‘LAURIE CHESCOE’S REUNION BAND’ were here at the FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB, Kent on 4th September 2015. Drummer and leader (smiling from ear to ear) Laurie, was joined by ALLAN (‘Lord Arsenal’) BRADLEY on trumpet & vocals, JOHN LEE on reeds, MIKE POINTON on trombone, COLIN BRAY on piano, JIM DOUGLAS on banjo & guitar and PETER SKIVINGTON on bass guitar & bass ukulele. These guys are all top of the range musicians and play brilliantly together.
They began with ‘When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful’, which was sang with plenty of feeling by Mike. He also sang the next number, ‘Ja-Dah’ and although I didn’t make a note of it, I’m sure Pete would have played his bass ukulele. Then Mike was ‘featured’ with the next one ‘Gee Baby Aint I Good To You’, just a brilliant trombonist and, of course, singer. The dance floor took a bashing for the next one, with everybody up dancing. The number was ‘All Of Me’ (good job we are on the ground floor!).
It was Colin’s turn to be featured next. He began with one of his funny stories – this about waiters – oh, he is so straight-faced and dry-humoured. When he tells one of his stories, you’ll find yourself crying with laughter. The song he played was ‘When You’re Smiling’. Such a lovely pianist and as you know, he is very talented at playing many other instruments too.
John took to the stage next, with his ‘feature’ and played Al Jolson’s ‘Avalon’. [tit-bit: Jolson was born in Lithuania, Russian Empire] John is just one great saxophonist and clarinetist – say no more!!!!! Keith and I just love him. Jim came next with his ‘feature’ with a beautiful song – ‘Embraceable You’. Of course, Jim is a master of the guitar. Next came along a ‘Slow Boat To China’ with great singing from ‘Lord Arsenal’ (great trumpeter too) and he is brilliant fronting and announcing all their programmes.
The next tune is a fun one and the dance floor took a beating again with ‘Snake Rag’. Throughout the evening, Laurie played fabulous drums with his wonderful face full of smiles, well he loves what he does ….. And what a band he put together to do it with. Louis Armstrong’s ‘Strutting With Some Barbeque’ (written by wife Lilian) is such a great tune to end an evening with and they all played it with such gusto. I for one, went home exhilarated. Thanks boys, for learning to play when you were little.
Your hosts, Diane and Keith