Tony Pitt’s All Stars, 16th May 2014

TONY PITT’S ALL STARS at Farnborough Jazz Club on 16th May 2014, was truly a night to remember. In Keith’s words, this superb band featuring some of the top musicians in British Jazz. The line-up included the powerful trumpet of DENNY ILETT, the top class trombone playing of DAVE HEWITT and the fabulous soprano and tenor sax of AL NICHOLS. A great front line, driven along by a swinging rhythm section, which included ANDY LAWRENCE’s strong double bass playing, JOHN ELLMER’s fantastic drumming and leader Tony Pitt- solid as a rock- on banjo. This was a memorable performance at the Farnborough Jazz Club, with the band looking smart and professional, bringing back visions of the great Alex Welsh band of the 70’s and 80’s (we should have recorded it). I missed jotting down their first number as people were pouring in, but recall John produced a fabulous drum solo in ‘Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans’. Also Denny sang ‘Tin Roof Blues’ (with Al playing soprano sax). Then Denny performed a beautiful solo intro to the next number ‘Maggie’. He also sang it and then ended it in the same way, so wonderful. Dave had a feature, playing ‘If I had My Way Dear’, what a performer, obviously brilliantly backed by the ‘engine’. They also backed Denny, who featured with ‘Bad Penny Blues’ (Denny sang it too). I don’t need words to describe Denny, he’s just the best. ‘Big Butter and Egg Man’ was another great number to which they all excelled. Al also had a feature number, ‘Avalon’, playing tenor sax, another brilliant musician. Nobody wanted the evening to end, but they chose ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ to do so, obviously just the right number AND I did manage to record it on my old mobile phone. I did say last week, to expect some incredible jazz, I also said, one definitely NOT to be missed as these musicians are certainly top-notch. I was right, what a night. The band were steaming. They enjoyed what they were producing themselves, so much so, they forgot to stop and played on till 11.45pm and I’m sure they could have played on and on. Tony’s band is back with us on 15th August 2014, to celebrate Keith’s birthday.

This week, Friday 23rd May 2014, we will be featuring a band of similar quality and style – BARRY PALSER’S SUPER SIX, so come along and enjoy a great evening of Happy Jazz!

Diane and Keith

‘Avalon’ – Al Jolson, Vincent Rose & Buddy DeSylva (1920)
‘Bad Penny Blues’ – Humphrey Lyttelton (1956)
‘Big Butter and Egg Man’ – Percy Venable (1926)
‘Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans’ – Louis Alter & Eddie DeLange (1947)
‘If I had My Way Dear’ – (m) James Kendis, (l) Lou Klein (1913)
‘Tin Roof Blues’ – George Brunies, Paul Mares, Ben Pollack, Leon Roppolo & Mel Stitzel (1923)
‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ – origins unknown (derived from (m) James Milton Black, (l) Katherine Purvis 1896) re-publ 1927.
‘When You and I Were Young, Maggie’ – (p) George W. Johnson (1820), (m) James A. Butterfield (1866)