‘LAURIE CHESCOE’S REUNION BAND’ certainly did excite us BIG TIME, on Friday, 14th November 2014 at the FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB.
Drummer and leader, Laurie had again reunited those fantastic musicians, ALLAN (‘Lord Arsenal’) BRADLEY on trumpet, piano & vocals, JOHN LEE on reeds, MIKE POINTON on trombone & vocals, COLIN BRAY on piano, curly soprano sax, ironing board & xylophone, JIM DOUGLAS on banjo & guitar and PETER SKIVINGTON on bass guitar & bass ukulele. Oh you bet, another fun evening is an understatement, because they were just. Everyone just gushed with telling Keith and I, just how much they loved the evening. They began appropriately for this week, dedicating their first number ‘Rosetta’ to the Rosetta Space Mission (super to think of doing it (see below). Next came a ‘Fats’ Waller number ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, sung by Mike. I remember Allan’s solo, he interjected with a snippet of two other songs, a Hoagy one – ‘ Two Sleepy People’, plus a little of Rogers and Hart’s tune from the 1940’s show ‘Pal Joey’ – ‘Bewitched Bother and Bewildered’, what a star he is.
Talking of stars, one of our favourite tenor sax players, John was featured with Django Reinhardt’s ‘Swing 42’. He played it in his smooth Ben Webster style – Just so beautifully.
Then we come to Colin! Oh what a man. He is fabulous. He came up to the front with his soprano sax and played ‘Avalon’ (with Allan on piano). He not only played it fantastically, he performed it the same, with legs akimbo (see photo) and even at one point, with one arm behind his back!!!! So entertaining (including his intro’ – sort of Jack Benny style). Follow that, they did, dedicating their next number to one of our regular visitors ‘Brown Owl Pete’, with ‘I’m Nobody’s Baby’. Pete was a long-time roadie with the likes of Max Collie and including Rod Mason, whenever he was in England. Next on my list was ‘Tishomingo Blues’, which was sung by Mike – I jotted down ‘a mean trumpet from Allan’.
Well next came another special …. Colin with an ironing board! No, not to play, to lean on. He produced a xylophone and I won’t tell you what he said, because I certainly don’t want to spoil his other gigs, save to say he is so funny. Not his playing though, he played a storm with ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby’.
But still the band continued to excite us with the next number ‘Hindustan’, especially with Laurie’s brilliant drum solo intro, closely followed by Allan’s also brilliant trumpet intro and everyone joined in superbly. Another number to mention was that lovely ‘Hoagie’ number, ‘Two Sleepy People’, which Mike sang [was Allan just practicing earlier] hey I’m so sorry Ron, sitting next to you and accompanying Mike, I just couldn’t help myself (singing, I mean)!
The number ‘God Bless the Child’ was a feature for Jim on guitar next, with Peter backing him. Jim is famous for his guitar playing, although he is just as marvellous on banjo. They played several songs after that, but I was too busy dancing and took no more notes. I just want to say the band enjoyed themselves as well, so played after time with one more number. I know, you think I’m also gushing too much, but it is all true.
Keep coming and we will bring you more magic.
Diane and Keith
P.S. Just to finish off, a few weeks ago, I mentioned our friend, Leslie Baguley. Just to update you, I asked for relatives to get in touch and Leslie’s son, Craig did. He and his wife (plus two friends) came to Laurie’s evening. So these newsletters are read, thank goodness (that’s a note to myself – ha).