Monday 10 December 2018 *Thanks very much to John Habes for this write-up*
There was a very good turnout at Griffin Park Jazz Club for the 2018 Christmas Party, and we welcomed back Bob Dwyer and his “Bix & Pieces” for a varied selection from their large repertoire, with an accent on the lighter – hearted jazz (both familiar and unusual) as befitted the season and occasion, to set us dancing and foot-tapping.
Trombone, vocals – Bob Dwyer
Trumpet – Malcolm Walton
Sax, clarinet – Sarah Spencer
Bass sax, double bass – John Bayne
Banjo – David Price
Keyboard, vocals – Hugh Crosier
After opening with Earl “Fatha” Hines’ Rosetta from 1933, and Kid Ory’s classic Savoy Blues the Irving Berlin 1927 evergreen Puttin’ On The Ritz reminded us of Fred Astaire and the musical and film that we see on Christmas TV. Bix Beiderbeck’s Woverines Riverboat Shuffle then took us back to New Orleans in 1924 (and 1927 with Frankie Trumbauer).
Hugh Crosier on piano gave us one of his superb trademark solos with Jelly Roll Morton’s Frog I More before Sarah Spencer put down her sax to become our Jazz Diva for the night. She sang a couple of brilliant blues, the unique A Million Dreams and later a rousing rendition of Jelly Roll Morton’s Big Lip Blues.
Returning to the musicals, from Sunny Side the 1929 Janet Gay song beloved everyone from Paul Whiteman and Bing Crosby to Alex Welsh and The Temperance 7 If I Had had A Talking Picture Of You was followed by Hard Hearted Hannah another comedy classic from Vernon Dalhart in 1924 that was reprised by many over the decades including Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. Much loved ballads Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust and the Ray Noble and Al Bowlly 1934 hit Midnight, The Stars, And You eased the evening towards its close. The finale was a request from Fluff and Mick, a rousing rip- roaring rendition of Louis Jordan’s Jump Blues anthem Caldonia which had them up on the dance floor, and the band’s closing signature tune Kenny Ball’s So Do I brought a really great evening to a close.
Thanks everyone who came to support live jazz in Brentford, to Bob and the band, Bryan and the organisers, and everyone who donated raffle prizes. A special thanks is also due to Graham and Jackie for providing the delicious seasonal buffet again this year, a big part of making it such a special evening.
Wishing a very merry Christmas and a happy , prosperous New Year to all our friends, the Griffin Park Jazz Club returns on Monday 7th January 2019, and the 2nd Monday in every month.