Author Topic: Jazz  (Read 1490 times)

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Ian

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Jazz
« on: September 26, 2010, 08:12:56 AM »
Anything about Jazz
“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”   ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Trojan

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Re: Jazz
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 08:27:40 AM »
The Blue Notes courtesy of forum member Mike Cox:

"It was a big wooden marching bass drum: one you strapped over your shoulders, rested on your belly and banged at both sides with beaters; the pride of Kitchener's army! And there was a matching snare drum. They were buried under years of dust and debris. "What!", said Len Goodey, "You can't use those in a jazz band, but have them if you want. They're no good to us."

We'd found them in the Llandudno Youth Club store room. In the early 1950s, "We" were 14 and 15-year-old fans of Louis Armstrong, Humph and Chris Barber who had decided to form a jazz group of our own. Eddie and Lou just had amazing ambition - they'd never played an instrument before. I was just starting to learn clarinet.

Glyn Dryhurst was posher. A fine musician already, he had played trumpet in the National Youth Orchestra and later blew himself a career as a pro.

Eddie fancied himself as a Gene Krupa and grabbed at the chance of the old Youth Club drums. Arvell Shaw (Sachmo's bass player) was one of Glyn Lou's heroes so the youth club threw in an old cello, a good size match for Lou.

After we got ourselves a bandroom in Jubilee Street (later Back Lloyd Street, then Market Street) and raised our first wailings. Lou found the cello wouldn't get down to the bass notes so we broke an old piano up, took the bass strings off that, and fixed them on the cello. The piano strings were steel - and Lou's fingers soon a bloody wound.

The racket we made aroused interest and we were joined by Alan Hughes (Dyffryn Dairy) who had us falling about at his first appearance when he stood up, stuck one leg up on the piano and tried to imitate Little Richard. Colin "Woggsy" Mullen appeared with a weather beaten alto sax and began his regular habit of playing it sitting flat on the floor with his knees around his ears. John Williams (Dippy), a refugee from the town band, brought his trombone. Another eccentric who suffered the butt of band humour, John developed into an excellent jazz trombone player.

Slowly it all came together and we made some good sounds, getting and giving a lot of pleasure over quite a few years. The Blue Notes, over time, became a minor Llandudno institution, starting the town's first jazz club in Payne's Corner House. Quite a few notable musicians joined as others left: especially Bill Jones and George Brookes who really evolved into accomplished jazzmen, as well as being first class straight musicians in the town band; and Barry Jones on drums who in the mid seventies also played in Glyn Dryhurst's Rhythm Machine at the Stage Door (another story!)"

Quiggs

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Re: Jazz
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2010, 12:21:30 AM »
My friends and I also enjoyed being part of the 'Bluenotes' as friends and fans. I assisted as a roadie as and when req. My father had an old Vauxhall 6, one gig was around Bethesda and I borrowed the Vauxhall to transport them. Eddie's Drums on the roof rack, Glyn's bass on a carrier on the back, and as many as we could cram inside, with the other instruments.  Oh happy days. They would probably lock you up if tried today.    :o
Dictum Meum Pactum

Micox

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Re: Jazz
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 04:56:34 PM »
Quiggs also had a VW beetle that we took to a gig in a caravan park above Abergele. The clutch went and I drove it home by double declutching (crunchingly!). He was an indispensable part of the band and later on his home made beer was an indispensable part of the band - oooooffff.....   ZXZ
Micox

Micox

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Re: Jazz - the most unusual gig of the year.
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 10:25:36 PM »
Had a wonderful experience this spring. In February, saw an ad in the local Norwich paper asking for sax players interested in playing with 200 others as an opener to the Norfolk and Norwich Arts Festival. Replied and after six rehearsals 200 of us, comprising schoolchildren, amateurs and professionals, performed Andy Sheppard's 'The Living Bridge' on May 6th. Andy and Orphy Robinson conducting it (well waving their arms at us anyway) - what lovely unassuming people - and achieving the miraculous feat of melding 200 baritone, tenor, alto and soprano saxes (I played soprano) together in just six meetings. The performance was a huge success with Andy and three other London pros (never got their names) soloing over our ensemble. This piece has been performed internationally just six or seven times now and examples can be found on YouTube. It is billed as Sax Massive and I have the T Shirt to prove it. Our video isn't out yet but here's a taster, recorded at Brunel Uni.

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Micox