‘BILL PHELAN’S MUSKRAT RAMBLERS’ played for us at our FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB on Friday, 30th May 2014. Leader BILL PHELAN, trumpeter, had booked ALAN CRESSWELL on reeds (Alan was with Max Collie Rhythm Aces for 18months), JOHN HOWLETTon trombone, ANDY LAWRENCE on double bass, JOHNNY MCCALLUM on banjo (who was with The Chris Barber Big Band for 22years), plus PAUL NORMAN on drums. I missed the first number, but my first note was of the tune ‘1919 March’, a rousing number that we all recognise when it is played and has been played by so many top bands, although I was unable to find out the true origin, hence ‘traditional’ for composer and date. If anyone can enlighten us, please email any information, thanks. The band continued with an ODJB famed number, ‘Clarinet Marmalade Blues’, another rip-roaring number too. Following on, both Johnny and Andy gave great performances to ‘See See Rider’ (or ‘C.C. Rider’). [Alan and Johnny both featured with Django Reinhardt famed number, but have to update later – wonderful stuff. Another number, which John H sang to, was ‘All the Girls Go Crazy about the Way I Walk’. Paul’s brilliant drum solo resulted with his drum stick flying out of his hand, through the air, hitting John H in the chest at such a force, nearly leaving us without a trombonist- ha! (Of course John was ok). ‘Ciribiribin’ followed, which they dedicated to me (nice). Bill had read my write-up about its composer Jack Lawrence (with Harry James) – see our newsletter 15Nov2014. I wrote ‘brilliant’ against the next number to mention. It featured Alan, namely ‘Saint Phillip Street Breakdown’. Likewise the next Sidney Bechet number, ‘Dans les Rues d’Antibes’, they all played marvellously. [This number brings back fond memories of when Keith played with dear and talented friends, Mack White and Charlie Connor]. The last number I wish to mention featured Bill. He is such a lovely unassuming person, which shone out big time, when he played flugelhorn to Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘Stardust’. It is a beautiful song and Bill gave it wonderful justice. Their next date with us will be 3rd October 2014.
Trad jazz – always fun – keep it ‘Live’!
Diane & Keith