TONY PITT’S ALL STARS came to help us celebrate Keith birthday, here at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB (Kent) on FRIDAY, 12th August 2016. We were celebrating with a capitol C, as always. Band leader (and banjoist) TONY had manage to get those fabulous stars (well Tony is –an extra special musician), ALAN GRESTY on trumpet &vocals, DAVE HEWITT on trombone, AL NICHOLLS on soprano & tenor sax, ANDY LAWRENCE on double bass and JOHN ELLMER on drums. What more can I say, but with these fantastic musicians, I told you to expect some humongous fun and that we did!
With so many photos, I have put them all at the end of the write-up this time. Now about their first tune, it was ‘Mama’s Gone, Goodbye’ and what a tremendous job they did, especially Al, being it was the first time he had played it – what a pro’ aye. Then came ‘Blues My Naughty Sweetie’ and did they give it their all (I recall Tony played a fabulous solo), especially as it was a hot night). This was followed on with ‘Pennies From Heaven’ and brought on all the dancers – well, it was very hot evening and this was such a lovely slow number. I believe Alan sang, although we had so many friends arriving for Keith’s birthday and hadn’t written it down. Now, my next choice was ‘Carry Me Back to Ol’ Virginie’. (I recall Tony saying Alan had requested this number be played.) We did our line-dance to this, although not ideal, plus I had my ankle ‘go’ on me, so had a hard job, but we enjoyed it. John was brilliant with a great drum solo intro to ‘Hindustan’, a fabulous favourite with so many trad bands. Next, Tony made an announcement, telling us the next number was dedicated especially to Keith. It was ‘When I Grow Too Old To Dream’. Yes, everyone had a laugh at that. Another tune to mention (written by Lovie Austin, a famous 1920’s band leader ranked alongside Lil Harding Armstrong) was ‘Traveling Blues’. Al played super tenor sax. I was so fed up I couldn’t dance, it is such a great one to dance to. Oh, I must mention ‘Saint Louis Blues’, what a great jazz song and I put several ticks – to make sure I’d mention it. Wow, they were all excellent, playing – all of them, I mean! Great trumpet, fabulous tenor sax, super trombone (Tony, you surely can pick ‘erm – musicians aye). Keith got me up to dance, pretty impossible really with my ankle keep ‘giving way’ on me, but Keith ended up dancing a duo with John’s drum solo. Keith is actually doing his own form of tap dancing (he had impossible shoes on too), but being a drummer, he is wonderful with his footwork. Everyone thought he was brilliant – the band thought he might have a heart attack at any moment – ha. (I haven’t told Keith yet, but my son-in-law (Scott) filmed this and hopefully it will look as good as it did on the night. Scott promised to get it to me soon and I shall put it here for you to see,) Their last number was ‘Blue, Turning Grey Over You’, which is Tony’s theme song. Keith joined me on the dance floor – awhh, how romantic again. You must put Tony’s next date here in your diaries, being Friday, 28th October 2016.
Here is the video of Tony Pitt’s All Stars taken with Keith tap dancing on his birthday, 12th August 2016. Click on:
Please leave your comments on it as to what you think! The band were superb.
Your hosts, Diane and ol’ Keith
‘Blue, Turning Grey Over You’ – (m) Fats Waller, (l) Andy Razaf (1929)
‘Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me’ – Charles McCarron, Casey Morgan & Arthur Swanstrom (1919)
‘Carry Me Back to Old Virginny’ – James A. Baland (1878) – re-written in 1940, but retired
‘Hindustan’ – (m) Harold Weeks, (l) Oliver G Wallace (1917)
‘Mama’s Gone, Goodbye’ – A J Piron & Peter Bocage (1923)
‘Pennies From Heaven’ (m) Arthur Johnston, (l) Johnny Burke (1936)
‘Saint Louis Blues’ – W.C. Hanley (1914)
‘Traveling Blues’ – Lovie Austin (1924)
‘When I Grow Too Old To Dream’ – (m) Sigmund Romberg, (l) Oscar Hammerstein II (1935)