Bolstered by the recent success of the Tenor Madness concert which exceeded all expectations at the Con club, featuring Bobby Wellins, Alan Barnes and Doncaster’s Nadim Teimoori, organisers Jazz into Doncaster came back to earth with a bump due to the disapointing attendance for the closing session of the season featuring the 20s, 30s styled Brideshead Ballroom Stompers.
Despite the obvious professionalism and impressive musicianship of the eight piece band which adopted their name after appearing in the ballroom scene of the 2008 movie version of Brideshead Revisited (filmed at Castle Howard), under the expert leadership of Matt Ball on vocals and trombone, and accurately capturing the optimistic zestful outlook of the era when British Dance bands were becoming more and more influenced by the New sounds of American jazz music crossing the Atlantic, the turn-out was surprisingly low, perhaps due to soccer on tv.
Whatever the reason, those jazz fans who failed to attend, certainly missed out on a superb night’s entertainment, with fine ensemble and solo work all round from the leader Matt Lee Hallam, trombone Adrian Wilkinson, clarinet/alto),James Russel tenor/baritone Jeremy Ashby double bass, Phil Steele drums Sam Thornton banjo/vocals who also leads his own high energy Jump-Jive band Louis-Louis-Louis at Doncaster’s Liberty Bar & Grill every second Wednesday and not forgetting Doncaster trumpet man Damien Bell, who impressed with evocative muted growls and other effects that Duke Ellington’s star trumpeters Bubber Miley and Rex Stewart would, I’m sure have been proud to have played.
Among the tunes featured were Cheek to cheek, The Charleston, Anything goes, Tiger Rag, Georgia on my mind, Hello Dolly, Sing-sing-sing, plus King of the swingers, and even more surprisingly Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke getting the 20’s, 30’s treatment. If you are among the unfortunates who missed the gig, the suggestion is to check out the band on Google, and be sure to make amends next time they appear in Donny.
The previous Thursday at the Civic Theatre presented The Kenny Ball Jazzmen, which presented the rare opportunity to catch one of the UKs most popular jazz attractions in action. Kenny himself still was able to impress with his hot trumpet work, despite now in his eighties and can be forgiven for employing second trumpeter Ian Bateman to share some of the demanding solos. Kenny and the boys were rapturously received by the receptive audience, who were treated to many of the band’s hits together with less familiar numbers, and hopefully Kenny was pleased with his gift of a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce to remind him of childhood days in the city, when he developed a life long taste for the condiment.
Jazz into Doncaster resume live sessions on Thursday September 13 with star guest trombonist Roy Williams with The Nicola Farnon Quartet plus Roy Norton trumpet and Jon Taylor reeds, though meanwhile you can catch The Terry Allonby Trio and guests at monthly Saturday lunchtime gigs at The Old Swan Frenchgate, 12noon to 3pm, free admission the next being this weekend July 7.
Monthly Monday gigs at the Con Club by The Dickie Emmerson Duo & guest vocalists next on July 9, and Relish Bar & Grill on East Laith Gate presents live jazz every Thursday at the popular haunt. Barnsley Jazz at The Fairway Hotel (S75 4LS) have The Phoenix Jazz Band & Shirley Patterson July 9and The White Eagles Jazz Band July 16. Phone (01226)28180 /290105. www.barnsleyjazzclub.com