Sunday, May 13, 2007

From Dixieland to Swing The Front Line

Hi everyone.

This is just a short report on how Fridays concert went.

First of all,there are many to thank for helping to make the evening such a pleasant musical event, not least the band. It was really great to have Mike Wills back playing for us again, and the combination of Mike and Clive, with the addition of John Slater on trumpet was just right for the music being played (mostly Chicago style Dixieland). They were incisive, their harmonies were (for impromptu arrangement) magical, and the rhythm section of John Money, Zane Cronje and Martin Hart, kept the whole event swinging too.

I heard one or two comments from the audience. One lady was heard to say that "Zanes hands could excite her"! and after Martin's Gene Kruppa style drum solo near the end of the show one jazz regular was heard to say it "has put him in a new light". Martin's solo really was show stopping, well, the audience stopped talking anyway!! Joking aside, it did really cause a few jaws to drop!!

And the finale? I personally have never heard Clive sing, but with John Slater also singing, they made a terrific job of "Hit That Jive Jack". I know that our regular Hedsor gig is more for the boppers of this world, but I for one, would love to reassemble Fridays cast and do it all again at Hedsor. Musically the concert was just great.

The room was also great to look at, warm and friendly, and I must thank Helen and Michael Weinblatt (together with some family associates!) for taking charge of laying it all out and in helping to clear it all away again. Thanks team.

What wasn't so cheering was the size of the audience. It was nice enough to show the band that they had one, but not nearly large enough to give Cancer Research the sort of sum we have been able to give them in the past. Some final monies are still to be received, but at the moment I am in a position to give £260 to Cancer Research UK. This is well down on previous years.

We have now run 5 events for CRUK, 4 being at Bourne End Community Centre, and I really will have to think hard about running another in this same format again.

A good time however was had by all, and I am grateful to all who turned out, either to play, help or simply be an audience.

As I keep saying, in jazz, the audience is as important as the musicians. Without an audience we cannot keep live jazz alive.

Geoff C

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