TONY PITT’S ALL STARS came to entertain us again at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB (Kent) on FRIDAY, 6th May 2016 and what entertainment and a half it was!. Banjoist TONY had his great friends with him, being ALAN GRESTY on trumpet, DAVE HEWITT on trombone &baritone horn, AL NICHOLS on reeds, ANDY LAWRENCE on double bass and JOHN ELMER on drums. Brilliant evening from brilliant musicians. It was a hot evening, both weather-wise and music-wise. They began wearing their lovely white jackets, looking very professional as always, but it was too hot to keep them on.
My first choice of songs to mention is ‘Farewell Blues’. I was busy with people coming in to the club, so took no notes. However, Django Reinhart does a wonderful recording of it on You Tube, so was able to recall them playing it. I also recall our dance floor was flooded with everyone dancing to the next tune ‘When Everyone Thinks You’re Wonderful’. Dave played baritone horn and Al on tenor sax – fabulous – a lovely sound.
Following came ‘Everybody Loves My Baby’ and was sung by Alan. We all got up to perform our line-dance. We do have a lot of fun (Charleston style), because we don’t care if we make mistakes, it’s all about loving the music. Well, our next number, again had the floor full of dancers, Alan sang, with Dave (again) on baritone horn and Al on alto sax. That tune was ‘Curse Of An Aching Heart’, I don’t think it has been played recently, if at all at the club – certainly a ‘hot’ tune.
Then Tony played a wonderful introduction to ‘The Sheik of Araby’ and what a fabulous five minutes of brilliance came from the boys – fantastic drumming (solo) from John, well fabulous solos from all of them.
After the break, they began with ‘Way Down Yonder In New Orleans’. Dave on baritone horn and Al on tenor sax this time. Plus with the next number, Al did a splendid job on tenor again to ‘Black & Blue’ and our dance floor was chock-a-block with dancers. I can couple the last two numbers together, because I had put three ticks against both tunes, I also wrote ‘fab solos from everyone’, again against both numbers (with tenor on first and alto against the last one). The numbers were ‘Blue, Turning Grey Over You’ and Louis Armstrong’s 1938 version of ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’. I can remember standing with Keith and we both had our mouths agog, thrilled to bits and loving every minute of it all. Just one thing to add and that is they will be back on Keith’s actual birthday, Friday, 12th August 2016. FAB-U-LOUS.
P.S. You can catch up with the Newsletter for Golden Eagle Jazz Band, dated Friday, 5th July 2015. It contains a fantastic photo of our two 007’s on raffle duty.
Diane and Keith