Friday, July 20, 2007

The Swanage Jazz Festival Part 3

Having eventually digested lunch my next musical experience was to hear an hour of Andy Coopers Top Eight. Some of you will remember that Andy was the clarinet player with Kenny Ball’s Jazzmen, and is famous for his rendition of “I wanna be like you” otherwise known as “I’m the King of the Jungle”. The Top Eight were really some very good mainstream musicians, including John Barnes (soon to be a guest of ours again at Fifield) with Ian Bateman on trombone, and Enrico Tomasso on trumpet. An excellent band. My only disappointment with this set was that I only got an hour of it!

Next was a quick look at Carol Sudhalter again, this time with Greg Abate on alto.
Then it was time for proper food!! One of the wonderful things about this years jazz festival for me was that the nurse who looked after me when I collapsed at the festival 6 years ago, came down from Staffordshire with her husband to be with me again this year, and I had a couple of very enjoyable meals with them both. This one was the steak!!

That evening I saw singer Liz Fletcher with Dave Newton on piano (I think, it might have been Robin Aspland, my memory isn’t up to scratch on that, because I did see both pianists over the weekend), but again, I felt disappointed by the event. I thought she wasn’t at her best.

The main event of my evening was to add moral support to Mike Wills, who was playing in a 2 reed led band, with guitarist Dave Moorwood called “Dave Moorwood’s Rascals of Rhythm”. The initial set was ruined by disastrous sound balance, the middle set was better, and the audience reappeared (they had voted with their feet!), and the final set was very entertaining. In amongst the rascals was a large American lady singer named Susan Valliant Spear (surely a name made up from out of a war game). Said lady was definitely a hit. She made three appearances, and each time in a different glam dress. Definitely one cast in a Sophie Tucker mould, she really did add a large dollop of glamour to the evening. My favourite comment about her came from her own lips. Just appearing in a glittering red dress, with all the trimming brought a great cheer from the crowd, whereupon she said, “Well if you cant hide it, flaunt it!” And so she did! Mike, as usual, was the star player, and I am really looking forward to getting him back with us towards the end of August.

And so to bed, to be refreshed for another day of wall to wall JAZZ. And you dear readers can get ready for part 4.


Geoff C

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