Category Archives: Mardi Gras JazzBand

Mardi Gras Jazz Band, Friday, 29th September 2017

Rob Pearce, band leader of Mardi Gras JazzBand, plays trombone at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

We have the MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND’ tonight, Friday, 29th September 2017So get down here and join us at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB (Kent).  What band of merry men do we have here for you?  Well, trombonist & band leader (& newly married) ROB PEARCE, has booked PETE RUTHFORTH (trumpet), JOHN ELLMER (a conglomeration of reeds), plus I think a warm Farnbronian welcome to newcomer  TOM BRIARS (sousaphone), JOHN STEWART (banjo/guitar), ANDY LAWRENCE (double bass) and PAUL BAKER on drums.  So expect to hear some fabulous jazz.  If you don’t, without a doubt, we’ll be saying to you next time we see you (as an old friend used to say), “Oh did you miss a gig”.  See you all for an 8:00pm start – yes?

 

Your hosts,

Diane and Keith

’Mardi Gras Jazzband’, Friday, 12th May 2017

Mardi Gras JazzBand’s front line – John Ellmer (tenor sax), Leigh Henson (trumpe)t and Rob Pearce (trombone) at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016.         Photo by Mike Witt.

Brilliant – the guys in the MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND’ have agreed to play for us again here at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB (Kent) on Friday, 12th May 2017Keith and I always enjoy them because they really make the evening swing.  Trombonist & band leader ROB PEARCE, will have with him vocalist LEIGH HENSON, on trumpet, JOHN ELLMER on reeds, JAMIE PARSONS on piano, DAVE MOSES on double bass and not forgetting PAUL BAKER on drums, now how’s that for a great line-up.  So see you all for an 8:00pm start.

Before I close, I just want to tell you of the wonderful party a lot of us went to yesterday (Tuesday) to celebrate Brian ‘The Hat’ Stout’s life.  What a party it was too!  I’m sure Brian would have been thrilled to know (that as he requested) Rima and his lovely family arrange and made sure it was such a great ‘do’.  There were so many of his friends from the cycling clubs and the various jazz clubs too, joining in the celebration – we all really enjoyed ourselves, with many hats being worn.  Now we know we have a dancer where he’s gone to – and if there’s no cycling, I’m sure he will quickly arrange for that too aye.

Diane and Keith

Brian ‘The Hat’ Stoat (2017) was a keen cyclist, lover of jazz and a great dancer (2)

Brian ‘The Hat’ Stoat (2017) was a keen cyclist, lover of jazz and a great dancer (1)

 

‘Mardi Gras Jazzband’, 16th December 2016

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday 24th June 2016. Band leader Rob Pearce (trombone). and Paul Baker (drums) Photo by Peter Marr.

The MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND’ will again be set to entertain you at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB (Kent) on Friday, 16th DECEMBER 2016.  Trombonist & band leader ROB PEARCE, will be joined by   trumpeter & vocalist PETER LEONARD, reads man extraordinaire, JOHN ELLMER, pianist TIM HUSKISSON, bassist and Sousaphone player MARC EASENER and  including drummer PAUL BAKER.  As I said last time, you will certainly enjoy what you hear, even what you see, so again join us this evening for an 8:00pm start.

Keep Jazz ‘live’

Your hosts, Diane and Keith

Mardi Gras Jazzband, 30th September 2016

The MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND will be back to delight you all, with their wonderful jazzy and happy attitude to life, to entertain you here at our FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB (Kent) on Friday, 30th SEPTMBER 2016.   The musicians with leader and trombonist ROB PEARCE, will be LEIGH HENSON on trumpet &vocals, JOHN ELLMER on reeds-a-plenty, TIM HUSKISSON on piano, MARC EASENER on double bass &Sousaphone and PAUL BAKER on drums.  You will certainly enjoy what you hear, even what you see – ha, so make sure you don’t miss this evening – 8:00pm start.

Keep Dancing’

Diane and Keith

Mardi Gras JazzBand, 24th June 2016

We had the MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB (Kent) on Friday, 24th June 2016.  They had a couple of changes to their usual line-up, giving us band leader and trombonist, ROB PEARCE, with LEIGH HENSON on trumpet &vocals, JOHN ELLMER on reeds-a-plenty, PAUL HIGGS on piano (that’s right, not green trumpet), STEVE SMITH on double bass and PAUL BAKER on drums.  I said it promised to be spectacular, and it was.  We had a lovely treat, as we also had a couple of guests, one being Pete Smith, who was drummer for Monty Sunshine.  Pete is Steve Smith’s father, so they got to play with one-another, when Pete had a couple of sit-ins.  The other guest was singer, Barry Vegas, yes he entertained us last time and everyone loved him, he was very professional.  It was a great pity, because poor Mike, who takes photographs for us, was not with us.  He had broken a rib – quite painful, so no photographs.  Luckily, ‘Brown Ale’ Pete was there and took a couple, because he was ‘roadie’ with Monty Sunshine, so took a couple of Pete Smith.  Unfortunately, the pics didn’t cover all musicians – such a pity, sorry to our two Paul’s.   Steve and Pete (father and son) were only just captured together in one.  [If anybody else took photos, please could you send copies to me for publishing here, thanks].

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday, 24th June 2016. (LtoR) John Ellmer on plenty-of-reeds, just see Steve Smith (double bass), Leigh Henson (trumpet) (Steve's father has sit-in) Pete Smith (drums), Rob Pearce (trombone). (Not seen) Paul Higgs (piano) & Paul Baker (drums). Photo by Peter Marr.

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday, 24th June 2016. (LtoR) John Ellmer (on plenty-of-reeds), just see Steve Smith (double bass), Leigh Henson (trumpet) (Steve’s father has sit-in) Pete Smith (drums), Rob Pearce (trombone). (Missed) Paul Higgs (piano) & Paul Baker (drums). Photo by Peter Marr.

So here’s how the evening went anyway.  Their first two numbers were ‘Aint Misbehaving’ and ‘Darktown Strutters’ Ball’, which was sung by Rob, with fabulous solos from the two Pauls, one on piano (what a star) and one on drums (yep, another star).  ‘Dinah’ is a fun number, sung by Leigh with John (playing tenor sax) singing in harmony.  As for ‘St. James Infirmary’ I jotted down that John, not only sang, but played brilliant bass clarinet – I should think quite a hard instrument to play (he obviously has an enormous set of lungs).  Fantastic piano from Paul, plus Rob and Leigh wonderful on trombone and trumpet.  It is so hard to describe how amazing the evening was to someone who wasn’t there.  It is that magic, I often speak of.  They were playing their hearts out – having so much enjoyment themselves.   Such a lovely bunch of guys, it’s why Keith and I will not give up until hopefully, we ‘kick the bucket’.

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday 24th June 2016. (LtoR) John Ellmer (reeds & saxes), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Pete Smith sits in on drums (Monty Sunshine's drummer) and band leader Rob Pearce (trombone). Not pictured is Paul Higgs (piano) and Paul Baker (drums) Photo by Peter Marr.

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday 24th June 2016. (LtoR) John Ellmer (reeds & saxes), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Pete Smith sits in on drums (Monty Sunshine’s drummer) and band leader Rob Pearce (trombone). Not pictured is Paul Higgs (piano) and Paul Baker (drums) Photo by Peter Marr.

To continue … They have to play the next one, ‘Mardi Gras’ (John on clarinet this time), with Rob singing.  It is so hard for me not to mention all of their numbers, such as ‘Memphis Blues’, especially because I wrote no notes, just remembered it was great.  Then they invited Barry over to sing.  Oh what a super voice he has – I’m sure he sings at lots of high class night clubs, he’s certainly worth being booked.  He sang ‘Almost Like Being In Love’ and yes we were all up dancing too.  Then he sang ‘Alright, Okay, You Win’, plus others.  What a great guy he is – thanks Barry.  Their third set had songs such as ‘If I Had You’ – and in the middle, John played the theme song of ‘007’ and absolutely brilliantly – not only is that talent, but so full of humour – don’t you just love it.  Paul also ‘replied’ and played something with the same  humour, but I missed it! Another great tune they played with ALL of them playing just beautifully – John on bass clarinet and then clarinet to ‘Tin Roof Blues’.  Then, ‘Wang Wang Blues’ (a (No.1 hit for six weeks in 1920, selling over 1million copies and winning a gold disc) sent us all on our way, with that Paul Whiteman number ‘swinging’ in our heads, but not before I had a terrific dance with Keith (with Keith’s legs akimbo and me having a hard time keeping up with him – I think I landed on my feet though!  Mardi Gras will be back on 30th September.  See you next week for Mike Barry’s XXL Band.

Your hosts, Diane and Keith

‘Aint Misbehaving’ – (m) Fats Waller & Harry Brooks, (l) Andy Razaf (1929)
‘Almost Like Being In Love’ – (m) Frederick Loere, (l) Alan Jay Lerner (1955)
‘Alright, Okay, You Win’ – Mayme Watts & Sid Wyche (1955)
‘Darktown Strutters’ Ball’ – Shelton Brooks (1917) ‘Dinah’
‘If I had You’ – Ted Shapiro, James Campbell & Reg Connelly  (1927)
‘Mardi Gras (While We Danced)’ – (m) Alfred M. Opler, (l) Johnny Mercer (1931)
‘Memphis Blues’ – (m) W.C. Handy (1912), (l) George A. Norton (1913)
‘St. James Infirmary Blues’ – American Folk origin (18th century)
‘Tin Roof Blues’ – George Brunies, Paul Mares, Ben Pollack, Leon Roppolo & Mel Stitzel (1923)
‘Wang Wang Blues – Gus Mueller, ‘Buster’ Johnson & Henry Busse, (l) Leo Wood (1920)

Mardi Gras JazzBand, 13th May 2016

MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND were back here at Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday, 13th May 2016.  The musicians were (leader) ROB PEARCE on trombone, with LEIGH HENSON on trumpet &vocals, JOHN ELLMER on reeds, JOHN STUART on banjo & guitar, MARC EASENER on double bass &sousaphone and PAUL BAKER on drums.  (Hi Joyful – keep smiling).

Hey it's the Mardi Gras JazzBand with band leader Rob Pearce (trombone), Leigh Henson (trumpe/vocalst), John Ellmer (reeds&things), Marc Easener (bass /sousaphone), John Stewart (banjo/guitar) and Paul Baker (drums). at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Hey it’s the Mardi Gras JazzBand with band leader Rob Pearce (trombone), Leigh Henson (trumpe/vocalst), John Ellmer (reeds&things), Marc Easener (bass /sousaphone), John Stewart (banjo/guitar) and Paul Baker (drums). at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

To advertise the evening, I mentioned this band has always excited everyone and certainly lures everyone onto the dance floor.  However, a few of our dancers were absent, due to holidays etc., (their mum’s letters were obtained, but they forgot to bring them last week!).  Thus, we had less dancers to help with our atmosphere.  The band had a hard job playing without that atmosphere, but after a while, they relaxed and by the later part of the evening, we ‘got going’.  My first number to mention was not their first, but Rob told us a super bit of information.  The tune was ‘Buddy Bolden’s Blues’, fabulously played.  The info was about a little known show in New York about Buddy Bolden.  He had played trombone in the accompanying orchestra.  What a marvellous addition to his C.V.

Mardi Gras JazzBand's front line - John Ellmer (tenor sax), Leigh Henson (trumpe)t and Rob Pearce (trombone) at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Mardi Gras JazzBand’s front line – John Ellmer (tenor sax), Leigh Henson (trumpe)t and Rob Pearce (trombone) at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

We had a few dancers on for ‘St. Louis Blues’.  I had put three ticks beside this number and again, against the next one too.  It was ‘Blue Moon’ and Leigh sang it rather beautifully (including me – probably not so beautifully – at the back of the room, because I love it!).

John Stewart on guitar and Paul Baker on drums with Mardi Gras Jazzband at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

John Stewart on guitar and Paul Baker on drums with Mardi Gras Jazzband at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

'Engine Boys' of Mardi Gras JazzBand playing at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. (L2R) Marc Easener (bass), Paul Baker (drums) and John Stewart (guitar). Photo by Mike Witt.

‘Engine Boys’ of Mardi Gras JazzBand playing at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. (L2R) Marc Easener (bass), Paul Baker (drums) and John Stewart (guitar). Photo by Mike Witt.

John Ellmer plays blocks&cymbals with Paul Baker on drums and Marc Easener on plus Leigh Henson on trumpet for Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

John Ellmer plays blocks&cymbals with Paul Baker on drums and Marc Easener on plus Leigh Henson on trumpet for Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

During the evenings  last session, Leigh sang ‘Doctor Jazz’, which had John not only playing clarinet, but also cymbals and bar, great fun.  As if three ticks show how good the number was played, I put five against the next one, because they were all absolutely fabulous with ‘Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans’, plus another brilliant voice – John this time.  Then Rob was able to show his talent with ‘Ory’s Creole Trombone’, an excellent performance and (I think) a coda better than Kid Ory’s – ha (up and down the scales spectacularly – I cannot explain it better than that).  I thought he couldn’t get as good as that, but I was wrong.

Marc Easener (dont you just love the sousaphone) with Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Marc Easener (dont you just love the sousaphone) with Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 13th May 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Next, Rob and Marc played some brilliant harmonizing between them on trombone and sousaphone as an intro to ‘Lou-i-Easy-An-I-A’.  A great favourite, sung by John and a real ‘hot’ number played superbly by the ‘engine boys’, Marc, Paul and John (S) .  Then Rob called a friend, Barry Vegas, up to sing.  He was lovely, singing some of my favourite numbers, ‘It Had To Be You’ and ‘A Foggy Day In London Town’, which blended into ‘You’re Nobody, Till Somebody Loves You’.  Plenty of dancing (including Keith asking me to dance! Yes, I mean it – he’s getting romantic again – ha).  My last number to mention is a ‘Louis’ one, ‘The Georgia Grind’, so much fun, with Leigh singing and lots of dancing.  It’s a shame people are shy to get up a dance, until someone gets up first.  We don’t look or judge anyone dancing, we are all different and we are not ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, it is just fun to dance and gives some exercise perhaps needed too.  Thanks Mardi Gras, I hope you enjoyed your gig in the grounds at Westminster Abbey on Monday (16th) playing in a marque – for 500 Canadians, I bet they loved you.  See you next month – 24th June.

‘Keep on jazzing to ‘live’ music with

Diane and Keith

‘A Foggy Day In London Town’ – (m) George Gershwin, (l) Ira Gershwin (1937)
‘Blue Moon’ – (m) Richard Rogers, (l) Lorenz Hart (1934)
‘Buddy Bolden’s Blues’ – (m) Buddy Bolden (pre 1906), (l) Jelly Roll Morton (recorded 1939)
‘Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans’ – Louis Alter & Eddie DeLange (1946)
‘Hello Central, Give Me Doctor Jazz’ – Joe ’King’ Oliver & Walter Melrose (1926)
‘It Had To Be You’ – (m) Isham Jones, (l) Gus Khan (1924)
‘Lou-i-Easy-An-I-A’ (Louisiana) – Joe Darensbourg (circa 1949)
‘Ory’s Creole Trombone’ – Edward ‘Kid’ Ory (1921)
‘Saint Louis Blues’ – W.C. Hanley (1914)
‘The Georgia Grind’ – Spencer Williams (1926)
‘You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You’ – Russ Morgan, Larry Stock, and James Cavanaugh (1944)

Mardi Gras JazzBand, 19th February 2016

The MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND did spread a little happiness at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB on Friday, 19th February 2016.  In fact, they spread a lot!  Leader/trombonist, ROB PEARCE was joined by LEIGH HENSON on trumpet &vocals, JOHN ELLMER  on reeds, TIM HUSKISSON on piano, MARC EASENER on double bass & sousaphone and PAUL BAKER on drums.

Mardi Gras JazzBand play at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (d.bass &sousaphone), John Ellmer (clarinet), Paul Baker (drums), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Tim Huskisson (piano) and Rob Pearce (trombone &band leader). Photo by Mike Witt.

Mardi Gras JazzBand play at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (d.bass &sousaphone), John Ellmer (clarinet), Paul Baker (drums), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Tim Huskisson (piano) and Rob Pearce (trombone &band leader). Photo by Mike Witt.

They began the evening with ‘Clarinet Marmalade’ and if you know how that one goes, you will know they ‘hit it’, right from the start.  Oh, I do love an exciting first number.  First of all, people are possibly still arriving and it is nice for them to hear excitement from outside, before they come in, they then know they ARE going to hear some pretty great jazz!  Plus they are not quite ready to get on the dance floor (needing perhaps a drink – or two).  But then the next number, we had two visiting dancers immediately up on the dance floor, Jane and Alan – brilliant they are too.  The number was Blues My Naughty Sweetie’, to which Leigh sang to (I’ve already told you in the past how great he sings).  I made a quick note that Mark was on sousaphone and John on alto sax.

Leigh Henson sings and John Ellmer plays vibes with Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (sousaphone), John Ellmer (vibes), Tim Huskisson (piano), Rob Pearce (band leader) and Leigh Henson (trumpet). Photo by Mike Witt.

Leigh Henson sings and John Ellmer plays vibes with Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (sousaphone), John Ellmer (vibes), Tim Huskisson (piano), Rob Pearce (band leader) and Leigh Henson (trumpet). Photo by Mike Witt.

They played ‘Leighs Gotta Right To Sing The Blues’ next.  I have to confess I’m not sure if it was announced that way, or if Leigh sang it with his own name – a bit of inner band humour I think – I never had the chance to ask, perhaps he NEARLY won the lottery.  However, I jotted down that John played vibes, with Mark, again, on sousaphone – lovely stuff.  ‘Stevedore Stomp’ came next, with everyone up dancing (especially Jane and Alan).  I particularly noted Paul’s fabulous drumming again and I also noted – clarinet and tenor sax?  Must have been John changed mid-stream, he’s so talented.

Rob Pearce, band leader of Mardi Gras JazzBand,  plays trombone at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Rob Pearce, band leader of Mardi Gras JazzBand, plays trombone at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Now onto the next one, Rob was able to really show his trombone talent with this next number, ‘South Rampart Street’.  Yes, he is terrific and that is why he has a super band to lead.  John was featured next and I think he played just about everything – I noted whistle, iron and bass clarinet, plus he sang, the tune was ‘Lulu’s Back In Town’, just brilliant.

Mardi Gras JazzBand play at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (sousaphone), John Ellmer (tenor sax) and Paul Baker (drums) Photo by Mike Witt.

Mardi Gras JazzBand play at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (sousaphone), John Ellmer (tenor sax) and Paul Baker (drums) Photo by Mike Witt.

Marc Easener on sousaphone and Paul Baker on drums with Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club(Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Marc Easener on sousaphone and Paul Baker on drums with Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club(Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Lovely pic of John Ellmer on tenor sax with Tim Huskisson on piano, Rob Pearce on trombone and Leigh Henson on trumpet part of the Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Lovely pic of John Ellmer on tenor sax with Tim Huskisson on piano, Rob Pearce on trombone and Leigh Henson on trumpet part of the Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Such concentration on the face of Tim Huskisson, playing piano for the Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Such concentration on the face of Tim Huskisson, playing piano for the Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

It was Tim’s turn to excel, playing some absolutely beautiful piano notes with ‘I’m Crazy ‘Bout My Baby’.  He’s another highly talented musician – being a reed player too.  It makes me feel so inadequate – can’t play anything, except the fool!  On with the news … It was John, who sang to this next tune, ‘Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?’.  He has a lovely voice – sounding very 1920’s/30’s/40’s and gorgeous.  He also played vibes and tenor sax.

However, I need to tell you about Leigh, who was superb on trumpet. What a rendition from them all – what an ‘engine’.  Oh Rob, you have a wonderful band and cannot wait for your next gig – 13th May 2016, to be precise.  This was not their last number, but I don’t want to give too much away for that next gig.

Leigh Henson (trumpet) and Rob Pearce (tombone) with Mardi Gras JazzBand play at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

Leigh Henson (trumpet) and Rob Pearce (tombone) with Mardi Gras JazzBand play at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. Photo by Mike Witt.

'Engine' of Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (sousaphone), Paul Baker (drums) and Tim Huskisson (piano). Photo by Mike Witt.

‘Engine’ of Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on 19th February 2016. (LtoR) Marc Easener (sousaphone), Paul Baker (drums) and Tim Huskisson (piano). Photo by Mike Witt

Don’t forget ‘Keep jazz live’ and keep on supporting us!

Your hosts,

Diane and Keith

‘After You’ve Gone’ – (m) Turner Layton, (l) Henry Creamer (1918)
‘Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me’ – Charles McCarron, Casey Morgan & Arthur Swanstrom (1919)
‘Clarinet Marmalad’ – Larry Shields & Henry Ragas (1918)
‘Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?’ – Louis Alter & Eddie DeLange (1947)
‘I’m Crazy ‘Bout My Baby’ – ‘Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller, (l) Alex Hill (1931)
‘I’ve Gotta Right To Sing The Blues’ – (m) Harold Arlen, (l) Ted Koehler (1932)
‘Lulu’s Back In Town’ – Al Dubin and Harry Warren (1935)
‘South Rampart Street Parade’ – (m) Ray Bauduc & Bobby Haggart (1938), (l) Steve Allen (circa 1950)
‘Stevedore Stomp’ – ‘Duke’ Ellington & Irving Mills (1929)

Mardi Gras JazzBand, 20th November 2015

The MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND returned with their first class presentation to Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday, 20th November 2015 Trombonist ROB PEARCE (leader) was joined by LEIGH HENSON on trumpet &vocals, with JOHN ELLMER on reeds, JOHN STUART on banjo, MARC EASENER on bass and BRIAN BELL on drums.  They really love playing together, showing such flair.    I was right about needing your dancing shoes, wasn’t I?

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on 20th November 2015. (LtoR) John Elmer (bass clarinet), Marc Easener (sousaphone), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Rob Pearce (trombone), (hidden) Brian Bell (drums) and John Stuart (banjo). Photo by Pete Marr.

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on 20th November 2015. (LtoR) John Ellmer (bass clarinet), Marc Easener (sousaphone), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Rob Pearce (trombone), (hidden) Brian Bell (drums)                   and John Stuart (banjo).  Photo by Pete Marr

Anyway, here’s a little bit of how the evening went.  Leigh sang ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’, a great one that encouraged everyone on the dance floor.  Then we had some Lindy Hoppers on the dance floor (I’m not sure of their names – will update later) and again Leigh sang ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing’.  The next number, I actually wrote ‘fabulous sultry trumpet’ from Leigh to ‘Tin Roof Blues’.  We danced our line-dance to ‘Perdido’, all great playing.  Then Leigh sang ‘Louisiana Fairytale,’ wonderful clarinet.  Seems like it was Leighs night, but oh no, everyone played beautifully.  Then John sang ‘Lulu’s Back In Farnborough’ – he meant ‘Town’ of course- ha’.  Then Rob mentioned there was to be a memorial for Alan Tewson? And played ‘Just A Closer Walk With Thee’, played with great feelingThen at this point, Rob called to a friend to join them and sing a song.  His name was Barry Vegas and what a good singer!  He sang ‘Route 66’, always a favourite.  They finished up with ‘Darktown Strutters Ball’, a cracking one to end with.  Everyone was up on the floor dancing.  Plus fabulous solos from everyone in the band and what a Ball!

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on 20th November 2015. Photo of John Elmer's musical collection of saxes & clarinets - shows his wonderful talent aye? (sousa belongs to Brian). Photo by Liz.

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on 20th November 2015. Photo of John Ellmer’s musical collection of saxes & clarinets – shows his wonderful talent aye?  (sousa belongs to Brian). Photo by Liz.

Our photographer Mike (and Ann) were away on a much needed cruise.  However, Peter Marr took the photo of the band, plus I asked Liz to take this photo of John’s line-up of saxes and clarinets. I thought it showed his amazing talent (he is just the same with the line-up of his percussion instruments – when playing drums here).

This certainly was ‘live’ music.

Diane and Keith

‘Darktown Strutters Ball’ – Shelton Brooks (1917)
‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)’ – (m) Duke Ellington, (l) Irving Mills (1931)
‘Just a Closer Walk With Thee’ – Traditional Gospel (pre-1860’s – possibly Afro-American)
‘Louisiana Fairytale’ – J. Fred Coots (1935)
‘Lulu’s Back In Town’ –  Al Dubin and Harry Warren (1935)
‘Perdido’ – (m) Juan Tizol (1941), (l added) Ervin Drake & Hans Lengsfelder (1944)
‘Route 66’ – Bobby Troup (1946)
‘Tin Roof Blues’ – George Brunies, Paul Mares, Ben Pollack, Leon Roppolo & Mel Stitzel (1923)
‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’ – Walter Donaldson (1930)

Mardi Gras JazzBand, 21st August 2015

MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND!  This was the band who had the tough job of following on from our two special Friday celebrations.  Well, I said they would certainly be able to fill that role and I told you that should you not believe me, then you must turn up and see/hear for yourselves.  That was Friday, 21st August 2015.  You all knew it was here at our Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent), because you did turn up.   The band’s leader, trombonist ROB PEARCE, was joined as usual, by LEIGH HENSON on trumpet &vocals, JOHN ELLMER on reeds (John played drums here last week), TIM HUSKISSON on piano, BRIAN BELL on drums and DAVE SILK on double bass &tuba.  I reminded you of the last couple of times they played for us, how you didn’t want them to end, so they were certainly back again by popular demand.  How do I tell you just how great they were, well you really should be here on nights like this.

Mardi Gras Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 21August2015. (LtoR) John Elmer on alto sax, with Leigh Henson singing and Rob Pierce on trombone Photo by Mike Witt. (LtoR) John Elmer on alto sax, with Leigh Henson singing and Rob Pierce on trombone.

Mardi Gras Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 21August2015.         (LtoR) John Ellmer on alto sax, with Leigh Henson singing and Rob Pierce    on trombone . Photo by Mike Witt.

Ok, here goes … the first number was sung by Rob and was ‘If I had You’, with John giving a touch of ‘007’ flavour to it – smashing.  Leigh sang ‘I’ve Gotta Right To Sing the Blues’ and yes – he’s got a great voice too.  My next starter for ten ‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’ was wonderful.  John played tenor sax and how they all excelled.

 

Mardi Gras Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 21st August 2015. (LtoR) Dave Silk on d.bass, John Elmer on alto sax, Brian Bell on drums, Leigh Henson on trumpet, Rob Pierce on trombone and (not pictured) Tim Husskison on piano. Photo by Mike Witt.

Mardi Gras Jazz Band at Farnborough Jazz Club on 21st August 2015. (LtoR) Dave Silk on d.bass, John Ellmer on alto sax, Brian Bell on drums, Leigh Henson on trumpet, Rob Pierce on trombone and (not pictured)     Tim Husskison on piano.  Photo by Mike Witt.

The next number I wish to comment on was that Duke Ellington number ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If You Aint Got that Swing)’, was sung by Leigh.   Oh, it was just brilliant.  I had written ‘great trumpet, great bass and great drums’ – well, they were all fabulous, but I’m getting so repetitive – sorry, can’t help it!  Then we come to a Louis number, ‘Swing that Music’, oh boy, oh boy, great stuff.  We performed our line dance to my next choice ‘Some Of These Days’, a lovely samba.  Then snakes alive, Keith actually asked me to dance and he was fabulous too – ha.  The dance? To ‘Panama Rag’, wonderful.  My last mention must be ‘Frim Fram Sauce’ of Nat King Cole fame.  I don’t recall it having been played here before and just loved it (but then I am a Nat King Cole fan, big time).

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on 21st August 2016. (LtoR) Leigh Henson (trumpet), Rob Pierce (trombone) and Tim Huskisson (piano). Photo by Mike Witt.

Mardi Gras JazzBand at Farnborough Jazz Club on 21st August 2016.   (LtoR) Leigh Henson (trumpet), Rob Pierce (trombone) and Tim Huskisson (piano).  Photo by Mike Witt.

Mardi Gras, we just love you and love seeing you enjoy playing together.  Bookings will be on-going, we hope.  See you back here 20th November 2015.

Diane and Keith

‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’ – (m) Duke Ellington, (l) Bob Russell (1942)
‘Frim Fran Sauce’ – (m) Joe Ricardel, (l) Redd Evans (1945)  (Nat King Cole hit)
‘I’ve Gotta Right To Sing the Blues’ – (m) Harold Arlen, (l) Ted Koehler (1932)
‘If I had You’ – Ted Shapiro, James Campbell & Reg Connelly (1927)
‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)’ – (m) Duke Ellington, (l) Irving Mills (1931)
‘Panama Rag’- Cy Seymour (1904) This version William H. Tyer (1911)
‘Some of These Days’ – Shelton Brooks (1909)
‘Swing that Music’ – Horace Gorlach & Louis Armstrong (1936)

Mardi Gras JazzBand, 10th April 2015

The MARDI GRAS JAZZBAND played here on Friday, 10th April 2015 at our Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent). Led by trombonist ROB PEARCE, was LEIGH HENSON (trumpet & vocals), JOHN ELLMER (on everything), TIM HUSKISSON (piano), plus BRIAN BELL (drums) and ROGER GRAHAM (d. bass & tuba).

Mardi Gras Jazz Band, LtoR: John Elmer (Reeds & things), Brian Bell (drums), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Rob Pearce (trombone) at Farnborough Jazz Club, Kent, 10th April 2015. Photo by Mike Witt

Mardi Gras Jazz Band, LtoR: John Ellmer (Reeds & things), Brian Bell (drums), Leigh Henson (trumpet), Rob Pearce (trombone) at Farnborough Jazz Club, Kent, 10th April 2015. Photo by Mike Witt

They began their repertoire straight in with ‘Big Better and Egg Man’ (which was written for Louis Armstrong) and was played with such excitement. Rob then explained I had spelt his name wrong, so wanted to sing especially for me ‘Dinah’, sung by Leigh, ha. What dry humour, quite piercing of course Rob!! They played Benny Goodman’s hit number next, ‘Clarinet Marmalade’ (John played the wood bar and bongos drums). What a brilliant number and I just loved it. Next was a great Peggy Lee number ‘Lady is a Tramp’, sung by Leigh, who has a super voice. Such a difference to the last number and again another change to the following one, ’Rocking’ Chair’, sang by John – another great voice too.

Steve Morgans, a pianist for Mardi Gras Jazz Band until his death back in 2001 at the tender age of 37yrs.

Steve Morgans (pianist) a member of Mardi Gras Jazz Band until he died back in 2001 (aged 37yrs).

‘When I take My Sugar to Tea’, was dedicated to pianist Steve Morgans, who died in 2001 at the young age of 37yrs. John used alto sax, Roger tuba and Leigh sang, such a lovely tribute. Brian began the next number with a dazzling bit of solo drumming to ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If You Ain’t got that Swing)’. Rob was tremendous on trombone, Leigh terrific on trumpet, Tim perfect on piano, John played brilliant bongos and Roger played beautiful bass, hmmm.   One of my favourite numbers of the evening was ‘Tequila’, John played what the band call his “Fisher Price Play Station” ha. Certainly he is so talented – as most of you know, John is not only a super reed player (playing the clarinet and all the Saxes), but a master at the drums too. Just so exciting and I so wanted to dance, (but no partner at that point).  Mike had a technical hitch with the photographs this week and only managed to send one, although he wasn’t happy with the result of the one, but at least you can see John’s toys. Sorry your cymbal is in front of your face John. Had there been more, I wouldn’t have published this one.   Closing, I must mention last November, you yelled for us to ‘get them back please’. After this week, you have asked for them again. Now you have to wait till 21st August, but the wait, I think you will agree, will be worth it.

Diane and Keith

‘Big Butter and Egg Man’ – Percy Venable (1926)
‘Clarinet Marmalade’ – Larry Shields, H.W. Ragas (1918)
‘Dinah’ – (m) Harry Akst, (l) Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young (1923)
‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’ – (m) Duke Ellington (1940), (l) Bob Russell (1942)
‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)’ – (m) Duke Ellington, (l) Irving Mills (1931)
‘Lady is a Tramp’ – (m) Richard Rogers, (l) Lorenz Hart (1937)
‘Rockin’ Chair’ – Hoagie Charmichael (1929)
‘Tequila’ – Daniel Flores (1958)
‘When I Take My Sugar to Tea’ – (m) Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal & Pierre Norman (1931)