PHOENIX DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND appeared at our Farnborough Jazz Club on Friday, 21st February 2014. Due to a misunderstanding, our pre-advertised band ‘LIMEHOUSE JAZZ BAND’ was unable to come to England (Pianist Martin Litton & His Rhythms replaced ‘Limehouse Jazz Band’ at the Spice of Life that afternoon). However, at short notice, our good friend – band leader ROBIN COOMBS (clarinettist) very quickly booked his band for us. The musicians were PAUL HIGGS on trumpet, BILL TODD on trombone, TIM HUSKISSON on piano, ROGER CURPHEY on double bass, JOHN STUART on banjo & guitar and ALAN CLARKE on drums. The boys gave us a wonderful spontaneous evening. I didn’t manage to write their first numbers down. The dancing was slow at getting going. I think the first number to bring out some dancers was ‘Up a Lazy River’. Robin was a little concerned not to have seen the dancers on the floor before this, but wherever you go, nobody likes to be first out on the floor and without Gordon and Steve to encourage other dancers (Gordon is out of commission for a while and Steve was at a birthday party elsewhere), it takes a little longer to see our dancers. By the time the ‘Kid’ Ory number ‘South’ was played, all the dancers were swinging. I just loved the drum intro to the next number, ‘Hindustan’, a marvellous number. Then Paul played wonderful trumpet to ‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’. They changed key halfway through too. Then came ‘Ja-Da’, a number not played too often here and so makes a change. Then the next number in contrast is often played here, but we don’t mind that either, being ‘Hello Central, Give Me Doctor Jazz’, a great favorite. It was sung by Bill, who has a really good voice and should sing more often. Keith and I listen to him playing (first Monday, monthly) with Mick Collins’ 16piece Modern Jazz Orchestra, held in Bromley South H.G. Wells Center. Isn’t it wonderful how diverse musicians can be. What followed next was a fabulous number called ‘Love is just around the Corner’ and I had no-one to dance with! Then if that wasn’t enough, on comes Paul playing solo with a ‘Louis Armstrong intro’, just brilliant, the number of course was ‘West End Blues’, which was famed by Louis Armstrong. The finale came with ‘Caravan’ and Alan performed his magic on drums. You might recall from my last comments about him being a drum teacher and if you did follow our Phoenix’s CV page, hopefully you will have looked in on the ‘You Tube’ recording of him playing a drum duo with his son and if not, please do so now! Phoenix Dixieland’s next date here is to be 18th May 2014.
N.B. I can confirm the LIMEHOUSE JAZZ BAND will be appearing with us on 24th October 2014 as well as at the ‘SPICE OF LIFE’ that afternoon.
Don’t you just love ‘Live music’?
Diane and Keith
‘Caravan’ – (m) Juan Tirol, (l) Irving Mills (1937)
‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’ – (m) Jean Schwartz, (l) William Jerome (1910)
‘Hello Central, Give Me Doctor Jazz’ – Joe ’King’ Oliver & Walter Melrose (1926)
‘Hindustan’ – (m) Harold Weeks, (l) Oliver G Wallace (1917)
‘Ja-Da’ – Bob Carleton (1918)
‘Love is just around the Corner’ – (m) Lewis E. Gensler, (l) Leo Robin (1934)
‘South’ – Thamen Hayes & Bennie Moten (1924) (lyrics added later by Ray Charles)
‘(Up A) Lazy River’ – (m) Sidney Arodin, (m&l) Hoagy Carmichael (1930)
‘West End Blues’ – Joe ’King’ Oliver, (l) Clarence Williams (1928)