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Well my Tribute to Bob Champion went much better that I could have possibly hoped for. We had an audience of 70 which was 20 more than I expected so all my expenses were covered.
I started the concert by announcing that there were three people who had the most influence in my jazz education. They were Cole Mathieson for founding the famous Concorde club where I could talk to musicians that he had booked.
John Edgar Mann, the Echo jazz critic was another. Many was the time at the original Yellow Dog at the Portswood Hotel now the Hobbit, I would ask John the names of tunes and in the last years of his life when his mind was slipping, at the Talking Heads when the Solent City had a residency sometimes he would ask me ‘Joe what was that one called ?’. The pupil was telling his teacher, and the reason for having the concert was for me to pay my tribute to Bob Champion Botley’s Mr Jazz. Although I didn’t know Bob that well at the time (1957 to 61) he was a fountain of knowledge on jazz. I remember inviting him and Andy to my 50th birthday party at the Abby Hotel in Romsey.
Of the twenty tunes they played my favourite was Just a Closer Walk with Thee The way they played it was typical of a New Orleans funeral. Going to the cemetery very slow in ‘Dirge’ time and when the body was to use the local term ‘Cut Loose’ buried playing happy jazz. The standout musician was clarinettist Jesper Campion Larson who played with so much emotion and feeling. He must be the best clarinettist who plays in that idiom today.
Our next gig is on the 27th when we have Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic band. Why she calls it thus is anybody’s guess but she did live in America for quite some time marrying a well-known trombone musician, Big Bill Bissonnette. Sarah has been likened to Captain John Handy the late great Tenor Saxophone player (by me) Joining Sarah will be King Billett. On bass is John Arthy the founder of the famous Pasadena Orchestra. Andy Maynard will be on banjo and Rod Brown on drums.
Jazzy Joe, firstname.lastname@example.org or 023 8086 9720
Newsletters from 2018