - The February issue of Just Jazz is now out. If you can't go out to watch, at least you can read about it

23/01/21 - "I have recently acquired my own private studio space and I shall be holding live Facebook shows every Wednesday evening (if it goes to plan!), 8-9pm. The first one is this coming Wednesday, 27th of January", writes Jack Cotterill.   "I have managed to get a great quartet together which will be performing different themes/saluting some of the Jazz greats each week!  For all details please visit my website which has all the info, line up etc, or you can visit the Facebook event page. If you’re on Facebook I would be extremely thankful if you could click ‘GOING’ and ‘SHARE’ the event, this helps spread the word… the more the merrier!   Hope to see you there!".

23/01/21 - Keith Allcock has written, "It was with great sadness that I learned that Terry Porter passed away peacefully this week, a really fine musician  with whom it was always a privilege to play."     It was back in August 2012 that Terry emailed me to ask if I could help sell his Elkhart fully curved soprano saxophone, which he said was in as new condition, and which he had owned from new, the only reason for sale, he said was, that he had to stop playing for health reasons. There is a Tribute Page available now.

23/01/21 - Like all musicians I'm missing listening & playing", writes Jack Wilson. Probably like a lot of people I've been hunting through old photos and wonder if you could help me by putting the attached on your site. I realise it is from out your area but there are quite a few N. E. musicians living ''out west '' so hope someone may be able to help.  I am wondering if anyone recognises the musicians in the photo.  They operated around the Denton Burn area of Newcastle.  The photograph is the latest in the Lockdown Photographs series.

22/01/21 - Julie Flynn has sent me a couple of photographs of Glossop Jazz Festival when she sang accompanied by Humphrey Lyttelton, Tony Foulkes and Dennis Gilmour.

22/01/21 - It's finally arrived, The Wednesday Quiz, and it's the third quiz where you have to guess the Girl's Names. Quizmaster Bert Thompson, who now lives in California says, "The good news is that the stable genius is now in Florida. Long me he stay there, preferably with some duct tape over his mouth. Joe Biden will have a tough job to clear up the messes he was left, but he seems to have made a good start".

21/01/21 - I do, indeed, remember the 'test card' era that John Hill refers to. My aged grey matter doesn't permit recall of any details, but as you know, there were a number of variations over the years - of cards and their accompaniment. The happening that interested me most was when they used it for experimental stereo transmission; the left channel being transmitted on Radio 3 and the right channel with the test card on the TV (only one channel then!). Some of these I've got on tape somewhere, but I remember that they were all somewhat spoiled by an annoying 'whistle'-like tone on the tapes, which I assumed to be a by-product of the frequencies somewhere along the line, but I never understood any of that. I'm sure you do, though! - John Westwood

21/01/21 - I too would tape the test card jazz on my trusty Grundig TK 30.and also wrote to the Beeb with dates and times. I would receive a postcard back with full details of tunes and personnel. Still remember the first they sent it was details of the Savoy Orpheans! - Jeff Roberts

21/01/21 - As you might imagine, responses to the announcement that Keith Nichols has died are coming in and there is a tribute page in his memory. Keith was a regular visitor to the North West from Merseyside to Cumbria.

21/01/21 - I noticed that Jon Critchley mentioned the jazz that was broadcast to accompany the BBC TV test card many moons ago. I remember it well and recorded lots of it on reel-to-reel tape (long lost unfortunately). I wrote to the BBC to ask for details of the bands playing but got a rather unhelpful reply asking for details of the time and date each track was broadcast. I never followed this up but would be interested to know if anyone else remembers these broadcasts. - John Hill

21/01/21 - This item posted on Facebook today by Richard Pite - "Very sad news. Keith Nichols passed away this morning. Keith had gone into London Hospital last Friday with problems relating to a much delayed prostate operation. Whilst in hospital he fell ill with Covid. His wife Eve asked me to let everyone know on Facebook. Keith was a marvellous pianist, singer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and authority on vintage jazz. He was a delightfully funny presenter and mixed scholarship and wit in a singularly entertaining way. He'll be sorely missed.

21/02/21 - Something that has intrigued me for some time is that musicians have invariably emailed me using the word, "clarinetist" (see below). Each time my spell checker has thrown it up as being incorrect and wanted to spell  it as "clarinettist", which I assumed was the American version as surely those who play the instrument would know best!  Today I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary and it says, "clarinettist (US clarinetist) NOUN - A person who plays the clarinet. There we are then, either change your spelling or change your instrument!

21/01/21 - Vic Williams has emailed and allowed me to reproduce the content which I know many of you will want to know. "Hello, I have just enjoyed reading through your journal of jazz memories. I am the younger brother of Roy Williams and appreciate the kind words written about his recent award from Her Majesty. I spoke with Roy today and although he is in good spirits, he struggles to communicate verbally since his stroke in March 2019. The sad thing is that he knows what he wants to say but has great difficulty getting the words out and he gets frustrated with himself so I try hard not to fire too many questions at him. He is receiving therapy but its a slow job. Hopefully when the Covid restrictions are lifted the Williams family will be able to get together and celebrate Roys MBE".  

21/01/21 - Looking at the Deps List, I'm reminded that back in 2017, EE called time on Freeserve, Wanadoo and Orange email accounts. Some of the dep's email addresses also became invalid, and a number still are. Dave Ellis, Ovid, Pete Robinson, Keith Rae,  Brian Collins and Phil Lister are names which will be removed from the list in two weeks, unless new contact details are received.

21/01/21 - "For the last 3 or 4 years I’ve been regularly including a couple of numbers on clarinet on most gigs, usually in the shape of a clarinet duet with the regular clarinetist in whichever band I’m with", writes Richard Knock. With all the spare time over the last 10 months I’ve been putting in regular practice on that instrument as well as trying to keep my trumpet/cornet lip in shape, so would you mind putting me in the clarinet list as well as trumpet list for deps?". The Deps list has been updated accordingly.

21/01/21 - There's a delay in publishing the Wednesday Quiz this week, hopefully it will be sorted soon.

21/01/21 - A photograph of Anthony ‘Tuba Fats’ Lacen, from the Olympia Brass Band of New Orleans, at the Saturday morning parade of the Keswick Jazz Festival, May 1994, is the latest in the lockdown series. This one sent in by Terry Birkinhead

18/01/20 - Thanks to you for the YouTube Jazz Score prog notification. I have the Jazz Score Book, excellent stuff. I remember way back when BBC TV used to have afternoon breaks from programmes and it just displayed the test card, sometimes accompanied by a single tone, think it was a concert A, but often with Dixieland jazz, band unknown to me, maybe it was Sid Phillips? (maybe the Trad Lads?) I say all this because, whilst listening to the Jazz Score, I noticed another Youtube recording: Alan Dell’s dance band days, a Tribute to Sid, which I’ll record also. Great stuff available. - Jon Critchley

17/01/21 - I try not to post too many YouTube videos as we could get swamped with recommendations, however I couldn't miss this one, it's a recording from Radio 2 in 1988. - JAZZ SCORE recorded at Gosport Jazz Club, Hampshire Chairman: Benny Green Veterans: Nat Gonella & Max Jones Youngsters: Digby Fairweather & Alan Elsdon BBC Radio 2 - Tuesday 22nd November 1988. How many questions can you answer? My thanks to John Westwood for this one.

17/01/21 - Many Happy Returns this week to Jeff Roberts on Monday, John Hallam on Tuesday and Mike Smith on Saturday

13/01/21 - There have been additions today to the Brenda Canty-Forrest and Dave Robinson tribute pages.

13/01/21 - The Scotsman newspaper has been running The Scotsman Sessions - a series of video performances recorded by Scottish artists during the Coronavirus pandemic, for which it has won the  British journalism innovation award. In the the latest, Portobello-based jazz clarinettist, saxophonist and composer Dick Lee multitracks deftly on clarinet and bass clarinet to perform a composition he entitled Gentleman Jim, as a tribute to a longstanding figure on the Scottish trad jazz scene, cornettist Jim Petrie, who died in August of last year.

13/01/21 - The legendary Johnny Roadhouse would have been 100 today. - Sam Wood.

13/01/21 - Graham Martindale is the next musician to tell us about his first musical instrument, another set of drums. Check out the page

13/01/21 - The funeral of Brenda Canty-Forrest will take place at at Colwyn Bay Chapel at 14:45 on Thursday 14th Jan. I have details of the video feed should anyone be interested. Attendance will be governed by current restrictions of course.

13/01/21 - Wednesday and time for the next quiz which is called, "Sobriquets".  Must admit i had to look that one up, a new word to in this house, and one of us does crosswords!

13/01/21 - Barry Aldous writes, "I was prompted to contact you by the loss of a close friend, Dave Robinson. Dave, aged 84, passed away peacefully at his home in Somerset yesterday 11th January following a period of ill health with cancer. You may not have heard of Dave Robinson, but he was the trumpet player with the first band I formed after moving to Bury in 1960. The band was named ‘The Northside Six’ which played at the Fleece Hotel and the Beachcomber in Bolton, also the annual Arts Ball organised by Bolton College of Art at which Dave was a lecturer. We also played at the Stanley Club in Accrington and many other venues until the band folded around 1965. I would love to see if there is a response that I could pass on to the family". You can read more of Barry's memories of Dave along with photographs, on the Dave Robinson Tribute Page".  Barry says, "I would love to see if there is a response that I could pass on to the family."

11/01/21 - Just a tale - A trombone player I knew called Sandy told me this story. When he was a kid at school he wanted to be a musician, he wanted to play trombone.  When he got older they asked boys what they wanted to play, and of course he wanted to play trombone.  He was very small and thought his arms were too short so he went for cornet.  There was a queue, and he stood at the back.  When he got to the teacher, he told him he wanted to play cornet.  The teacher said I'm sorry Sandy they have all gone, but you can have a trombone if you want. - Barrie Marshall

11/01/21 - Just looking through some of my videos of the good old days at the Harp and came across three by Dave Copperwaite's Louisiana Highway on Feb. 17th 2008. They feature Dave, Derek Galloway, Warren Latham, Bill Evans, Tony Sharpe, Noel NIcholls and Dave Donohoe who called in on his way home from a gig at Upton. As I think all of them except Tony are from your neck of the woods I wondered if you might like to put the links on your site. - I'm in the Mood for LoveLet Me Take You To The Mardi Gras and Swanee River. - John and Marie Howell  (Thanks John - Fred)

11/01/21 - Another contribution to "My 1st musical instrument", this latest one from Richard Knock.

11/01/21 - There are two new tribute pages, one for Brenda Canty Forrest (Brenda Tomkins) and one for Pat Bebby

11/01/21 - "Dear Fred, It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat Bebby on 8th January 2021. She was 91. Pat was well known around the northern jazz scene, managing her own band in the 1950s and 1960s which included her first husband, Jim Percival, on trumpet. Later, until about 2010, she published the Independent Jazz List and sold the listed music on behalf of several jazz bands across the country. She was a regular at festivals and was recognised, and introduced to the crowd, as recently as 2019 at the Newtown National Club, Rochdale. Pat's son, Terry, can be contacted at with any memories you may wish to share about her extraordinary life". - Terry Percival.

11/01/21 - Thanks to Paul Medina and Graham Brook, for answering the previous news item speedily. Details have been passed on tp Jane

10/01/21 - Jane Bevan writes, My ex husband Nigel Bevan used to play in the Bryan Jones Big Band for many years. My sons & I are arranging his funeral, we do have both the albums they did but I’ve lost touch with the band members many of whom I know are no longer with us.  I saw a post on your site dated 11th November from Ron Darlington who I know, knew Nigel & myself.  I don’t have a contact number for him & wondered if it was possible for you to put me in touch with him? We are hoping to use some of Bryan’s music at the funeral". Unfortunately it was a phone call and I don't have a record of his phone number, anybody got contact details? - Fred

10/01/21 -
Anybody remember the Dee Valley Jazzmen playing at The Odd Spot club, located at 89 Bold Street in Liverpool?  One of the band members, John Braben, now in Liverpool, has sent  me a photograph of the band for the 'lockdown photographs' series. 

08/01/11 - "Just heard the sad news that Tony Pitt passed away today. Rest In Peace Tony". - Pete Lay. Tony 'served his time’ playing banjo over some 50 years in the bands of Alex Welsh, Mike Cotton, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Alan Elsdon, Laurie Chescoe and Terry Lightfoot - FB.

08/01/21 - "I wonder how many musicians on site can remember there first instrument whether it being sax/trumpet/bass etc", writes Peter Eddowes.  This is a picture of my first drum kit which was funded by my parents in the mid 1950s. It cost the princely sum of £20, and my first gig in order to try and pay it back was in Fenton Stoke-on-Trent playing for a Ballroom Dancing Class with a pianist. He was a School Teacher who was very encouraging in Music and at the end of the night gave me 5shillings (25p in today's money), which was duly given to my parents to start the pay back. It was later in the 1960s that I was able to by a modern kit which was a Premier Black Pearl". I've started a page on the subject - Fred

08/01/21 - Hi Fred, I found the interview with these young Berlin musicians really encouraging. Whether it would interest your readers is a matter for them to decide…..My thanks to Norman Gibson for his post about Nirek Mokar at Fest Jazz 2021. We have plenty of other young musicians on the bill too including we hope, the Syncopation Society Orchestra from Berlin. The other evening, I watched a live interview with another young band from Berlin, the “Rufus Temple Orchestra”. They were celebrating the release of their new CD. What I found inspiring was not just the music (it’s very good) but even more the enthusiasm and dedication of these young people for unearthing, understanding and appreciating the music of the 1920s masters like Jelly Roll Morton. The Tenement Jazz Band from Scotland I know have a similarly deep appreciation, but I know of no other young UK band that shares this depth of knowledge. It reminds me of my early days in jazz with Phil Probert and John Reade at university and Jon Critchley in the first years of the Blue Mags. - Trevor Stent (It's not all interview, there's some great music in the video as well - FB).

08/01/21 -  There is a programme about Drummers and Drumming on Sky Arts at 9pm tonight (Friday). It's a 4 part series and might be of interest to all Drummers out there. - Peter Eddowes.

07/01/21 - Many years (20+) ago I attended a jazz tutor event in Burnley, with our drummer Arthur Taberner, we were split into sections (brass, reeds, guitars drums etc.) and spent a week with our tutors learning a few techniques. It was mostly ‘mainstream’ orientated, but we all learned something. At the end the brass tutor asked us individually if there was anything we needed that hadn’t been covered. I said ‘Yes, I’d like to be able to growl and play glissandos like Henry Red Allen. He said, ‘So would I, Richard, so would I; next question?’ - Richard Knock

07/01/21 - Re Lil Hardin’s outburst: I’m sorry, Lil, I was wrong.  (Never argue with a woman. As Laurie Cooper says, Women are wired up differently). Of course, Dave Davis is correct, I knew I’d be corrected. -  Jon Critchley

06/01/21 - W'at yo' all talkin' 'bout, my ol' Louis sure growled all 'time. a' 'ome. Made m' jump outa' ma skin e'ertime wid dat growly voice, ' When ma dinner gonna be reddy Lil gal ?'  - Lil Hardin

06/01/21 - Re. Jon Critchley and Louis Armstrong's growls. The 8th bar of the verse of "Come back sweet papa" springs to mind. No doubt Jon will check it out. Regards -Dave Davis.

06/01/21 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz, and the second 'find the hidden instruments' quiz, which I found a little more challenging than the last one. Let me know how many you found.

05/01/21 - As far as I know, Louis got through his entire career with using the growl technique only three times: One note, a C, in bar 48 of “Cornet Chop Suey and two notes in “Livin’ High” with Clarence Williams / Eva Taylor. Maybe you know better? And, although Louis’ idol was the great Joe Oliver, master of any number of mutes, Louis only ever used a straight mute and then only a few times. I’ve got far too much spare time on my hands... If you know more, then so have you. - Jon Critchley

05/01/21 - Hello Fred, Best New Year Wishes to you, Barbara and all your readers and writers. Howard Murray’s reference to crates of bass reminds me of my Dad’s advice on beer: 1) steer clear of mild (he had grown up in the days when the slops were customarily returned to the mild barrel; 2) when demonstrating the well known effects on the digestive system of Draught Bass ….. pretend it was the dog.  Harmoniously, - John Muskett

04/01/21 - To Norman Gibson, I also like my music with a sensible bit of bass. A couple of crates would be very sensible!  Happy New Wotsit! - Howard Murray,

04/01/21 - Unfortunately this email is to confirm the passing of Brenda Canty Forest.  Yesterday morning I was advised by her daughter Carol that Brenda was taken ill and had passed away before an ambulance had arrived. Brenda had battled with cancer for a period of three years, but tried to carry on enjoying her extended family - and Jazz. She was very much involved in the jazz scene from the early 50's playing piano in various bands. During the last few years she was a great supporter of Jazz Rag at Betws y Coed. - Morris Jones

04/01/21- Many Happy Returns today to Brian (Sam) Ellis, musical director of the Savannah Jazz Band. Also Happy Birthday to guitar player Jon Moore, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday. Hope it won't be long before you both get gigs again.

04/01/21 - Mike Lovell, now living down in Cornwall, had a booking for Valentines Day with his band The Kernow Swingtet, at Charlie's restaurant in Lostwithiel. Mike now writes on Facebook, "That was wishful thinking wasn’t it !!!   Not only can’t we play anywhere (just moved to Tier 3)...CHARLIES was sold, and now, an Indian Restaurant...anyone fancy a Madras?  Oh well...things can only get better......

04/01/21 - Lang may your lum reek, means "long may your chimney smoke" and refers to First Footing. Where the first dark haired man through the door after New Year brings a lump of coal. Hope this clears it up for you. My father was Scottish hence I know what lt means. Hope this helps to sort things out - Dot Massey

04/01/21 - Martin Snow writes, " I have just heard that Brenda Canty-Forest has died this morning at home (3rd Jan). Apparently she was taken ill at home and died before the ambulance arrived. Her daughter Carole was with her at her home in Colwyn Bay."    Brenda, who was living in North Wales, was a regular visitor to this page and once wrote, "I have to say that through your site I have been in touch with at least 4 musicians from 50 years ago... you certainly have deserved recognition for services to trad jazz.  When I was in Pete Haslam's Collegians band we played Wrought Iron Rag on a live "People and Places" programme on Granada TV around 1959/60. I remember we had to keep on practising it to get it exactly in time with the slot we had in the programme. We were in the studios all day and the men had to change their shirts into more colourful ones to show up on black and white TV and I then had very dark hair and had to have gold spray on it to show curls! It was a very popular tune for us in clubs so that was probably why we chose it for TV. I also have an LP we did with this on which we recorded in the Free Trade Hall one cold Sunday morning by TH Adkins, Rendezvous records. Thinking about it,... When we did the TV show, we may have been called The Crescent Jazz band as we obviously didn't have our colourful striped jackets we had when Paddy McKiernan took us on and changed our name."

04/01/21 - The growl technique on brass (previous messages) can all be controlled by the tongue. Tip of the tongue on roof of the mouth (fairly rigid), middle of the tongue (relaxed) for 'flutter' effect and far back of the tongue (rigid again) for a 'Cootie' effect. In the absence of gigs I'll be training guard dogs how to growl next week. Well -it's minimum rate and a couple of cans for next doors hound. Best for the New Year and more power to your elbow on this great site. - Ian Royle

01/01/21 - Norman Gibson writes, "For Christmas I treated myself to the latest Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker, and gave my 3rd. generation Echo to my daughter. I hit lucky not buying from Amazon at £189.99 and getting it from QVC about £50 less. I like my music with a sensible bit of bass, and although the other Echo was good, a 5 inch woofer against the three inch was more attractive. I should add that I have had a number of hi fi systems over the years, even built a few bass speakers up myself, but many bass speakers were just not up to the job without spending mega money. The acid test I've always used is the solo by Hank Marvin on the Shadows LP track 'NIVRAM, which Alexa kindly put on for me. And bingo my Echo Studio can hack it". You can also do it the poor man's way like I do - An echo dot for £13.99 has an audio output. If you have a Hi-Fi, you can connect it to the Aux socket with a lead for about £1 and get all the music and radio stations you want at your usual quality.

01/01/21 - Regarding Pam Woosey's view on the BBC, she is 100% correct. Radio 2 is now a joke of a station. Where has all the brass band and Jazz music disappeared to? I drive a truck all night and am tired of listening to 10 to 20 year old repeats of rubbish. I once feared digital radio taking over, now I don't care as the radio is now never on. Best wishes to you and all jazz fans. KEEP BUYING CD,s !! - Rob Lamble.

01/01/21 - A new year and new hope for the future. Here's hoping you all get the vaccine soon, and here's hoping that in 2021 we can all get back to enjoying the live music that we have been able to enjoy in the past.


December 2020

31/12/20 -
Many Happy Returns today  to our Quiz Master, Bert Thompson who was born on Hogmanay (Dec. 31st), in Dundee, Scotland, in 1934, and now lives in Orinda, California, USA. A new

30/12/20 - The reply to the toast "Lang may yer lum reek!" is usually "Aye. Wi' other folk's coal!".  I can't work out who wrote that...Bert? - Howard Murray

30/12/20 - I've just added a link to Syncopated Times, which 'Explores the world of Hot Jazz, Ragtime and Swing

30/12/20 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz, Bert says, "Well, Fred, we got through Christmas Zooming and now we'll do the same for New Year's. At least we can approach Hogmanay with a good single malt in hand, COVID be damned. In my household it is a double celebration - New Year and my natal day. As we used to say in Scotland, "Lang may yer lum reek"--although in these ecologically sensitive times, it is not politically correct to say that".

29/12/20 - Another lockdown photograph from Peter Swensson, once again it's the Savoy's 30th anniversary, but this time some different faces.

28/12/20 - Anybody see Chris Langford guesting on the Morecambe and Wise Show on Boxing Day? I remember backing and recording with her, with John Taylor's Wolverines in the 60s. She was a lovely lady and a great singer and always sang with a great jazz feel and had good dots! She also sang quite a bit with the NDO. - Dave Moore

27/12/20 - I am devastated by the news of the demise of yet another big band and jazz programme together with Bill Kenwrights. The BBC is not only politically biased but age biased. Over many years whenever the presenter of a jazz or big band programme has died or become ill the programme has been axed. We oldies are one or the most vulnerable age group in this pandemic - we are unable to venture out or our interests have been curtailed and we have been made to pay for a tv licence. Personally with Roy now being in care and I have to pay all household bills and any extras for him, I am finding it hard financially. My savings which are comprise mainly my superannuation from Bury council over 23 years ago are for my care.  Just what are we supposed to do to relieve the isolation and monotony? I thought I would never wish the BBC to lose the taxpayer's contribution but I certainly do now  with all the drivel and repeats. Lord Reith would turn in his grave.  Good job I have about 200 CD's to play. Hopefully a better 2021 - Pam  Woosey

27/12/20 - Mustn't be many Boogie Woogie fans out there ? Maybe we should have a look at the New Orleans 'Master of Stride Piano' Jim Hession playing a bit of Boogie Woogie, then those not keen can follow with a visit to some of his stride on You Tube. Of course seeing him live is always best! -  Norman Gibson

27/12/20 - Someone who was a regular visitor to Keswick for the Jazz Festival was pianist Neville Dickie. Neville will be celebrating his 84th birthday on New Years Day. Many Happy Returns.

27/12/20 - The January edition of Just Jazz magazine is now available, and Andrew Liddle's evaluation and write-up on the survey results is published so thanks Andrew, saved me a job, it may also bring some new visitors to the web site. It will be interesting to see what comments emerge, if any. I also realised that a previous "survey" was also on the site about, "what makes a jazz evening successful. By coincidence John Howell recently sent me an email about Jazz Club 90 and what they were doing to keep it together. His comments are added to the original survey

26/12/20 - I've just come across a photograph amongst the 1000s on my PC, It brought back some happy memories of the Merseysippi Jazz Band. I've added to the lockdown Photographs, and quick off the mark, Pete Darwin comes back with an answer to my question.

24/12/20 - Jon Critchley has sent me a copy of a letter he received from the National Jazz Archive. He says, "Maybe some will be interested in this and supporting the NJA".

23/12/20 - Many Happy Returns today to Bernard Burke (tbn), to Pete Darwin (dms) on Thursday, The Revd Allan Wilcox (bs) on Friday and to Mick Unthank (clt) on Saturday. 

22/12/20 - I’m really pleased for Ed (19/12), that he’s got a gig next September. I just hope it’s not because everyone else was booked up. Happy Christmas Ed! - Jon Critchley

22/12/20 - Just read the Guardian  article. Why do people have to analyse everything!  Have they lost the ability to just enjoy! - Bryan Yates

22/12/20 -  Bert Thompson has sent me this week's quiz No. 40 called "colours". Bert says, "Although we have a killer pandemic surge going in the U.S. at the moment, at least there is light at the end of the tunnel with two vaccines now approved and more on the way. But the tunnel is still pretty long!".

22/12/20 - Two more photographs for the lockdown pictures, this time featuring Carole Oldham. Submitted by Peter Swensson, they were taken by Terry Birkenhead.

21/12/20 - If Boogie Woogie is your thing, you'll love these 5 performances. Me? I enjoyed them as long as I had a rest every few minutes, I felt exhausted. Norman Gibson started me off on the trail when he sent me this email, "Players don't come much better than this young guy from Paris, and only 17. He's listed to be appearing at FestJazz next July hopefully".

21/12/20 - Many Happy Returns this week to Bernard Burke (tbn) on Wednesday, Pete Darwin (dms) on Thursday, Allan Wilcox (bs) on Friday, and Mick Unthank (clt) on Saturday.

21/12/20 - Derek Brown emailed to pass on the sad news that Eric Hammond had passed away.  Derek says, "He was a legend in the jazz field in and around Preston, and Lancashire and many areas of this country.  In fact the most well known drummer in town.  With countless named bands to his credit, today many a drummer that he taught must be gratefully thankful for his teachings.  Eric died very sadly after losing his wife Anne of many years.  The news is spreading wildly through the area of his sad loss.  I'm sure many of your readers will have comments to make on this sad news. 

19/12/20 - Diane Davies writes, "I want to personally thank all the musicians that Alan played with, too numerous to mention, for all their help and friendship over the past few years, and to all the musicians who wrote such kind words,  it is a great comfort to me".  You can read Diane's email in full on Alan's Tribute Page

19/12/20 - Re your various texts on the 100 club in London. I recall when we loaded up the band van at the back of the club after the session the cardboard boxes stored out there would move and the occupants sleeping in them would complain. This was my first experience of homelessness. - Peter Sumner

19/12/20 - I've got a gig! A proper cash money paid gig...... It is a while in the future I admit, Sept 4th 2021, but nevertheless an entry in my MU diary. I'm available for more by the way...... -  Ed Lloyd Hughes

18/12/20 -
 Car parking at Malvern jazz festival, 1991,-  a picture for the lockdown series.  First a thank you for making available the late Louis Lince’s record of North West jazz on your web-site. Louis was a lovely guy and like yourself, did a lot in publicising our jazz, as a labour of love.  The photo was taken at The ‘Al Capone’ Hot Jazz Festival, at The Winter Gardens, Malvern in October 1991. This gives you some idea of how keen the local authority were in enforcing the strict parking regulations.- Terry Birkinhead

18/12/20 - "An interesting article about Louis Armstrong", says Mike Feltham, and he's right! It's called, "Not a wonderful world: why Louis Armstrong was hated by so many", and it was in The Guardian.

17/12/20 - The growl is achieved simply by growling with the vocal cords (now known as folds) into the mouthpiece and having that low frequency note, unrelated to the music being played, modulate the actual note. Never gave me a sore throat but I wouldn't for one minute quarrel with anyone to whom it did. It's a bit of an attack on the throat! Maybe I didn't overdo it or had adequate pints of MSG No 3 to ease its passage. In electronics, it's known as mixing as our illustrious Fred, Pro Electronics Engineer can confirm. Some Easten Eu & Asian countries have developed a technique, throat singing whereby they mix the fundamental note of their voice with high order overtones/harmonics to produce totally unrelated but quite tuneful notes! No instrument necessary. (You can leave your trombone at home as the old joke goes!) (Well! busk something!) You want nodules on your larynx? This must be a good way. When I taught kids in school, I had to tell the boys that raucous growling would only come after their voices had broken and girls never! In the present environment that may no longer be altogether true! Maybe Miss Ketchen is spherically endowed? But don't do It In The School Orchestra! They will throw you through the window without opening it!  - Howard Murray

16/12/20 - The Tribute Page for Alan Davies is now complete with several contributions. There's room for more if you remember Alan

16/12/20 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz from Bert Thompson. This week it's about tunes and their composers

14/12/20 - The growl is produced by basically doing what you do when you gargle with any liquid, as a trumpet player, I was able to do it very young but found I was getting a lot of sore throats, I had an operation to remove part of my epiglottis, and after that I was unable to growl ever again. -  Derek Dalton

13/12/20 - Are you with Tiscali or TalkTalk, if so, chances are you didn't get the News Emails if you have registered for them. Many bounced with the message - "Content Rejected". Well I never!

13/12/20 - Dave Mott replies, "Hi Fred. It's not me in the 100 Club footage I'm afraid. In fact the last time I was there was in the excellent company of Pete Darwin himself - I was depping with the Merseysippi".

13/12/20 - An abundance of birthdays coming up this week - Tomorrow it's Birthday Greetings to Alex Clarke and Barry Quilliam, and on Tuesday to Richard Knock, and Keith Garner (who celebrates a special one this week). On Wednesday it's Sam Woods Birthday and on Thursday Harry Swinburne's birthday. Norman Gibson has asked, "As I enjoyed a number of his weekend jazz events, perhaps I could be permitted to wish him a great festive birthday with this video"? Finally it's the turn of someone nearer home, bass player Derek Brown, here in Preston, who will be celebrating his birthday on Saturday. Many Happy Returns to you all.

12/12/20 - John Muskett has advised me - "Meryl and I learned today in a ’phone call from Diane that drummer Alan Davies had died last night. He had been suffering from a worsening heart condition for some time.  Alan was born (in 1939) and brought up in Liverpool, but had lived, we found out, for a while in West Kirby, Wirral, where I was raised. He played in a number of Merseyside bands and was well-known in the region, but our paths did not cross until he joined the Milenberg Boys in (I think) the late 1990’s. At that time he and Diane were living in St Asaph, North Wales. About ten years ago they removed to Cornwall, to live in a park home on a site in St Ann’s Chapel near Callington. We visited them there a couple of times. Meryl joins me in saying farewell to a true friend and sending condolences to Diane". A tribute page will appear here shortly.

12/12/20 -  As good a clarinettist as she is, I find Doreen Ketchen's growl effects misplaced and as such unnecessary, adding nothing. I've heard trumpeters use the effect equally indiscriminately, just because " they can". Secret is knowing when to leave out1 - Jon Critchley

10/12/20 - Clarinet players may be interested to learn how Doreen Ketchens plays the 'growl' which is common in her style. Check out this lesson from Doreen which finishes with 'House of the Rising Sun'. It just went online in October 2020. - Norman Gibson

09/12/20 - Wednesday and time for another quiz from Bert Thompson. Quiz No. 38. Bert writes, " Here in the U.S. we are in the midst of the worst surge yet of the virus. Tonight in my part of the world we go into a partial lockdown through Christmas. We're not making it easy for Mr. Claus. Hope things are not as bad your way; and we hear that a vaccine is available to U.K. citizens. Apparently Mr. Trump is quite upset that Britain seems to be ahead of the U.S. in that regard".

08/12/20 - Re Bob Metcalf’s query. Check this out, it looks like it was 1969. - Alwyn Smith.

07/12/29 -
Although I am "Down South!" I enjoy following your emails. It was great to see those two videos at the 100 club which in my youth, (a long time ago!) I used to frequent once or twice a week. I have an old poster. Can anyone date it? The Yarra Yarra band were touring from Australia. -  Bob Metcalf.

07/12/20 - Pete Darwin watched the royal visit to the 100 club and did a double take!  Is that Dave Mott sat at a table he asked?  Well you judge for yourself as I've found the table in question at 1:38. If you need a closer look, click on the picture. I guess Dave will be the best person to tell us.

06/12/20 - Many Happy Returns on Friday to Moe Green.

05/12/20 - "So once again, at last, our once-was-beloved 100 Club gets some Royal patronage" writes John Westwood. Apparently there was an item one day on Channel 5 news. No mention of that four letter word ending in z though. So John says, here's one from happier times.

03/12/20 - Did you know you could limit your searches to this site. Just enter what you are looking for in the search box at the top of the Main Menu

 03/12//20 - Sorry to read about Andrew’s father: He was a nice chap, always pleasant to chat to. He was invariably there at the Hand Hotel in Llangollen when the Deeside Dixies played on Sundays, and at other gigs. I well remember years and years ago when The Original Panama had a residency at The Hotel Victoria in New Brighton, Andrew and his dad were usually there in the audience. These were the days when we would invite young Andrew (as he was then) to come up and do a number with the band, probably “Mood Indigo”. He could barely string four notes together then. I like to think that we were responsible for him doubling that number. Cheers! - Jon Critchley

02/12/20 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz No. 37 from Bert Thompson, and this one should sort the men from the boys. If you enjoy doing these quizzes, you are going to see a new look this time. Hope it's an improvement.

02/12/20 - The latest edition of Jazz Rag has a feature on Alex Clarke and Roy Williams

02/12/20 - I came across this LP the other day, recorded live at the now gone Doctor Johnson pub in Ilford; closed in 2010 and, after a fire in 2018, transformed into the Co-op. This is a great band, super ensemble playing, with Ken Sims at his fiery best: What an atmosphere there must have been at these sessions. I would like to know when it was recorded though, no indication anywhere that I can find. Anyone know? Some of the band are sadly departed, but maybe others may know? - Jon Critchley

02/12/20 - I noticed that I'm sitting on the far left of the front row of the picture of the Savoy and Beryl Brydon, and my Dad is slap bang in the middle. My Dad died at the end of last month, by the way. You might like to mention that on the site if you wouldn't mind, as he was well known on the local jazz scene. - Andrew  MacKenzie

01/12/20 - The latest edition of Just Jazz has arrived through the letterbox, you can view the list of contents here

November 2020

30/11/20 - Re the email 17/11/20.  That viewing of 9 Sporting House Strings at Bude 2002 with Spats and Paul Degville was terrific. I was down to play there at The Globe this year but Covid put paid to that. Re the email 20/10/20 Trad Mad by Brian Matthew I’ve got that book and it certainly does make scant mention of Ken Colyer. I’m 85 and I remember playing at Ken’s club till about 6 am when I was banjoist with Bill Nile’s Delta Jazz Band. Ive got a signed copy of Ken’s “book” which makes interesting reading .Love your site. Stay safe. - Peter Sumner

30/11/20 - I've just made my Christmas talk into a video file and thought it might brighten up some time during the present Lockdown. You can see/download it by clicking here.  With all best wishes and Stay Safe. - Chris Walker

30/11/20 - Ian Cockerill was prompted to write a comment after reading the following letter from the Telegraph, - "SIR - On Monday we went to Stratford-upon-Avon to walk along the river in the lovely sunshine. We bought food and a coffee and sat on a park bench to enjoy our lunch. Nearby, but at a distance from us all was a young girl playing a guitar and singing. What a treat for everyone to hear some beautiful music while we sat in the sun. After some time, a police van arrived and the girl stopped singing and sat on a bench. We thought she had just finished and went over to give her some money, but were shocked to hear that the police had told her to stop singing as it might attract a crowd. In all the time that she sang, the only "crowd" was made up of those sitting on the benches which are well spaced. We live in a strange world". I can sympathise with the police, who have the unenviable job of preventing crowds from gathering, as well as with the busker mentioned in the letter. Both the musician and the letter writer were enjoying the sunshine and the music, but social-distancing rules appeared and the music had to stop. Stratford Council has an excellent system in place for buskers, which we have benefited from. A permit is required and one is easily obtainable, together with printed information that sets out clear and simple rules for buskers. Stratford employs Town Hosts who are visible around the town and helpful to the very many visitors throughout the year, apart from 2020 of course! It is likely that the busker mentioned was playing in a open area close to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as shown on the photograph. Hopefully, music will be able to return to that and other parts of the town very soon - Ian". Click photo for larger version, Ian is on sax.

29/11/30 - Here's one band that has never cropped up on this site before. A message from Allan Walsh - "Hi I'm doing some research on my wife's dad. He was in a jazz band from Manchester called Glen Glen in late 40s and 50s. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you".

29/11/30 - The Panama Jazz Band at The Black Horse, West Kirby in the 1970s, is the latest photograph to join the Lockdown Photos

29/11/20 - Many Happy Returns to ex-pat and ex NW musician Tony West. On Tuesday 1st Dec, it's birthday wishes to Paul Marks, and on Thursday to Howard Murray.

28/11/20 - Frank says £3000 to book the Alex Welsh band today. Still worth every penny, Frank. Wish we could! - Cheers, Jon Critchley

27/11/20 - It is good to see the lockdown articles and pictures.I was interested to see Jon Critchley's comment about the Blue Mags hiring the Alex Welsh Band for the bargain price of £175 in 1970 (ish) Out of interest. I put the figure into the Bank of England inflation calculator and it would have cost him nearly £3,000 in 2020.I don't recall an admission charge at the Coffee House, so you will have had to pass the tray around a few times to cover the cost. - Frank Whitehead

27/11/20 - An interesting site playing Dixieland jazz comes nominated by Graham Martindale. is a Russian Web Site, but don't worry the site is coming up as safe when checked out with a security site

26/11/20 - I was interested to read about the Harlem Hot Stompers LP and am pleased to fill in some of the blanks. Although the label refers to a recording date of October, 1971, it was in fact earlier than that because by that time I was playing trumpet with the Vintage Syncopators. It was actually recorded by an acquaintance of Tony Foulkes. I recall that it was recorded in a back room of the Gloucester Arms, off Regent Road in Salford. I remember it being freezing cold and seem to recall that it was about November/December 1970. I know that the drummer on that recording was Bob Coulson and I see from the log I kept at the time that he replaced Brian Ellwood on the 19th November that year. Nothing was ever done with the recording so I borrowed the master tape and had John R. T. Davies transfer it on to an LP. Sadly, I lost the LP when my record collection disappeared under 2' 6" of River Irwell on Boxing Day, 2015. The reference on the label to Eroica recording services is strange, as it was Eroica who recorded an LP for the Mick Burns Rhythm Kings (precursor of the Stompers) on the 21st June, 1969 (also lost in the flood). At the time of the recording the Harlem Hot Stompers consisted of Murray Smith (trumpet), John Ronan (trombone), Tony Foulkes and Howard Murray (reeds), John Reade (piano), Jim Lias (banjo), myself (sousaphone) and the aforementioned Bob Coulson on drums. We also recorded "Deep Henderson" that evening but it wasn't considered up to scratch! - Colin Turner

26/11/20 - Two pictures added to Brian Legan's request for memories of visiting musicans to the NW - Cy Laurie and John Barnes

26/11/20 - Some more photographs from Barrie Marshall added to the Lockdown Pictures one taken in Dumfries and one taken in Ireland

26/11/20 -  I agree entirely with Jon Critchley's comments about Young Jazz Musician of the Year. I thought 20 year old Alex Clarke's playing was tremendous and I keep replaying her performance which seems to get better with each hearing. my only concern is whether these accomplished musicians will be able to earn a living playing jazz. I certainly hope so. - Moe  Green.

25/11/20 - Re: The LP by The Harlem Hot Stompers. That would be by the original band formed when Mick Burns of the M.B Rhythm Kings moved to London taking his band name with him. I'm interested because I'm on the LP. That astounding multi instrumentalist, Willie Entwistle had been with Mick but pulled out when Mick went sarf!   For the life of me, I cannot remember where it was recorded.. In all probability it was the MSG..  (Not mono sodium glutamate) but Manchester Sports Guild...a leading, 2 floor venue for International Jazz.  Five founder members survive today, Colin Turner Wind Bass,, John Reade Pno, John Ronan Tbn, Brian Elwood Drms (Mr Caesium Atomic Clock time keeper) and yours truly on Clrt/Tenor. It was the few local bands, to have a regular 4 piece front line and that caused the band to need some tight, repeatable arrangements for almost everything, arranged largely by John Reade and co-operatively with the band. - Howard Murray

25/11/20 - "Quiz 36 is Bert’s best yet: ingenious, keep going Bert!" - Jon Critchley. "Finding all ten instruments quite quickly in Quiz 36. Full marks to Bert, a good bit of 'concocting'". -  Norman Gibson.  First time i got them all right - Fred 

25/11/20 - Received this email today -  I’m writing from Guildhall School of Music & Drama to let you know about a new online course that may be of interest to your members: Jazz History, Part 1: From its Roots to Bebop.

25/11/20 - "That time of week again", says Bert Thompson. "I had some fun concocting this week's quiz No. 36. It was a slight challenge to compose sentences that didn't sound stilted or unidiomatic and that would encapsulate the several instruments. Some, however, may just sound a little awkward, so I hope everyone will cut me some slack.

24/11/20 - A message from Lynne Whittaker, "Hi Fred, I am contacting you regarding the recent peaceful passing of our mum, Pamela Gerrard, of Chester, on the 16th November.  She was the widow of Hugh Keith Gerrard (d. Mar 2005), former trumpet player of 'New Orleans Express Jazz Band', and amongst others of the North West's finest, including 'The Savoy Jazzmen' and 'Tuxedo Jazz Band'.  Both mum and dad, had made so many friends and acquaintances in the Jazz world, throughout their lifetime together, and I thought it would be an impossible task to let them all know.  I remembered you had very kindly created a Memoriam page for our dad Hugh, when he passed in 2005, and was hoping that you could possibly announce the news of mums passing and her funeral details via your website, to your Jazz followers who may remember her. Funeral will be held at Chester (Blacon) Crematorium, Blacon Avenue, Blacon, Chester, CH1 5BB, on Monday 30th November 2020 at 11.20 am. There will be a live webcast for any friends who would have liked to attend, which I can supply the necessary details for via email".

24/11/20 - Dr Jo Ashbourn, Senior Tutor (Academic Affairs & Programmes) at St Cross College, Oxford has offered an online invite. She says "I thought you and colleagues might be interested in the online live jazz-style 'a capella' Christmas song medley that I've arranged for some festive cheer. It's on Friday 11th December 2020 at 7 pm GMT live via YouTube. There's a booking form to complete if you want the link.

24/11/20 - Watched BBC Young Jazz Musician on BBC4 the other night: All brilliant musicians, technically and wonderful to have got to the final. Someone said on the programme that it’s possible to over-think the music. Well, I thought four of them did. One of them really looked like she was having a ball, and, unlike the others, swung like the clappers. Really difficult under such clinical conditions. Alex Clarke will get the gigs and fill the rooms for those reasons. I also thought that Josie d’Arby overdid the grinning. - Jon Critchley.  She was congratulated by John Howell, and Alex replied, "Thank you so much! It was one of those lovely things where losing didn't feel like losing at all! Everyone was so friendly and non-competitive, and it was simply a brilliant experience".

24/11/20 - Michael Wright writes, "I recently came across an unusual record made by "Eroica" Recording Services Ltd. (Altrincham) of the Harlem Hot Stompers performance recorded in Manchester in October 1971. The following tracks are listed on the hand written record label:- Sugarfoot Stomp, Rockin' in Rhythm, Papa-de-da-da. Copenhagen, Lil' Darlin', Saratoga Shout, Black & Tan Fantasy, The Mooche and Stevedore Stomp. The record is a 12" LP in good condition and appears to be a shellac pressing but is without a printed record sleeve . It was included in a general auction lot from Leyland along with other earlier shellac jazz recordings by Humphrey Littleton, Chris Barber and Acker Bilk.  I am from Warrington and am retired and collect records as a hobby, although not jazz, and am not a "dealer". Perhaps you could let me know if this is of interest to you or Jazz North West visitors". Click picture for full size version.

24/11/20 - Barrie Marshall has sent me a picture of The Mahogany Hall Stompers, taken in the mid 80’s, when the band was playing at Dumfries Jazz club. It's on the Lockdown Picture Page

24/11/20 - Another photograph in the "Guest Musicians with NW Bands series. This time Wild Bill Davidson with the Red River Jazzmen kindly sent in by Bernard Selby

22/11/20 - Many Happy Returns today to John Meehan, leader of the Savannah Jazz Band. On Thursday it will be Dave Berry's birthday and on Saturday Mike Pearson. Best wishes to you both

21/11/20 - I think it's great Fred when people respond to queries like Allan raised re- Laurie Gold. Thanks David, I'm sure Allan was pleased, and I, and perhaps quite a few others, learned some more about The Pieces of Eight we had seen' and enjoyed' often on our black & white TV's. - Norman Gibson

21/11/20 - "Here is a drawing from my sketchbook when I was at Manchester College of Art and singing with The Southside Stompers at The Black Lion in Salford every Saturday night. It’s of Eric ‘ Ulysses’ Newton who was the bass player at that time". - Sheila Collier. It's on the lockdown pictures page

21/11/20 - Re: Allan Wilcox's enquiry, Laurie Gold was Harry's tenor sax playing brother. - David Davies.  

20/11/20 - Following on from the photo of Harry Gold, when I was a lad - in the late fifties or early sixties - I had a smashing EP, probably bought from Woolworths on their Embassy label, of Laurie Gold and his Pieces of Eight [sic]. It was a few years before I came across Harry, and then I assumed that my record was of the same man 'moonlighting' under an assumed name to avoid breaking his regular recording contract. Can anyone throw any further light on this? (If anyone has a copy of the EP, I'd love to hear it again.) - Allan Wilcox,

19/11/20 - Another lockdown photograph, this time from Terry Birkinhead, and it's a picture of the great Harry Gold

19/11/20 -  Lynda writes, "Colin's funeral will be at 12noon on Tuesday 24th November at Stockport crematorium. Anyone who wishes can view it live by going to and using the Order ID - 57272 and password ctpbqgsj".  Thank you again to everyone for their kind words and lovely tributes". If you have a problem reading that, here it is phonetically charlie tango papa bravo quebec golf sierra juliet - Fred

19/11/20 - Join us today for a collection of Big Band, Swing and Trad Jazz music that spans the period 1920–50. You’ll hear the Charleston to Glenn Miller and everything in between, with both instrumental and vocal selections. In addition we’ve thrown in a few period novelty songs for your amusement. Today’s programme features a mixture of original period* and modern recordings. -

19/11/20 - On the 17th one of your writers mentioned the "Sporting House Strings" at Bude and said he hadn't heard anything about guitarist Paul Degville for a long time....sadly Paul died on Jan 6th 2013, I think he was 65 or 66.  Paul was a great friend of Tommy Burton and a long time member of Tom's Sporting House Quartet, there are quite a few videos of Paul and Tom on YouTube. - John and Marie Howell, Jazz Club 90

18/11/20 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz from Bert Thompson once again, this time Quiz No. 35 is called, "Down by the Riverside".  You have to fill the blanks in the song lyrics with the names of the rivers. After the fires in California which burned a stunning 3.8 million acres this year, Bert writes," We got a sprinkle of rain this past week--not a deluge, by any means,. but enough moisture to end the fire season, they say. I'll take it! And some more is forecast for mid week. We'll see".


17/11/20 - "Being as there's not a lot of news", says one site visitor, "This YouTube video might be worth watching - 9 Sporting House Strings at Bude 2002. It was put on last year and only 174 views so far. Paul Degville is playing guitar and he's a guy I haven't heard of for a long time".

16/11/20 - Ian Royle's comment (13/11), about 'San Quentin', reminds me of my own similar mistake. In the early fifties, at about the age of twelve, I first heard traditional jazz at the Brighton Hippodrome in one of the variety acts. Full of enthusiasm, I arrived home and told my parents about it and said the band had played 'Twelfth Street Rag' and 'Basingstoke Blues'! It was some time before I discovered the correct title! - David Lawrence

16/11/20 - Another photograph from the lockdown pictures. This time it comes from Peter Boswell, and he'd like to know more about Dave Stansfield

15/11/20 - Tributes to Colin Smith are continuing to pour in. It's lovely to read them all.

14/11/20 - It is quite some time since Pete Beaumont collapsed whilst on stage playing piano on his last performance with New Orleans Wiggle and it has been some weeks between his death and the funeral which is now next Monday 16th November at 11am on the northern edge of Sheffield.  Sadly due to Covid no live music is allowed at the crematorium but a small group of musicians agreed to play at the funeral home in Holmfirth as the hearse left but due to the even tighter restrictions this also is sadly no longer feasible. Just one more quiet funeral amongst many taking place during these very dark times. - Richard Lord.  The funeral service will be available on line, and I have the details should anyone want them. - Fred

13/11/20 - The Yorkshire Ripper died today and your readers might find it interesting to learn how I once met him in a Jazz club. Click here to read an article published today. I still shudder at the thought. - Andrew Liddle

13/11/20 - There is now a tribute page for Colin Smith, please send in any memories you would like to share.

13/11/20 - I had a lovely chat with Linda Smith this afternoon, even though she was ringing to tell me the sad news that Colin had passed away. She wasn't sure if I'd received the following email. We chewed over the old times and it was really nice. Colin always seemed to be pleased to see me whenever our paths crossed, as was Linda, and I think Colin will be particularly remembered in these parts for the lovely tune he wrote, "I believe in Rainbows", which Mart & Colin always played so beautifully. This message from Linda - ""Dear Fred, sadly yesterday evening my lovely husband Colin left this world and went to join the Big Jazz Band in the sky. He's probably best remembered as bass player with Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz but in the 60 something years he played he also got to play with plenty of other bands . His last gig was 2yrs ago at the age of 87.  He was admitted to hospital 9 weeks ago having been ill for a few days with what was subsequently confirmed as COVID. After 3 wks he appeared to be recovering but the damage done by the COVID took it's toll and finally took his life. His son Justin and myself were allowed to be by his bedside for his last 3 days and nights, but sadly his other son Jason lives in Berlin and was unable to get here.  Colin was a lovely man and a talented musician and I am left with some wonderful memories of the places we've been and all the lovely people we have met in the "jazz community ".

13/11/20 - I played with Bryan's Band for quite a few years and here are a couple of stories for you. -  An agent in Ireland phoned Bryan asking whether he'd take the band out to Cork for a ludicrously low fee. Bryan turned it down out of hand. "But it'd be great exposure for the band" insisted the agent. "Captain Scott died of exposure" said Bryan.  Then there was the gig at Nantwich Vagrants and a young lady in the audience was talking about her preferences on the big band scene. "Oh I like them all except one" she gushed. "I don't like that San Quentin". And that's the TRUTH !!  - Ian. Royle

12/11/20 - A blast from the past sent in by Des Hopkins - A photograph taken at Hyde Jazz Club 14th July 1961. Check it out in the Lockdown Pictures

12/11/20 - The composer of the week commencing 9th.November at 12 am. on Radio 3 is James P. Johnson. The programmes are still available online and are a fascinating in-depth study of his life and music. There are recordings by James P. himself, of course, and also Fats Waller, various bands led by Dick Hyman, one of my favourites, Marty Grosz and even Doris Day singing One Hour – If I Could be With You One Hour Tonight. In the 1960s I went to the Free Trade Hall in Manchester one afternoon to pick up some tickets for that night's performance by Duke Ellington. On hearing music coming from the concert hall, I looked in and there was Duke Ellington on piano playing James P. Johnson's Carolina Shout which he used for a time as the introduction to Rocking in Rhythm. - Jim Heap

11/11/20 - Just had a phone call from Ron Darlington to say he had received an email from Paul Medina, and he has a copy of the CD of the Bryan Jones big band which someone was after for a funeral. Ian Royle also had a video of the band. So nice to be able to help people out and so nice to be able to find so many helpful people. I've given a contact phone number to Ron.

11/11/20 - Mention of Nellie Lutcher reminded me of an incident many many years ago. A local jazz fan who was working on a building site got back late from his lunch break after going to buy tickets for her appearance in Hanley. The foreman challenged him and he explained that he'd been to buy tickets for Nellie Lutcher. "Next time let her buy her own expletive tickets" chastised the foreman, - clearly not a fan. - Keith  Garner

11/11/20 - Time for the Wednesday Quiz from Bert Thompson, number 34. A different kind of heat this week from Bert as he moves from forest fires to a bigger fire, one from the White House, but he thinks it won't be a quiet affair.

10/11/20 - I've had this request in - "Can you help me, I’m trying to track down any recordings by Bryan Jones, more specifically ‘Spring can really hang you up the most’. This is a request from my step-dad who was a keen Jazz fan of the 40’s and 50’s and a regular attendee at the Jazz night in St Georges, Telford, my request is unfortunately a little sombre as he has requested this to be be played at his funeral (hopefully not too imminent!)".  I can see the Bryan Jones Big Band was on a playlist on BBC Radio Stoke, but not found it elsewhere - Fred

10/11/20 - Having my morning coffee just now, thinking back to my early jazz learning, and as I have a couple of old LPs of Nellie Lutcher, I thought I would re-acquaint myself with her through YouTube. Quite a bit of old film of her on there ! Anyone not familiar with Nellie might watch her in glorious black and white of course. Norman Gibson

10/11/20 - Brian Legan writes, "In October,  I was lying on my back on a bed in the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital with a newly fitted defibrillator counting the ceiling tiles when Terry Birkinhead rang me. We chatted for a while exchanging stories about guest musicians with North West bands we had encountered over the years, some humorous some serious. When he rang off I got to thinking there is a vast store of untold stories about these events and time's getting short! There are already lots of reminiscences on your site but very few are concerned with visiting guest musicians, especially international stars".    Brian's recalls some of the top names that have played in the North West, an interesting read, and he invites others to do the same. I've started the page here.

10/11/20 - I had a phone call tonight from Paul Broomhead who asked me to let people know that bass player Harry Mouat, a well known musician in Cheshire who was a regular dep at Keel University events, had passed away.

10/11/20 - Just noticed that the film 'Ronnie's', celebrating the legacy of Ronnie Scott and his world-famous jazz club, is showing on BBC4 on Sunday 15th November at 9.00pm. This is a great surprise as it was only released into selected UK cinemas in October, and I couldn't get to see it before lockdown 2. Should be a great watch. Barry Pryme.

09/11/20 - I am inclined to agree with Chris Massey. I think the bass player at the Black Lion is Geoff Ford and the banjo player alongside Tony Dunleavy in the penultimate photo is Mike Dexter. - Paul Medina. The banjo player next to Tony Dunleavy is Mike Dexter. - Graham Brook. See Lockdown Photographs

08/11/20 - Bob Lamb has sent a couple of photographs for the lockdown gallery. We need yet another identity.

08/11/20 - l have had a look at the photograph at The Black Lion .Could the Bass player be Geoff Ford before he joined the Zenith Six. I started going to the Black Lion in 1965 and Geoff was on the bass then with the Zenith. - Chris. Massey.  What does anybody else think? - Fred

08/11/20 - I'm told that the Young Musician of the Year Final is a two hour programme on BBC 4 starting 7.00 pm on November 22nd

08/11/20 - Today is the birthday of trumpet player, Peter Brown, and on Tuesday, Graham Martindale and Terry Brunt. Next Saturday it's the turn of Ken Parkinson to celebrate years of jazz. Many Happy Returns to you all.

07/11/20 - Those of you with access to Netflix, will be able to watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom after December 17th. - "Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman), and the white management determined to control the legendary “Mother of the Blues.” Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe. Starring Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, Dusan Brown and Taylour Paige"

06/11/20 -  Well done Alex, knock 'em dead! Cheers - Jon Critchley :  That's great Alex, keep swingin' - Bill Buck

06/11/20 - A couple of lovely photographs and a fitting tribute to George Galway have been sent in by vocalist Julie Flynn

06/11/20 - "I've been sitting on this news for quite some time now, but I'm so excited to be able to announce that I've managed to make it through to this year's BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Final   In what has been a truly dreadful year, it's so nice to have some good news, an incentive to practise, and the wonderful opportunity to surround myself with some top-notch musicians". - Alex Clarke. .

05/11/20 - An item on BBC North West tonight, had an item on a black musician from Liverpool called Gordon Stretton (born William Masters), and how his family are trying to get Liverpool to do more to recognise him and his achievements. He played in Paris and Latin America where he found fame. Check out the item from the program and fast forward 30m 20s.

05/11/20 -  I'm a bit miffed that my good friend Trevor has beaten me to the post with his Jazz Promoting experiences. I am having some difficulty in getting down to producing my effort, for various reasons, but I have made a fair start and will get there this side of Christmas. Trevor and his Fest Jazz have been a revelation to me, a real inspiration and I agree with every word he has written. I just sincerely hope that UK bands and Festival promoters finally take some notice of Trevor's advice freely given. It's not too late, but it's a close thing. - Norman Gibson

05/11/20 - Don't miss any of the news, you can always have it emailed to you twice weekly, just let me know - Fred

05/11/20 - Bravo to Jon Critchley for unearthing the video of Chris Barber and Ottilie Patterson (“Mama, he treats your daughter mean”). Sensational ! I’d forgotten just how good they were at that time. Thank you both! - Trevor Stent.

05/11/20 - I'm delighted to have persuaded Trevor Stent to send me an account of his experiences organising and promoting jazz events, moving from band leader with the Blue Mags to international jazz event promoter in France, for which he now has a team of young people -  Fest Jazz

03/11/20 - As the election chaos swirls around us here in the U.S., I'm finally getting to this week's quiz: States' names in song titles! Although we probably won't know tomorrow if the stable genius has been served an eviction notice, I'll keep my fingers crossed that such will be the final outcome and that he will not have to be hauled kicking and screaming back to Trump Tower. It sure has seemed as if the old Chinese curse has been coming true these past several weeks (months? years?): "May you live in interesting times."  And I believe the U.K. is teetering on the edge of another lockdown. Are you also being visited by the Chinese curse? Stay safe and well. - Bert Thompson

03/11/20 - The November edition of Just Jazz Magazine is now out. Check out the front page for the contents

03/11/20 - Some great responses to the survey results. "This was an excellent report, well presented; better than most of the COVID reports I read and certainly much better than some of the BBC’s mumbling weather presenters" - Barry Aldous. "Very informative" - Pete Darwin. "Thank you for conducting your survey and for your report on the results!  It's heart-warming to learn that there's a 'majority' with an optimistic view of the future for Jazz. In recent months I've found great consolation in...... 'YouTube', not only because (I've discovered) it's a truly limitless source of Jazz performance,often on film or video, but also because everything is contributed by Jazz fans and musicians, from around the World, often for no apparent advantage than to entertain, inform, encourage, educate, or 'advertise' availability!  That may be of little financial benefit to unemployed musicians but at least it's a ' resource' that can help to sustain the interest of an audience in Jazz, of any style, past or present, and for that reason, it has my recommendation, even with the intrusion of commercial 'ads' that are totally irrelevant to the chosen subject!  For without an audience, what would become of us all?".  - Roy Cansdale

02/11/20 - Back in late October I asked musicians to complete a survey as an indication as to how they felt about the future considering the gigs had dried up and there was no end in site until possibly next year. As i said previously, once the answers came in, I began to realise how I could have worded it better and the answers would have been easier to analyse if they had been yes/no/maybe, rather than "not very much", "I hope so", "possibly", "depends", "unsure" etc., but thankfully Andrew Liddle came to the rescue and analysed them for me with a view to publishing them in Just Jazz magazine. Normally Andrew's articles for Just Jazz appear on this site by permission of that magazine when they have a North West connection. In this instance his article on my poll is now posted on this site first and an extended version Is scheduled to appear in Just Jazz’s January edition".

02/11/20 - Two more photographs join the lockdown photographs, sent in by Terry Birkinhead, It's the big names this time.

02/11/20 - A while ago there was a request for any recommendations regarding internet radio. Well, for anyone who likes a mix of different types of jazz, as I do, I recommend Radio Swiss Jazz. It's a mix of trad, gypsy, big band, mainstream, vocal, modern. Some tracks are the original recordings, and some are new interpretations by today's musicians (many, but not all, are Swiss). Best of all, there are no commercials! You can download the app to your phone or tablet. Better still, if you have an Amazon Echo ('Alexa') then do this:  1. Say 'Alexa, enable Simple Radio'. : 2. Say 'Alexa, ask Simple Radio to play Radio Swiss Jazz'. : Happy listening! - Alan Jeffs

02/11/20 - "John Hallam played the flute sometimes with Smoky City at the Grant Arms Ramsbottom then sold it  I have an LP of Sheila Collier's Smoky City which features Terry Brunt playing Jackass Blues on euphonium.  The sleeve notes are by George Melly who says that Smoky City was one of the first to offer him a guest spot out of London when the tide was turning before he went back fulltime to John Chilton.  Thanks are given to Royal Northern College of music,  sponsors Stan Cross and Harry Hallam (John's Dad?) and John Featherstone (another name from the past)  I do not have a record player anymore so if any keen collector would like this LP they may have it on collection". -  Pam Woosey (Ramsbottom)

02/11/20 - "It has finally happened....after months of uncertainty regarding the future of Jazz Club 90 at the Albrighton Social Club a date has been set for the closure and demolition of the club.", writes John Howell. "This will be November 20th 2020 and with the new lockdown we can't continue our little get-togethers on Sunday lunchtime (just for a drink and a chat, no jazz!) so Jazz Club 90's address is now "No Fixed Abode", Albrighton!  It will be a great wrench to leave the club as we have had a superb 5 years there, Robin Giles the chairman and Pete Jordan the steward could not have been more helpful and encouraging....we will miss them. Marie and I would like to thank all the fans who have supported us and the musicians, many from the North West who have provided such wonderful jazz over the years. This does not mean the end of Jazz Club 90 as we have made provisional arrangements to move to the Royal (the old British Legion club) in Albrighton as and when this blasted virus lets us. Hopefully Jazz Club 90 has many more years left to provide jazz and continue to be successful for both fans and musicians".

01/11/20 - When looking back there's always one name that escapes your memory, and so it is with the latest  crop of photographs for the Lockdown Pictures page. Sent in by Dr. Alan Brown from Manchester there's one photo of a single musician whose name nobody will have forgotten, but can you name the bass player in the band photo?  It was taken at the Black Lion in Salford around 1956/57.

01/11/20 - Thanks to Pete Lay for pointing out it wasn't African Waltz, but "Revival" that Chris Barber band played. African Waltz was indeed a hit for Johnny Dankworth and his Orchestra, Memory didn't serve me correct it seems, but still both tunes kept going round in my head in their time. African Waltz was also played by the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band.

01/11/20 - More photographs added to the lockdown photographs, the latest from Sheila Collier and John Brunton's son Gary.

01/11/20 - It's a week for trumpet players. Many Happy Returns today to Peter Brown, on Monday, Danny Riley, and Friday Harry Roberts. Time for a fanfare?

01/11/20 - Yesterday was to be the last day for musicians to fill in the musician questionnaire about how they have been coping with the lack of gigs and how they see the future. As I forgot to warn everybody at the start of yesterday, I've extended it until tonight. 135 musicians have so far contributed, and many thanks to those who have. If you are a musician, and you haven't yet done it, you can fill in the form here preferably with yes/no answers if possible, and as it is totally anonymous, I've asked Andrew Liddle if he would analyse the results for me, and he may eventually submit them for publishing in Just Jazz magazine.


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