ROGER MARKS & CHRIS WALKER’s ‘Tribute to Trad Jazz’ with THE PEDIGREE JAZZBAND made Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) part of their tour to our part of the world on Friday, 19th September 2014. The musicians were, of course, (co-leader) ROGER MARKS on trombone and (co-leader) CHRIS WALKER on clarinet. Graham Trevarton, their usual trumpeter was unable to make it to us. However, ANDY DICKINS was a guest on trumpet & vocals. The rest of the band were ok and was KEN AMES on banjo, TONY MANN on double bass and COLIN LARN on drums.
I said last week, this promises to be a highly entertaining evening and it certainly was. Roger has played for us before, with his Armada Jazz Band and was very popular with you all, as too with Andy Dickins (remember he, Julian Marc Stringle and Dave Hewitt knelt down and played to my little 4½yr old granddaughter, who was dancing to ‘Fidgety Feet’ (see www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIZGXLVs7fM) whilst with Dave’s Condonians back in 2010 (although has played for us many times since). However, it was the first time for Chris and the Marston’s Pedigree Jazzband from the West Country. If you click on the ‘band page’ at top of this website, you will find more information (from their own website http://pedigreejazzband.co.uk ), showing how they arrived at their idea for this show, plus see the band’s C.V’s too. Also, you can see them in action on a video taken at Risley Park Jazz Club, Risley, Derbyshire (curtesy of Apple County) on www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTMNu8aQOKs.
They chose some pretty famous songs, so once again I have found it very difficult to decide what numbers to include in my write-up, not wanting to leave great numbers out, but here goes. I shall start with ‘Chimes Blues’, which was performed perfectly (the bells I mean) and thoroughly enjoyable. It is a number performed by many bands, but not always quite right (although I’m not complaining to those bands – that’s what’s lovely about ‘live’ jazz, with warts and all). Chris mentioned being a friend and fan of Monty Sunshine and so featured one of his hit numbers, ‘The Old Rugged Cross’. A wonderful old ‘trad’ number and certainly they did it ‘justice’. For the next number Ken changed from banjo to guitar and joined the front line for ‘That’s My Home’, also showing he has a good jazz voice too. Before everyone arrived, I enjoyed the ‘boys’ warming up, with a little practice of that classical number ‘Santa Lucia’ and even more pleasing to see them add it to their repertoire. We all know classical and jazz music is very much affiliated. Next Chris was featured playing ‘Summer Set’ and brilliantly too. It was a big hit for Acker Bilk. ‘Margie’ was sung by Roger and I recall he did a bit of scat vocals (I would describe as ‘Danny Kaye style’, terrific) and we (well, just four of us) did our little of line-dancing -Charleston style. Then Andy was featured. His intro to the number was so beautiful and then he gave such a lovely performance with ‘Georgia On My Mind’. I cannot leave out the next number made famous by Kenny Ball. They played it so well, just like Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen – and the number? Of course, ‘Midnight In Moscow’ Yeah! They completed their show with ‘Ice Cream’. A stupendous performance by all, but especially the ‘mind blowing’ drum solo from Colin – wow. I do hope you enjoyed playing for us as we in the audience enjoyed you. We wish you a great success in future tours. Before closing Chris and Roger, please could you send a big ‘thankyou’ from us, to the Marston’s Brewery, for donating some of their (must be wonderful) beer towards our raffle. It was very much appreciated. Keith & Diane xx