Zelda’s Jazz Room, June 2017 Jazz at the Lamb, June 2017

June Jazz Notes

Welcome to another stream of jazz notes

What a huge pleasure it was to welcome Jeff Barnhart back to Zelda’s Jazz Room. He was in great form and as always, entertained everyone with anecdotes and information to match his fine piano playing and “hot” jazz singing. His enthusiasm is extremely catching and affects his accompanying musicians as well as his audiences, which makes it a great pleasure to work with him, and of course the bonus of drummer Nick Ward added icing to the cake. All being well, he’ll be back next year at roughly the same time – don’t go away! A special thanks to Derek Tisdall and Mike Ellis for helping me move my piano to and from the Comrades Club, despite the rain!

Kevin Grenfell was our guest at the Lamb the following week, which meant being treated to some wonderful trombone playing. He is another player who brings out the best in musicians he works with. Next month we have a first time guest. He is Peter Horsfall, one of the new generation of jazz musicians with a love for the older styles of jazz. There may not be as many of them as there were when most of us discovered the music, but they are extremely good. Peter is a cracking trumpeter and guested with us in Keswick a year ago. He is busy with his own band in London, and we have been trying for some time to find a date – June 28th is it.

The band at ZJR will be the Sunset Café Stompers. The Sunset Café was a Chicago Nightclub (owned by Al Capone) at which Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines, amongst many others, played in the 1920s. Louis recorded a tune called the Sunset Café Stomp with his Hot Five. The SCS love to play tunes and songs from this classic period, and in Steve Graham they have a fine cornettist who has a great fund of knowledge about this time in jazz history. The band is led by Mike Denham from the piano stool, another fine player steeped in the music of the 20s.

May I remind you also of other bands I am involved with. Every Tuesday at Theale Village Hall in Englefield Road with Graeme Hewitt's HSJB - June 13th, guest trumpeter Chas McDevitt, and on the 20th both Amy Roberts and Mike Pointon will be joining the band.

Pete Allen’s Sunday afternoon sessions at the Chequers in Newbury continue on the 18th (3pm).

The Rascals will be playing at Letcombe church at 3.30 on Friday 23rd at 3.30pm on a fund-raising concert for Richmond Village.

It may be a bit of a trek to Watford, but I shall be at the Pumphouse Club with the French Quarter All Stars on Thursday 22nd with Brian White, restored miraculously to good health.

That’s it for now; keep jazzing – oh yes, we might need a Raffle ticket seller on the 21st – any offers?