MIKE BARRY’S UPTOWN GANG entertained us on Friday, 29th November 2013 here at Farnborough Jazz Club and brilliantly too. The musicians were (leader) MIKE on trumpet, JOHNNY ROGERS on reeds, ‘WHISPERING’ MIKE HOLT on trombone and vocals, JOHN STUART on banjo and guitar, ROGER CURPHEY on string bass and GRAHAM COLLICOTT on drums. Last week, I asked for everyone to make it another humdinger evening and that you all did. Again, there was plenty of dancing with this happy band. I didn’t mention on the mike, but must say now. Before our audience arrive and after the band were all set up, all I heard from the band were peals of laughter. Nice to hear the band enjoying themselves before they started. The first number they played was ‘Zing Went the Strings of my Heart’ (although Mike called it ‘………. Strings of my Vest’. Yes, a lovely number with dancers on the floor straight away. This was followed with another great dancing number called ‘Everybody Loves My Baby’, with great solos from everyone. Their next number was ‘Oh Baby’, which brought out our line-dancers. Drummer Graham left his drums and joined us in the dance, to everyone’s amusement. Now the next number was sung by Johnnie (R). It was called ‘As Long as I Live’ (a number played for the last show at the famous Cotton Club Parade), well done Johnny. Kid Ory’s number called ‘Creole Love Call’ followed, (a mambo I think which I just love). Again fabulous solos from all. Then ‘Harlem Folk Dance’ was another brilliant number – I put a huge asterisk against it. Then ‘Whispering’ Mike sang the next tune ‘You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me’. Don’t you just love his humour? Another fab number was ‘Johnson Rag’, a lovely dance beat and would you believe it, lyrics updated by Jack Lawrence in 1940 (the lyricist I talked about two weeks ago in newsletter for the Muskrat Ramblers, 15th November). Johnny (R) had a special feature next with ‘Wild Cat Blues’ (of both Sidney Bechet and Monty Sunshine fame). What a lovely player Johnny is and he sang too. It is hard to choose the next numbers played, I really don’t want to give too many numbers, as it is not fair on the band to mention all their repertoire, but I will tell you of the next two. My Keith took over drums (whilst I danced with Graham). It took a bit of coaxing to get Keith on the drums, because you might recall, he fell down the stairs at home a few months ago, broke his ankle, so he wasn’t sure he would be able to play. However, with his old mates, Roger and John (S) in the band, he felt a little easier, but as you guessed, he was (well I think) terrific. The two numbers he played with the band were that marvellous number ‘At the Jazz Band Ball’, followed by ‘Am I Blue’. I think ‘Whispering’ was singing! There you go, another super evening, with everyone leaving the club on ‘a high’.
See you next week.
Diane and Keith