MIKE BARRY’S XXL BAND was here at Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday 13th February 2015. Leader MIKE BARRY (trumpeter) had booked JOHN ELLMER (clarinet), REX ODELL (trombone), JOHN STUART (banjo), TREFOR ‘FINGERS’ WILLIAMS (bass) and PAUL BUDD (drums). I told you it would be a super band and with Mike full of smiles, we were sure once again it was going to be a happy evening and of course, it was.
So here we go again. Are you ready to hear about my usual Friday bumph. I’m not sure it was their first number, but certainly mine to mention, ‘Johnson Rag’ that is. Some of you may remember I wrote to composer Jack Lawrence, just too late as he had only just passed away a year earlier, aged 98. What a great composer. This one of his was such a jolly piece and set the evening up for me. Then Rex sang the next number, ‘Everybody Loves My Baby’ and what a wonderful asset he is to this happy band. He and Mike sang in harmony together, same as they did to the following tune ‘I Wannah Say Hello’ – terrifically. ‘Jo Avery’s Piece’ was our choice to perform our (Charleston style) line-dance.
John Ellmer played brilliant alto sax with ‘Creole Love Song’, [what a talent he is – being one super drummer too]. Then that oldie followed, ‘Put another Nickel in, In the Nickel Odeon’ also sung by the duo (Mike and Rex). That tune takes me back to when we would sing along at Saturday morning pictures as a little girl – ha. They also played that wonderful tune ‘When the Midnight Choo Leaves for Alabam’ (my sister and I would perform this in shows for all the kids in our neighbourhood – poor things!). Anyway, we did another line dance to that one. One of Bing Crosby’s hits ‘We’re Poor Little Lambs – Ba, Ba, Ba’ came next. Yes, you can guess, we all had a sing-song to this one. It was originally produced by Yale University in 1910.
My last number to mention was Louis Armstrong’s hit song ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’. This being a rally lively one, finished with huge smiles all round and I don’t know about you, but to see a lot of smiling faces makes me feel a million dollars. Everyone in the band gave their all and were superb, what a great evening. I knew you would leave refreshed and a little lighter (from dancing) ready to face another week.
‘Live’ jazz – you just can’t beat it!
Diane & Keith