‘CHEZ CHESTERMAN’S BAND OF BROTHERS’ entertained us at FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB on Friday, 9th May 2014. Band leader CHEZ (trumpet & vocals) had booked JOHN CROCKER (clarinet), GEOFF COLE (trombone & vocals), ROY JAMES (guitar), TERRY LEWIS (double bass) and BILL FINCH (drums). Our evening began with the building refusing us entrance. Yes, you read correctly! The band could have played on the patio, but at the moment the weather is not compatible, plus we couldn’t even get access to the patio either! My whole week had been rather packed with stressful events (including neighbours telling me at 7.30am the house was billowing smoke out of the roof (the roof belonging to the house I was looking after!) Then, needing a carpenter to secure the broken door after a burglary, I was not ready for the fact we were locked out of our club. Obviously panics ensued, but the evening was saved by the kind heart of another key-holder (asleep when I called) rushing to our aid. The band rallied round and gave us all a beautiful evening, playing their hearts out. I tasted my own medicine and joined in, dancing my toes to absolute pain. I’m always saying your problems can be shelved for the evening when you come out to enjoy the music. Anyway, my first number to mention is ‘Smiles’, rather an apt number considering the beginning of the evening. Then came ‘Snake Rag’ and what a brilliant performance by all of them. Geoff, who has a wonderful voice, sang ‘I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket’ (famously sung by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the film ‘Follow the Fleet’) and with such a number, there was obviously audience participation. The next number to tell you about is ‘Savoy Blues’. It was introduced by Chez as written by ‘Kid’ Ory especially for Geoff. Is this an in-house joke, Chez? I rather think so, as that would make Geoff at least 100yrs old! Ha. However, the way Geoff plays that ‘bone, he certainly has the talent to be honoured by ‘Kid’. Frank Sinatra had a big hit with this next one, ‘Give Me Five Minutes More’. Again, there was lots of dancing, with the audience joining in once more, singing along with Chez. John added a remark about calling Geoff “One Direction Cole” when they played ‘Louisiana’. Don’t you just love the banter that goes on between musicians during ‘Live’ gigs, you don’t get that on many C.D’s. Louis Armstrong’s famed ‘St. James Infirmary Blues’ was sung by Chez and was absolutely fabulous – lots of dancing. They also played ‘Blue Bells Goodbye’ (a tune recorded by Ken Colyer). We did our line-dance to ‘Downtown Strutter’s Ball’. Afterwards, John called out he wondered where the ‘Roly Polys’ had gone to – ha, thanks for the compliment John, they were great dancers. If you want to hear more, they are at Welling Jazz Club lunchtimes, every first Sunday of the month.
Enjoy jazz – and don’t think it is old fashion to do so, most TV adverts are backed with jazz!!!!!
Diane & Keith