Musical differences are gradually and rightfully becoming more blurred as the barriers between various genres gradually and happily continue to fall, thus encouraging young musicians and bands—such as Leeds based ‘Alligator Gumbo,’ who recently played a début gig at the ‘Con’ Club—to experiment by introducing influences and elements from differing sources to their jazz performances.
After overcoming a potentially disastrous hiccup by arriving without PA equipment due no doubt to an unfortunate misunderstanding, and minus their clarinettist, who unavoidably withdrew from the engagement on the same morning - the boys opted to play semi acoustically with only the barest amplification through the clubs two microphones and delivered an intriguing and engaging three sets of Cajun influenced jazz favourites and less familiar numbers, resulting in the consensus of audience opinion being well and truly in their favour and hoping for a return gig in the near future.
The ‘Gumbo’ boys fast moving stirring repertoire kicked off with Digga-digga-do –and included St.Louis Blues, Muskrat Ramble, Someday Sweetheart, Crazy Rhythm, a cheeky and amusing pantless version of Sheikh of Araby At night when you’re asleep without no pants on, a rarely heard When I get low, I get high, St.James Infirmary Blues with audience participation providing the vocal chorus and the inevitable rousing closer-again with audience responses. When the Saints Go Marching In, all liberally peppered with impressive contributions from leader Jon Scully on trumpet & vocals, Chris Lloyd, accordion who is also keyboards man at Louis-Louis-Louis Jump-jive sessions at Doncaster’s Liberty Bar & Grill every second Wednesday Matt Tiffany-violin, Mike Simpson-Steel National guitar, and James Paylor slapping away rhythmically on his custom made double bass and also providing many tongue twisting vocals with panache
Next up at the Con Club is yet another début at the popular venue, this time from The Peter Frank Dixieland All Start=s and Skiffle Group, who comprise of classically trained Peter himself on double bass who has been a key player in such outfits as Mal Webb’s New Orleans Band, Yorkshire Post Jazzband, and The Yorkshire Stompers and has guested with such luminaries as Alex Welsh, Roy Williams, Digby Fairweather and Monty Sunshine; Ian Royle trumpet, who joined the band in 2003 and is widely experienced in traditional and Big Band settings; Dave Morrell(trombone/banjo/vocals an avid Chris Barber fan,who introduced the ‘Skiffle Group’ into the band; Martin ‘Kid’ Boyd clarinet/alto sax, who started out with Dave Brennan’s Band and has performed with Louis Nelson/Alton Purnell/Kid Thomas/Wingy Manone and other New Orleans veteran jazzers; Chris Howse(banjo/guitar/vocalsa well known and welcome figure at the club, renowned for his irresistible treatment of 20s & 30s stlye jazz; with Mike Hoggard drums a veteran of Bob Barclay’s Yorkshire Jazz band, which included Dickie Hawdon and Diz Disley!!--and for a short period with Chris Barber’s Band.
The Dixieland All-stars will be in action at The Conservative Club on Thursday May 31 at 8.30pm, admission £5 at the door. A truly memorable session of stompin’ swingin’ jazz is in prospect, deserving a bumper turnout so don’t be late.
News from John Latham of The Sandy Brown Society, is that recently published is Edinburgh Jazz Enlightenment: The Story of Edinburgh Traditional Jazz by Graham Blamire ( with discography by Norrie Thomson ). The ‘must-have’ publication contains rare pictures of Sandy Brown / Al Fairweather/ Stan Greig / Archie Semple/Alex Welsh and can be obtained from Graham Blamire, 7 Corslet Crescent, Currie, Edinburgh EH14 5HR Phone 0131-449-4486, email: firstname.lastname@example.org at £21.29 inc P+P, or from the publisher for £18.94 in P+P.
A reminder for all self-respecting Jazz lovers is that the ‘Big One is rapidly approaching on Thursday June 14 at the Con Club, when three generations of saxophone titans Bobby Wellins, Alan Barnes, Nadim Teimoori join forces on stage with The Nicola Farnon Quartet. Avoid disappointment by purchasing advance tickets @ £9 £10 at door ASAP from The Blue Building, 38-40 High Street, Doncaster 01302-734309/862480.
Meanwhile fans of the superb Terry Allonby Trio are expected to turn out in considerable force to rousingly welcome Terry, Nigel, and Mark to their new venue at The White Swanon Saturday June 2 from 12noon to 3pm. Admission free as ever. What better way to enjoy Saturday afternoon than great music, fine food and ales and amiable company. At The ‘Con’ Club on Monday 11June 11is The Dickie Emmerson Duo plus guest vocalists usually including Sue Fisher, Bob Quinn, Eddie Kell, and Johnny Noble. 8.30pm start, £3-50 at the door.
Barnsley Jazz presents : The Southside Jazzmen June 4 and The Old Fashioned Love Band, June 11, tel. 01226-28180 /290105.