22. “A Band of my Own” – 1987 – 199?
I never intended, when starting this rambling ‘Diary’ to actually make it relevant to playing Jazz. It was supposed to be just ‘other things’. But as I gradually get older, I find that memories flood back when looking at old photographs… and isn’t that just what ‘old photographs’ are meant for? While trying to fill in the irritating spaces in this ‘Diary’ web-page, some photographs were looked at. Including this one.
Rest assured, dear reader, I have no idea whatever, what this gig was about, or even when it was. It was probably in the early 1990s. I started my little band – a quartet at first – in 1987. Later it became a quintet as seen here, with the addition of percussion. The thing that most struck me about this shot, was that of the five musicians portrayed, and all of whom appear to be at peace with the world, only two are still with us. (Myself on the left, and Terry McGrath, centre.) I imagine our client took this photo. of the band, and kindly sent us a copy later. It gives us – me, that is – much food for thought… I’m sure our clients liked the music though. Otherwise they would not have bothered to forward the photo… This band, by the way, had as its ‘core intention’, to play old-time Jazz in a melodic way. Chris. Williams played percussion, but he was also a very fine cornet and tuba player. Alas he died about 7 or 8 years ago. My old school-friend John Osborne played clarinet, alto & baritone saxophone, though he hasn’t got his baritone with him on this gig. He died about three years ago. Banjoist Bruce Jongman passed away about five years ago.
But what did this band sound like? I am not ashamed to provide a link to a short mp3 of one of our recordings; though I must give credit to those who actually played on it. Three of the above musicians were present: myself, John Osborne on reeds, and Terry McGrath on sousaphone. Dennis Mowatt played banjo, and Nick Ward was on drums on this sample of the delightful 1928 tune ‘Sweet Ella Mae’. It was recorded in 1993. Just click here to listen to a short extract.
Page written 3rd January 2009.