Tony Pitt’s All Stars, 30/8/2013

TONY PITT’S ALL STARS, here last Friday, 30th August 2013, was as expected, BRILLIANT.  TONY PITT, a fabulous banjo player (as mentioned last week), had put together a fantastic bunch of musicians, some of the best names in British jazz and we did not exaggerate.  ROY WILLIAMS was on trombone and as written, was voted No.1 jazz trombonist of the year, on four consecutive years during 1980’s.  He has played with Terry Lightfoot, Alex Welsh and Humphrey Littleton Bands and has guested with many more international stars such as Bud Freeman, Wild Bill Davison and Ruby Braff, it certainly shows.  We were very proud he agreed to play for us – his first and we certainly hope not the last.   ALAN GRESTY was on trumpet.  He has played with Monty Sunshine’s Band for many years.  AL NICHOLLS on soprano & tenor sax (also his first time at Farnborough and hope he returns too).  He has played with Paul Gelato and Blue HarlemANDY LAWRENCE was on double bass and (as previously said last week) was also with Terry Lightfoot for many years.  JOHN ELLMER was on drums.  We found, no CV for him, but Keith and I could vouch for him –he’s brilliant, but what I didn’t tell you, was he is also a marvellous clarinet player (not that he played it last Friday).  Tony’s CV is with such great bands as Alex Welsh, Mike Cotton, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Alan Elsdon, Laurie Chescoe, Terry Lightfoot and our old friend, Phil Mason.  Right at the start, it was full-on hot, hot jazz with their first number ‘I Found a New Baby’.  Next was ‘Lily of the Valley’, with great solos and sung by Alan and of course audience participation (fabulous sax).  ‘Some of These Days’ was superb, with the front line playing a little bit of ‘bells’ (similar to that number ‘Chimes Blues).  Then they played ‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’, with amazing solos from everyone.  The next number was Roy’s feature, called ‘I Love You, Samantha’.  Roy said he hadn’t played it in years.  You wouldn’t have guessed it though, he played it with such sympathy, so beautiful.  Fats Waller’s number ‘Keeping out of Mischief’ was followed with ‘S Wonderful’, which was Alan’s feature.  What a great young player he is – wow.  ‘Davenport Blues’ was Alan’s feature (I was dancing and hadn’t written a remark, except “so pure”, I think that says it all!   They finished off with ‘Blues My Naughty Sweetie’.  What an excellent ending – brilliant.

Look out for Tony’s next date with us, being 18th October 2013.  I wonder who he will book for that date.  Whoever they will be, they cannot better last week, but if it is as good, DON’T MISS IT!

Nice to be able to write such words – but they are all true!!!!

Diane and Keith

Farnborough Jazz Club

‘Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me’ – Charles McCarron, Casey Morgan & Arthur Swanstrom (1919)
‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’ – (m) Jean Schwartz, (l) William Jerome (1910)
‘Davenport Blues’ – Bix Beiderbecke (1925) – named after his hometown.
‘I Found a New Baby’ – Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams (1926)
‘I Love you, Samantha’ – Cole Porter (1956)
‘Keeping out Of Mischief Now’ – Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller (circa 1920’s, r.1937)
‘Lily of the Valley’ – hymn written by William Charles Fry (1837–1882) in London for the Salvation Army.  Ira D. Sankey arranged the words to the music of “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” composed by Will Hays
‘Some of These Days’ – Shelton Brooks (1909)
‘S Wonderful’ – (m) George Gershwin, (l) Ira Gershwin (1927)