A review of last night’s Baby Jools And The Jazzaholics show has just appeared online and I’m quite pleased to see that we hit all of the right spots. As a reference to my own followers who often ask me, the songs that I performed were as follows:
- ‘Brother Moses Smot the Water’ – a gospel song that I originally heard by The Golden Gate Quartet, an Afro-American vocal harmony group from the 1930s.
- ‘Rock Island Line’ – performed by the audiences request, is accredited to the blues singer Lead Belly, but much older.
- ‘Frankie & Johnny’ – is not only an upbeat blues, but also a true story that tells of the murder of 17 year old Albert Allen by his then girl friend Frankie Baker, who shot him in the stomach after he won a slow dance competition with a girl called Nelly Bly in St. Louis in 1899.
- ‘Goin Home’ – a jazz and blues song made famous by Ken Colyer and recorded upon his return from New Orleans in 1954.
Well good jazzers what superlatives can you say on last night’s jazz performance at the Sutton Coldfield jazz club. I will not mention the comment by Kevin on my apparel, as I know he is in awe of the purple/burgundy/white striped shirt, but all of the 60 members were held enthralled by both the individual solos and the togetherness of the band throughout the evening of great jazz and good fun. Jools and the Jazzaholics are now celebrating their 15th year together and they are getting better all the time. From stomping trad jazz to melodious slower blues and gospel tunes that hit all the right notes in the right order all of the time.
The line-up was Jools Aldridge (drums), Kevin Grenfell (trombone, vocals and ad-lib), Magic Mike Henry (trumpet), Karl Hird (saxophone and clarinet), Jim Swinnerton (double bass), and Warren Lonnie James (banjo, guitar and vocals). We had another treat on the night in the second set as Brian Mellor played banjo and sang, and received a wonderful reception from the audience. It was great to see him back.
We enjoyed plenty of vocals from Kevin, starting with “Sentimental Journey” with lovely trumpet solo from Magic Mike. Originally Les Brown and His Band of Renown performed this song, but were unable to record it, due to the 1942-1944 musicians strike, and they finally recorded the song in November 1944 with Doris Day as the vocalist, which then became the first number 1 hit for her in 1945, becoming a jazz standard along the way. Kevin was on song again with “ You always hurt the one you love” a tune that was first recorded and a number 1 hit for the Mills Brothers in 1944, and a later UK top 20 hit in 1959 by the great Connie Francis. The band were in collected fettle with “Hello Dolly” which the audience joined in with Kevin on vocal. The song was a number 1 hit for Louis Armstrong in 1964, keeping the Beatles off the top spot.
We then had some wonderful musical treats from Warren Lonnie James with the “Lonnie Donegan Experience” which included “Rock Island Line” and some wonderful vocals, guitar playing and riffs and superb support on double bass from Jim. They received rapturous and well deserved applause.
A further treat was when Brian Mellor joined the band on banjo for “Basin Street Blues” and Brian then did a vocal on that gospel blues from 1923 ( Wiseman Quartet) with “The Light from the Lighthouse” which had the audience clapping in time with the rhythm. We enjoyed two individual solos from Karl and Magic Mike on the wonderful song, “A kiss to build a dream on” the tune being adapted by Oscar Hammerstein 11 and recorded in 1951 by Louis Armstrong.
Near to the end of a wonderful trad jazz evening we had Warren and Jim performing with that Ken Colyer signature tune, “Going Home” and then all the band joining in, and finally ending with “That’s a Plenty.” We can certainly do with plenty more of that jazz music and entertainment to lift the spirits and bring a smile to our faces.
And now good folks on to next Wednesday 3.8.22 (in August already) when we have another favourite with Richard Leach’s Street Band, so we look forward to seeing you all there. Have a great week and take care.
Sutton Coldfield Trad Jazz Club.