The PHOENIX DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND were here again on 22nd January 2016 at Farnborough Jazz Club. As you must know by now, ROBIN COOMBS is recovering from a serious illness, so drummer, ALAN CLARKE. is running the band in his absence. Of course, we all wish Robin well and he has promised that he and Pauline will join our audience as much as possible. Alan booked the usual guys, namely PAUL HIGGS on trumpet, BILL TODD on trombone, DAVE BARNES on piano, ROGER CURPHEY on double bass, JOHN STUART on banjo & guitar and CHARLES SHERWOOD again stepped in for Robin, on clarinet. Together, they all had the place buzzing. Charles sounded wonderful, not easy to take over from a band leader and a friend to boot, when that person has been so ill – I would think it makes you feel horrible. However, second time round, Charles relaxed, like the pro’ he is.
They began with ‘Hindustan’, a great ol’ favourite and straight away set the pace for the evening. Then what about their next number, ‘Darktown Strutter’s Ball’? That certainly takes one back to early dancing days – doesn’t it?
Now, I missed the next number (probably someone arrived), but I caught the band laughing about how Alan didn’t get his drum solo when he should have. So they dedicated the next one to him, namely ‘Cute’. Of course he got all the drum-breaks he could want – ha. Don’t you just love musicians’ humour? Then to rest us dancers (well the musicians too, of course), they changed the tempo and Dave sang ‘Sweet Loraine’.
Next came a number that just enticed us up again for a line-dance (no one said a word either, they just looked at one-another and got up!). The tune was ‘Twelfth Street Rag’ and by coincidence, twelve of us got up. What a great song, I clearly remember loving this one as a little girl – “do, wacka do, wacka do, wacka do” remember? Bill sang the next one, ‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’ (he’s got a good range) and then John was featured, backed by the rest of the ‘engine’, the song was ‘Honeysuckle Rose’.
Paul is a brilliant trumpeter, but I particularly made a note of Paul’s playing here (with his lovely iridescent green trumpet) and the number was ‘At The Jazz Band Ball’, marvelous. Plus, everyone had great solos in ‘Struttin’ With Some Barbecue’, absolutely fabulous too. We had enjoyed the line-dance before, so much, that everyone got up again to ‘Cantina Band’ with a Charleston thread and if I’ve got that right, it was a number one hit from the ‘Star Wars’ film and written by John Williams. What a fabulous number – they must do it again … please?
Looking forward to their next gig, which is on 11th March 2016. Jazz and dancing certainly can chase all the blues away and will warm you up at the same time. If you missed us this week, then make a point of coming and give us a try. The music starts at 8:00pm till 11:00pm. The bar has club prices, with plenty of free car parking and a wonderful friendly atmosphere and entrance is just £10.
‘Live’ music at its best.
Diane and Keith