PHOENIX DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND certainly entertained us on Easter Good Friday, 18th April 2014 here at the Farnborough Jazz Club. We received a few phone calls during the week, from people who haven’t been before, checking if we had jazz on Friday, being Easter. They also asked if it gets busy, but as we told them, Good Friday is always an unknown quantity, as it is ‘family time’. Many people go away, or have their family come to stay and can’t get out to the jazz. So it was nice to have a wonderful turnout – always nice for a band to have a decent crowd to play to. Leader ROBIN COOMBS had his excellent line-up with PAUL HIGGS on trumpet, BILL TODD on trombone, DAVE BARNES on piano, ROGER CURPHEY on double bass, JOHN STUART on banjo & guitar and ALAN CLARKE on drums. Last week, I suggested as the weather is beautiful, to do your gardening during the day, then mosey on over to us for some enjoyable dancing to jazz. Beautiful, because looks like you all took heed of me, hmmm. Once again, Robin was a little worried the dancing didn’t commence straight away, but it does always takes a drink (or two) to settle in and it wasn’t long before we were all up and leaping about. Anyway, it is nice to just listen as well, especially with such tunes as Benny Goodman’s ‘A Smooth One’ and ‘You Took Advantage of Me’. Another number, sung by Bill, was ‘I’m Confessin’ That I Love You’ and I noted Paul played lovely (muted) trumpet. Bix Beiderbecke’s hit, ‘At the Jazz Band Ball’, certainly was one for the ‘fast’ dancers, super. A tune definitely worth a mention was ‘The Charleston’ to which our line-dancers performed a Charleston dance – well, sort of! Then Paul gave a wonderful intro to ‘West End Blues’ (famed by Louis Armstrong) with solos fabulously played by everyone. Next, I noted one of Chris Barber’s hits called ‘Stevedore Stomp’ to which they all played brilliantly, again bringing on the dancers. Dave sang ‘Fats Waller’s ‘Twenty Four Robbers’. He introduced it and demonstrated to us the words to join in with, and of course, being a rum lot, we all did – great fun. Jack Teagarden’s famed ‘A Hundred Years from Today’ came next. It is a favourite of Keith’s and a lovely foxtrot for the slow dancers. A perfect evening and surely must have set everyone up to face the rest of the week (well it did for me). One last thing, something for your diary, the band’s next date here is to be 25th July 2014.
Nothing like ‘live’ entertainment.
Diane and Keith
‘A Hundred Years from Today’ – Victor Young, Ned Washington and Joe Young (1933)
‘A Smooth One’ – Benny Goodman (1941)
‘At The Jazz Band Ball’ – (m) Nick LaRocca, Larry Shields (1916) (l’s added 1950 by Johnny Mercer)
‘Blame it on My Youth’ – (m) Oscar Levant, (l) Edward Heyman (1934
‘I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You’) – (m) Ellis Reynolds & Doc Daugherty, (l) Al J. Neiburg (1930)
‘Stevedore Stomp’ – ‘Duke’ Ellington & Irving Mills (1929)
‘The Charleston’ – (m) James P. Johnston, (l) Cecil Mack (1923)
‘Twenty Four Robbers’ – (m) Ted Buckner, (l) James Young (1941)
‘West End Blues’ – Joe ’King’ Oliver, (l) Clarence Williams (1928) (famed by Louis Armstrong)
‘You Took Advantage of Me’ – (m) Richard Rodgers, (l) Lorenz Hart (1928)