Oh what a fabulous evening with the ‘YERBA BUENA CELEBRATION JAZZ BAND’ here at Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday, 3rd June 2016. I mentioned they are an 8-pce jazz band, reflecting the great ‘Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band. They were brilliant, sounding like a big band. DAVE RANCE was on 1st trumpet (plus sang), MIKE BARRY was 2nd trumpet (who also sang), BRIAN WHITE on clarinet, GEORGE ‘KID’ TIDIMAN on trombone (‘Kid’ was in their original band), HUGH CROZIER on piano, PETE LAY on drums, JOHN ARTHY on tuba and NICK SINGER played banjo.
They are known produce great dancing tempos and so not really surprising that both our visiting dancing couples (Linda & John, plus Jane &Alan) turned up together. As I suspected, they knew one-another from visiting many clubs. I’m pretty sure they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as well as entertaining us with their dancing too. In fact the dance floor was packed with everyone enjoyed themselves, not forgetting the ‘listeners’. Now to enlighten you of the tunes they chose to play.
Quite a selection and I wish I could list them all, but that wouldn’t be fair to the band. I had put ticks next to so many numbers, so it’s terribly hard to choose, but my first number to quote is ‘Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me’, sung by Dave (great voice). They were all playing brilliantly and I knew we were in for a fantastic evening.
It was followed by ‘Muscrat Ramble’, to which I had put four ‘ticks’ against (in my notes), because wowie! They followed on with the wonderful ‘Chimes Blues’, always a favourite and then a superb number that I don’t believe has been played here before, ‘Big Bear Stomp’. Again they were all marvellous, what a sound, I have to make mention to Pete on drums, it was one of those tunes. We performed our ‘Charleston’ line-dance to their next number, ‘Irish Black Bottom’, the biggest line-up thus far – twelve in all, not many for the big clubs, but lots for us! Nick took a turn to sing next – he also has a great voice and sang ‘Oh Daddy Blues’. Then came a marvellous favourite of mine, Irvin Berlin’s ‘When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam’. Such another great dancing number and we took advantage of that – dance floor full!
Oh, what a tune next ‘Annie Street Rock’, wow, they were certainly rocking – all of them – talk about ‘swinging’! What with Dave and Mike on trumpets, Brian and ‘Kid’, they were all magic. But then to add the sparkle of John giving that beautiful deep earthy pom pom sound, helping the whole ‘engine’, driving it all along – Hugh (between front line and the ‘engine’), Pete and Nick – they certainly all ‘had that thing’ (sorry gushing again). They should have ended the evening there, but it probably would have left them up in the air, so they brought us all down to earth with ‘Down by the Riverside’. We all joined in on the dance floor, singing our hearts out. What a way to go, but it didn’t end there. We finished with ‘Happy Birthday’. It was Peter Abbott’s 50th birthday a couple of days prior, so the band played and we sang it to him. [Peter was a Para-Olympic medallist some years ago – I shall interview him at some time and tell you his story.]
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Your hosts, Diane and Keith