‘CHEZ CHESTERMAN’S BAND OF BROTHERS’ were at our Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 24th January 2014. The guys in the band were trumpeter/vocalist and leader CHEZ, with GEOFF COLE on trombone & vocals, ROY JAMES on banjo & guitar, TERRY LEWIS on double bass and BILL FINCH on drums. Our crowd was somewhat diminished for one reason or another, but not enough to spoil the evening. Chez and Geoff played their ‘socks off’, to which we tip our hats to, including the rest of the band. There was plenty of dancing going on, albeit some numbers were just listened to. They put on a good repertoire and here are a few numbers to give you a feel of the evening. The first number I jotted down was called ‘Down in Honky Tonk Town’, with Geoff (who has a great jazz voice) singing and Roy playing banjo. King Oliver’s ‘Riverside Blues’ was another tune that lured the dancers on. Chez (who also has that wonderful unique jazz voice) sang the next number (plus a few of us in the audience too), called ‘Down by the Riverside (Study War No More)’. Some of you will know folk singer, Peter Seeger had a big ‘hit’ with this number in 1956, with his slightly changed lyrics and of course you may be aware, he died this Sunday (27th) at the age of 94yrs. Back to our jazz, the next numbers I jotted down were ‘Bugle Boy March’, ‘A Kiss to Build a Dream On’ (Roy played guitar) and ‘The Sheik of Araby’, all fabulous numbers. Then Chez sang to a beautiful ballad called ‘I Can’t Sleep’, and all the dancers (and non-dancers) came out to dance. The writer of this wonderful tune (‘Montana’ Taylor) never enjoyed fame, disappearing from the spotlight (twice) for years at a time, dying at the early age of 51yrs, in 1954 (I say “play it again please Sam”). Geoff sang and Roy played guitar to the next number called ‘Oh Lady Be Good’. Then Fats Waller’s number ‘Fair and Square In Love’, sung by Chez, was their last number and so our dancers all came on the dance floor. So many of you thanked Chez, saying how much you enjoyed the evening. It is so nice for musicians to be told afterwards, it makes their evening complete and helps them on their long journey home.
You have no need to read this bit, but before I close, I wanted to mention a weird thing that happened whilst preparing this newsletter! As you know, weird things often happen to me – of course just coincidences (or is it just that I am weird – well no need to agree so readily!) First of all, I was chatting to the band (having had lots of little mishaps), I mentioned having seen Anthony Newley’s (1961) play ‘Stop the World, I Want to Get Off’. I recalled not understanding the meaning then, even though I found it very clever and funny (Anna Quale’s debut I recall). Anyhow, I visited Les Hanscombe’s Tailgate Jazz Band on ‘Youtube’ to prepare for next week’s newsletter. Pay a visit and you will hear Les announcing the number ‘Don’t Give up the Ship’ (they have a CD named by this title). Les says this number apparently was to be called ‘Stop the World, I want to Get Off’, but it was too long a title. Visit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86HCWRK2R0M&list=PL7E111545F36F589E (Tune No: 7, recorded at Harwich Electric Palace Cinema -Harwich). Creepy aye? I haven’t mentioned the play in years! By the way, I fully understand the meaning of the play now! Hmmm!
Oh wow, another one!!!! I came back to finish this newsletter this morning (Thursday). Last Friday morning, I bought two DVD’s (digressing, one I mentioned on the mike – reading out ‘Daddy Long Legs’ which says ‘Contains no sex, violence or bad language’, now that’s a rarity aye? Joyful called out “I bet Keith won’t watch it”! I watched the other DVD (‘South Pacific’) last night. What is weird you ask? Well, I have just realised I saw that film (& play) in 1958 – the year I thought I had seen Anthony Newley’s play (standing corrected this a.m. to 1961). The composers of ‘South Pacific’ were Rodgers & Hammerstein. What’s so weird, you are asking? The band played and I chose to jot down ‘A Kiss to build a Dream on’ – composer? – Oscar Hammerstein II. Are they all trying to get in touch with me!!!!!! Chez’s band returns here on 9th May 2014.
Diane and Keith