At the beginning of March this year, we announced we would take great pleasure in presenting ‘HOT LIPS OLD-TIME JAZZ’ (from Munich, Germany) to play for the first time at our FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB on Friday, 6th March 2015 (from 8:00pm). The band’s line-up was to be leader MICHAEL “HOT LIPS” ETZEL on trumpet & vocals, with BOB STRAUB on clarinet, alto sax & bass sax, HANNES EICKHORST on trombone, HEINI “THE TINY” BUCKENMAIER on drums, OTMAR “GEORGE” DICKER on d.bass and WOLFGANG E. OTT on banjo.
Last year, Wolfgang came to our club to listen to another band (Tony Pitt’s All Stars). We chatted (especially Keith, who can conjure up a wonderful ‘pigeon’ Anglo/German language. Wolgang gave us their CD and hence their date here on Friday. We often play the CD on a Friday evening, before everyone arrives. They began with their theme song ‘Hot Lips’, a number I don’t think has been played for us before and is certainly a lively happy number, that I just loved.
Then Bob began the next one with a lovely ’Gershwin’ sounding intro, which led into ‘At the Jazz Band Ball’, fabulous! Moving onto their next number, which I found delightful (if that can best describe it?), because it was ‘White Cliffs of Dover’. Wolfgang sang it for us, but he sang it in a different German dialect, to his own. Obviously, like us, Germany has many differing dialects, so he enjoyed it, just as much as we did. He followed on to announce their next number as ‘Midnight in Farnborough’ (obviously ‘Moscow’) and were met with a huge cheer – ha. We got up and performed our line-dance to it, being a great tempo. After a small break, the band performed ‘Shine’, sung by Michael, with some harmonising from Bob and Hannes too, brilliant. By the time they played ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby’, the dance floor was full.
I have chosen to mention ‘Avalon’ next, because Wolfgang performed a wonderful solo. He said his banjo was called ‘dandelion’, which I think he said comes from the Odenwald Forest in Heidleberg. It had a beautiful sound to it and obviously a very special banjo. We were treated to some wonderful scat vocalising from Otmar when they played ‘That’s a Plenty’ and I must mention Bob’s brilliant clarinet playing. We were able to do another line dance to ‘Everybody Loves My Baby’.
‘The Tiny’ performed a fabulous drum solo – actually they all played fabulous solos. The next number was marvellous, namely ‘The Pearls’, to which I put an asterisk next to the word ‘fab-u-lous’! They rounded off the evening with ‘Jailhouse Rock’. As you can guess, we packed the dance floor. What a fun evening. It was the last gig of their tour and so always a wonderfully relaxed evening for any band. There were smiles all round and everyone left feeling really happy and warm.
Another great evening of jazz – well done boys.
Diane and Keith
[Ho ho Jim McIntosh, Wolfgang mentioned he has had a conflab with you lasting several years (well since 1972) about ‘Blowing in the Wind’, written by Bob Dylon, as to if it was jazz, or spiritual/folk? Do you want to re-iterate about this Jim? The guys played it with a traditional twist.]