MIKE BARRY’S XXL JAZZ BAND made our audience really pleased to be here at our Farnborough Jazz Club in Kent on Friday, 26th September 2014. Leader and trumpeter Mike’s band consisted of reeds player GOFF DUBBER, trombonist REX O’DELL, banjo & guitarist JOHN STUART, double bassist ROGER CURPHEY and drummer PAUL BUDD. It was lovely to see them all again.
To start with, there was plenty of laughing coming from the band BEFORE you (our audience) all arrived, always a good sign they will enjoy entertaining you. They chose a great number to begin with, being (amongst many top stars) Johnnie Ray’s big hit ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’. Rex, who has a super voice, sang it and of course lots of us joined in, knowing most of the words. ‘Beale Street Mama’ had a couple of superb solos, one from John on guitar, plus Roger on double bass. Continuing with my next choice, which was ‘When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam’. This was also sung by Rex, to which several of us chose to do our line-dance. I’m not sure if our bands enjoy us doing it, nor our audience, but we enjoy do the dancing – ha! Next number Mike Witt (who took this super photo) emailed to me, and I quote “It was good to hear Mike Barry’s vocal rendition of “Marching through Georgia”, which is often played by bands of all types, from military through to Trad jazz but which is rarely sung. It commemorates General Sherman’s troops’ epic march through the US state of Georgia during the American Civil War, during which the city of Atlanta was burned”. He continued “Then followed civilian casualties and damage to property as Sherman’s men foraged the local land for food and supplies. Perhaps that’s why it is not often sung publicly, especially in the American south where even whistling the tune can result in a punch-up. Resentment still burns hot there!” Quite a statement, that I had to include it in this newsletter. Mike (B) sang it, with the rest of the band ‘Ahh, Ahhing’ along too. Plenty of dancers out for this one. After a break, they continued with an old favourite of trad jazz lovers, ‘Dr Jazz’, sung by Goff. It’s amazing how many talented jazz singing musicians there are within the Trad’ world. John took to the guitar for ‘Brown Skin Girls’, again plenty of dancers. Obviously, ‘Ice Cream’ is another bigtime favourite. What they did with their rendition, was to interject with that tune ‘Good Morning’ (from the film ‘Singing In The Rain’) – fabulous. I recall Paul giving a terrific drum solo. Then came a brilliant situation of the evening, when they played overtime on the first section, which was fine. But when they began to do the same with their second break, I called out (so we could do the raffle draw). However, Mike called back “what’s up, we have another three hours to go!” So when it came to the end of the evening and it was all over, I took the ‘mike’ and said “hey, you have another couple of hours to go!” (Then to the audience) “You all witnessed Mike saying they had three hours to do”. It’s marvellous that a band enjoys themselves, so much they do not want to end – just as much as we love listening to their wonderful talent.
Now, I have often mentioned we have the delight of receiving in our audience, Colin Dobson (well known on trumpet with ‘Billy Cotton’s Band’ for many years).
This evening, Colin was accompanied by his delightful wife, Jo, and lovely family. I loved it that Mike Witt captured these two photos for our website.
Diane and Keith