Martyn Brothers Jazz Band, 7th March 2014

‘MARTYN BROTHERS JAZZ BAND’ produced some brilliant entertainment for us on Friday, 7th March 2014, here at our Farnborough Jazz Club, with some hot jazz. There were so many smiles everywhere for this highly talented young band.  Most of you know these two brothers are sons of that wonderfully flamboyant drummer and band leader, Barry Martyn, who has lived in New Orleans for many years.  Emile and Ben were brought up there.  It was great to have had Barry play here at Farnborough before he decided to stop touring back here in England (well hopefully for the time being anyway).  His last performance here was on 18th February 2011 (a copy of that week’s newsletter is posted on their CV page, at least until I can bring back all past newsletters).  Co-leaders Ben Martyn (on double bass/vocals) and Emile Martyn (on drums) had booked Allen Beechey (cornet), Adrian Cox (reeds) (Hi Adrian!), George Simmons (trombone) and John Ruscoe (guitar).  A wonderful line-up and I advised definitely one not to be missed.  Disappointingly, some of you were missing, (although some of you couldn’t help it, due to illness).  For the rest of you though, it was at your loss, because these guys gave it their all.  By the way, where were the letters from your mums, excusing yourselves?  To continue, here are a few examples of what they played for us.  What brilliant solo’s from everyone, especially Emile on drums, with Duke Ellington’s ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)’. George sang it, with Ben harmonising too.  The boys had two funerals to attend this week, so as a result, I think they played the following song with such feeling, you just couldn’t help loving them play ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee’.  I personally thought ‘Oh no, not a funeral march, but was I wrong, it was so beautiful and probably the best I have ever heard it played.   The next number I want to mention is one of Keith’s favourites ‘At the Mardi Gras’, which Adrian sang.  It has such a lovely dancing tempo.  The dancers had been slow starting in full, leaving it one or two couples only, but once confidence grew, you all had fun.  Ben has written a few songs and plays them once in a while.  About ten years ago, he decided to   write his own version of lyrics to ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’, with the sentiment of leaving someone behind, but seeing the same moon in the sky.  He called it ‘I’ll Watch the Moon’ and they played this one.   ‘Running Wild’ was another fabulous song which they performed amazingly.  It comes from that brilliant Marilyn Monroe film ‘Some Like It Hot’.  I actually wrote ‘wow, wow, wow‘, plus ‘what trombone playing’ and I’m certain I saw the roof lift up!  The next number I jotted down was ‘Summertime’.  Do any of you remember two lovely jazz fans both in their eighties at the time (at least 20years ago), called Trish and Doris?  We first met them in the audience at the Lord Napier. Trish used to step up and sing this song, although in her eighties, she would sing in a high key I’m sure she could have sung in her younger days, but by then was too high for her.  However, the last time she sang it for us, she sang in a lower key and she was fabulous.  I just wanted to give them a mention, nice to remember old friends.  Well tonight, Ben sang it (superbly) and they played it as a samba – marvellous.  We did our usual line-dance to ‘Lord, Lord, Lord, You Sure Been Good to Me’, what a great laugh with about 7 or 8 of us.  Then Ben sang that lovely song ‘Help Me Make it Through the Night’, a Kris Kristofferson number and wonderful to dance to.  The next number was ‘I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You’.  George (who is only 23yrs old) sang it brilliantly (he even interjected a couple of lines from ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’).  Don’t worry George, although I won a night out with you in our raffle, I will let you off, I don’t want to kill you, we need you back!  They rounded off the evening’s entertainment with ‘I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream’, certainly a great old traditional jazz favourite, in which there was plenty of dancing and audience singing participation.  Their old friend, Norman Grodentz, also joined them on clarinet.  Another evening we won’t forget.  By the way, they are back with us on 6th June 2014, so if you did missed it this time, don’t miss it again.

Diane and Keith

P.S.  Ben asked if any of us knew what was at No.1 in the hit parade on the day of our birth.  Keith’s is ‘Dancing Cheek to Cheek’ by Irving Berlin, sung by Fred Astaire (also sung by Frank Sinatra).  Mine was ‘There Are Such Things’ by Tommy Dorsey, sung by my favourite male singer, Frank Sinatra! (The song has a line including the word ‘Rainbow’.  Coincidently, I named my team The Rainbows, when I became a manager for Tupperware, a hundred years ago!  (However, another website said it was ‘White Christmas’ also by Irving Berlin, sung by Bing Crosby).  Thanks Ben for asking that question, such a fun thought.

‘Help Me Make it Through the Night’ – Kris Kristofferson (1969)
‘I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You’ – Lovin’ Sam Thaird (1929)
‘I’ll Watch the Moon’ – Ben Martyn (2004)
‘I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream’ – Howard Johnson, Billy Moll & Robert A. K. King (1927)
‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)’ – (m) Duke Ellington, (l) Irving Mills (1931)
‘Just a Closer Walk With Thee’ – Traditional Gospel (pre-1860’s – possibly Afro-American)
‘Lord, Lord, Lord, You Sure Been Good To Me’ – Traditional Gospel song
‘Mardi Gras (While We Danced)’ – (m) Alfred M. Opler, (l) Johnny Mercer (1931)
‘Running Wild’ – (m) A. Harrington Gibbs, (l) Joe Grey & Leo Woods (1922)
‘Summertime’ – (m) George Gershwin, (l) DuBose Heyward (1933/34)