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The Jam Sheet

29th March, 2017. 12:30 am. Nighty night

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28th March, 2017. 8:51 pm. Mellowed out at Meole Brace

Gig report: The Chicago Swing Katz at the Brooklands Hotel Meole Brace. 12th March 2017

This is the second time I have seen the Swing Katz which could be described as a West Midlands Jazz Super group as it has something of an all star line up of the local scene featuring many familiar faces from bands such as the Heart of England Jazz band, the Brian Jones Big Band and the Derek Harrison Trio, though I will hasten to add I am not sure if the line up was the same last time I saw them which was several years ago when Jazz Club 90 was still at the Harp in Albrighton. The venue itself is quite a nice venue which the band performing in a function room as to not cause a conflict of interest with any late diners or locals out for a drink and a few games of pool, there is a good selection of local ales including Wood’s Shropshire Lad the Three Tuns XXX pale ale.
The Band:
Pete Ainge: Trumpet
Roy Sainsbury: Guitar
Derek Harrison: Keys
Dave Margaroni: Bass
Mike Blakesley: Trombone
Jeff Matthews: Reeds
Mike Carnie: Drums.

The evening got off to a flying start with that well worn standard (Back Home Again in) Indiana which rattled along with the band giving it one hundred percent, Pete Ainge provided the vocal refrain which was delivered in aplomb and like Frankie Trambaur or Nat Gonella, his sings with a reasonable every man charm about him. The next number was a well known Dixieland standard composed by Nick La Rocca called the ‘Tiger Rag’ and was chosen to represent the work of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band because this year marks the centenary of the first Jazz record. La Rocca makes some wild claims of creating the genre as too did Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton both of which can easily dismissed as arrogant claims and the former is tainted heavily with racism, but I’m not here to give the ins and outs of the origins of Jazz. This was first of two ODJB numbers in the first set, the latter towards the end and apparently being in D-flat (a running joke for the night).. Tiger Rag feature solos by Blakesley on Trombone, Peter Ainge impressing with a muted trumpet solo and finally a solo by Roy Sainsbury. Here part of the front line broke away for Jeff Matthews’ feature piece which when he announced he was going to play an Acker Bilk composition he had always wanted to play my mind, and probably several others, immediately thought of Stranger on the Shore, this was quickly quashed when he mentioned a release date of 1973. The tune in question was Aria, I know I have heard it before but it is some which seldom gets played and I think the reason why can be explained here. After doing a bit of looking for the sheet music, a long term member of the audience called Tex had come up trumps and found not only the sheet music for the piece but also the chords as well and when handed over to Harrison it transpired the music was written in the key of D-Flat. Now for those of you who are no overtly musical, the key of D-flat is seldom used for Jazz tunes and tends to be used for more serious classical pieces and playing it in D-Flat would me Jeff “would be playing the Clarinet upside down” and as such it was transposed to a more appropriate key. Pity really as that would have been great fun to watch… Anyway the piece is more sober and miles away from Stranger on the Shore and was a nice change of pace for the evening. The band reassembled and the set closed with two numbers: Sweethearts on Parade which featured a vocal refrain from Pete Ainge and I will confess I had never head the lyrics before and after hearing them I think I understand why it is usually instrumental; the final number of the set bought us back to the ODJB with the Original Dixieland One-Step which had a small false start due to an error in the sheet music (not that it was in D-Flat) and proceeded by Derek telling an amusing story about Neil Armstrong’s famous quote of “good luck Mr. Grotsky”.

The second set opened with Honeysuckle Rose, a Fats Waller composition which got everyone back in the mood.

Now I didn’t make many notes for the second set but I do recall they played Tishamingo Blues, Stevedore Stomp and Running Wild. The gig closed with the Dixieland anthem which is Bourbon Street Parade and they even managed a brolly parade…. albeit one made with the budget of a cheap episode of Blake’s 7.

Overall a great night and I look forward to seeing the boys in April.

Make Notes

28th March, 2017. 12:12 am. And now Jazz

Bird and Diz

Illinois Jacquet

J J Johnson

Monty Sunshine

Bud Powell in a Tatum mood

Buddy Rich

Stanley Clarke

Joe Pass

Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney

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25th March, 2017. 12:38 am. Good Night Jazz

Ben Webster and his weeping tenor playing a Sinatra associated number

Thelonius Monk, curiously the original is much more like being freaked by noises at night as opposed to the more balladic version of later takes

Kenny Ball

Artie Shaw

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23rd March, 2017. 5:29 pm. Jazz in the Afternoon

British Singer Clare Teal.

Another Brit: Anita Wardell

Mel Tormé

Seth MacFarlane (yes that one)

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23rd March, 2017. 1:00 pm. The Warren

Dr Webster approached the seated committee, clipboard in hand and stood before them a little nervously.
"Well doctor, what are your findings?" asked Wilson, the head of facility.
"I discovered some interesting things about this virus of yours," began Dr Webster. "My first guess was that it was some kind of blood born infection due the discolouration of  the skin, so I ran several blood tests and it appears not to be the case. So I looked at respiratory infections and that gave me a better start and I followed through the symptoms and I believe that I have a result of your mystery plague."

"That's fantastic news," answered the second in command Johnson.
Dr Webster sighed, "Well the first thing is... it isn't a plague."
"Are you sure?" queried Wilson, "we are a biological research facility, is it possible this is just something new?"
"I considered that but somethings didn't add up."
"Such as?" asked Johnson.
"There is no sign of cross infection among the staff before the first reported case, you'd expect more people to show signs of early infection sooner. The people who suffer seem to fall victim in unusual places and there is a pattern to who is falling ill. At first I thought it just down to the nature of the facility and the people's jobs. But unusually people fall ill within forty five minutes which is a very fast moving infection..." He paused for dramatic effect.
"Oh stop with the theatre tricks," growled Wilson.
"Well it is two other unusual aspects that are unlike any virus I have ever encountered. Firstly it only affects people in locked rooms and secondly it removes pages from books," said Dr Webster sternly producing an exercise book from the top of the clipboard and showed the committee his findings. "Read the text, these are pages pulled out in frustration, these have been deliberately removed. Your plague isn't a virus, it is a saboteur."

via Daily Prompt: Symptom

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23rd March, 2017. 12:43 am. Sleepy time guy

I was going to write my Chicago Swing Katz report but I am pooped so in the words of Venus Smith

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22nd March, 2017. 5:46 pm. Some late afternoon Jazz

The late British Pianist Michael Garrick

E.S.T with the Stockholm Symphony Orchestra

Tubby Hayes, another legend of Brit Jazz

Dexter Gordon (is it me or does he look a bit like Obama?)

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21st March, 2017. 3:53 pm. Share Your World 21st March 2017

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I guess I would probably say about forty and keep it vague, I've often had people say I was an old man (or rather like one of the teachers who were mostly around 40 save one or two either way) ever since I was a teenager, so there must be something in my character traits which decrees older. Of course 40 isn't that far away from me now..

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

To crib a certain Mr. Henry Lillis Crosby I let a smile be my umbrella, I don't really have much truck with umbrellas as they are cumbersome and intrusive (plus potentially dangerous if a spoke come loose) to other people. I have Yorkshire blood flowing through my veins so when I see rain I think "ooooh I'd better put me big coat on."

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone?

  I would say I would discharge energy by going out with friends, I don't mean that in a bad sense more that like a battery you can only re-charge so many times without completely discharging before the length of the charge begins to diminish quicker.

I would certainly say I was discharging here:


I believe that was post brewery trip to Stonehouse.

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend  to have in common.

Since I am currently spouse and partner-less lets look at my best friend, the question is which one? Kathy- well we both like photography though I prefer being behind the camera then being in front of it- whereas Kathy is at ease on both sides of the and has modelled for me a few times. We both like the Marvel Comics Universe movies such as Captain America, X-Men etc. and we both enjoy the works of Stephen King, if memory serves it was her who put me on to reading his books.


This is an entry in Cee's Share Your World series

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21st March, 2017. 9:11 am. Good Morning

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