PHOENIX DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND played for us at the Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2015.. The band is usually led by ROBIN COOMBS, but Robin, who was here tonight (with his wife Pauline) and thankfully recovering from what was a very serious illness (flown home by emergency jet from Cuba). However, CHARLES SHERWOOD replaced him on clarinet, alto and tenor sax. PAUL HIGGS was on trumpet, BILL TODD on trombone, DAVE BARNES on piano, ROGER CURPHEY on double bass, JOHN STUART on banjo & guitar and ALAN CLARKE on drums.
Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band play at Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2015. (LtoR) John Stuart (guitar), Bill Todd (trombone) seen singing, Alan Clarke (drums), Paul Todd (trumpet), Roger Curphey (double bass) and Charles Sherwood (tenor sax), (just out of picture is Dave Barnes piano). Photo by Mike Witt.
The band was obviously suffering with shock, yet you would not have guessed by the evening’s entertainment. ‘Struttin’ With Some Barbecue’ – what a number to start the evening off with – even being a Louis Armstrong hit, Paul was marvellous on trumpeter and certainly entertained us. The whole band were great, as with their next tune, ‘Wabash Blues’, we had the dancers out in full. It was such a great jaunty number and mid-tempo, so good fun. But the next number I will mention was the opposite, being fast number, with no dancers at all, we just listened to their brilliant playing to ‘I Found A New Baby’ – wow, so enjoyable, with a superb drum solo (all brilliant solos actually).
W.C. Handy, known as “Father of the Blues”. Composer of Saint Louis Blues’. Born 16th November 1873 – Died 28th March 1958.
The next tune has quite a story attached to it. One I’ve already told to you a couple of years ago, but is worth another mention. It is about Dave, who is somewhat of a composer.
Dave Barnes plays piano for Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2015. Photo by Mike Witt.
A number of years ago, Dave met up with an old friend, Ian Grant, who was the lyricist of ‘Let There Be Love’ (1940). He showed Dave some lyrics he’d written fifty years before, called ‘We’re Handing it to You Mr Handy, for Handing us the St. Louis Blues’, (referring to W.C. Handy, composer of St. Louis Blues.) Ian asked Dave if he could put some music to it. The end result is they played it for us and AGAIN, I wished I had recorded it. It had a lovely beat and certainly packed the dance floor again. I might be back to add a photo of Ian (if Dave can find one).
Charles Sherwood is featured here on clarinet, with Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2016. (LtoR) John Stuart (guitar), Alan Clarke (drums), Roger Curphey (double bass), Charles and Dave Barnes (piano). Photo by Mike Witt.
The next one was a special feature for Charles, ‘Strangers On The Shore’ and what a wonderful job he made of it – certainly tons of applause too. ‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’ is another number I love to hear and they all played terrific solos. They changed key on their last chorus (and I remember John and Dave somehow played a chimes chorus).
Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band play for Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2015. (LtoR) Bill Todd (trombone), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Alan Clarke (drums), Charles Sherwood (clarinet) and Roger Curphey (double bass). (out of picture-John Stuart (banj&guit) and Dave Barnes (piano). Photo by Mike Witt.
Paul featured next with his lovely iridescence green trumpet and super-duper he was with ‘Stardust’. It is a beautiful song and Paul plays with such feeling, so of course, brilliant to listen to. We performed our ‘Charleston style line-dance to their next tune, ‘At The Jazz Band Ball’. Certainly a fast one, so we were quite exhausted at the end, goodness how the musicians felt – ha. My last number to mention is ‘S’Wonderful’. Charles played tenor sax (such a lovely player), with Dave singing and must mention Alan on drums and our Roger on double bass – they have a lovely rapport.
Bill Todd takes a solo for Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2015. (LtoR) Bill Todd (trombone), John Stuart (banjo) & Paul Higgs (trumpet). Photo by Mike Witt.
Charles Sherwood on tenor sax, backed by Roger Curphey on double bass with Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2015. Photo by Mike Witt.
‘Front line’ of Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band are pictured here at Farnborough Jazz Club on 23rd October 2015. (LtoR) Bill Todd (trombone), Paul Higgs (trumpet) and . Charles Sherwood (tenor sax). Founder of the band, Robin Coombs & wife Pauline are enjoying watching. Photo by Mike Witt.
Just have to finish up, with wishing Robin absolutely everyone’s huge special wishes for his continued recovery and also our thanks for giving us Charles as his replacement.
‘Live’ music’s the best.
Your hosts, Diane and Keith
‘At The Jazz Band Ball’ – (m) Nick LaRocca, Larry Shields (1917) (l’s added 1950 by Johnny Mercer)
‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’ – (m) Jean Schwartz, (l) William Jerome (1910)
‘I Found a New Baby’ – Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams (1926)
‘S’Wonderful’ – (m) George Gershwin, (l) Ira Gershwin (1927)
‘Stardust’ – (m) Hoagy Carmichael (1927), (l) Mitchell Parish & Hoagy (1929)
‘Strangers On the Shore’ – (m) Acker Bilk (1961), (l) Robert Mellin (1962)
‘Strutting With Some Barbeque’ – (m) Lilian Hardin Armstrong, (l) Don Raye (1941)
‘Wabash Blues’ – (m) Isham Jones, (l) Dave Ringle & Fred Meinken (1921)
‘We’re Handing it to You Mr Handy, for handing us the St. Louis Blues’ – (l) Ian Grant (c1940), (m) Dave Barnes (c1985)