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Last Updated 01 April 2018 19:21

The quarterly newsletters are written by Joe Croll and are his personal account of activities at the club during that period. The opinions and comments contained in the newsletters are the sole responsibility of the author. If you have any observations to make please ring or email joecroll@sky.com

Newsletter – January, February & March 2018

We kicked off the 2018 season with a bang, literally when the microphone went bang just as Wendy was about to speak. I won’t mention his name but the clarinet player, Loz Garfield, was entrusted to bring a working microphone with him but he obviously forgot the carpenter’s rule, measure twice, cut once so Wendy had to shout her announcements at the beginning of the evening. Oh dear I have just realised I have mentioned Loz Garfield by name. They started with 1919 Rag and went on to play another 23 tunes including Canal Street Blues; Wabash and Savoy Blues, sending us home with Maryland My Maryland.

I have noticed that we have a member from Italy so I am including a paragraph in her language as a courtesy to our friend:

La ringrazio per la Sua fedeltà, Tiziana. L’Italia è uno dei più bei paesi che io abbia mai visto. Ci sono stato un bel po’ di volte perché mia sorella era agente consolare a Firenze. Quello che mi piaceva di più era la magnifica architettura e l’arte. Mi ricordo la mia prima visita ai famosissimi Uffizi dove ho visto dei dipinti di Giotto, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Botticelli e tanti altri. Ho visitato anche la Borghese a Roma e l’Accademia a Venezia. Venezia è famosa per i quadri di Tiziano. Se ha mai l’occasione di andare a Venezia, vada a vedere la chiesa di Santa Maria dei Frari per ammirare due dei suoi dipinti meravigliosi. L’Italia mi piace molto; ho persino sposato una bellissima signora calabrese. Translation "Thank you for your patronage Tiziana. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries that I have ever visited. I have been their many times as my Sister used to be the British Consul in Florence. The attraction for me was the beautiful art and architecture. I remember my first visit to the world famous Uffizi art gallery seeing paintings by Giotto, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli and many more. Other galleries I have visited include the Borghese in Rome, the Academia in Venice. Venice is famous for the works of Titian. If you ever visit Venice do drop in to the Santa Maria Dei Frari church to see two of his magnificent paintings. I must like Italy; I married a beautiful lady from Calabria."

Our February band, John Shillito’s, was better received this year than last year but I feel they are more suited to a concert environment as opposed to a jazz club one. Moving on to March when we were entertained by the New Orleans Jazz Bandits despite having no heat on. The previous week Salisbury, like the rest of the country, was covered in snow which resulted in our Gas supply not being delivered in time for our gig. Wendy had the presence of mind to notify our members so obviously our numbers were down but as usual the Raffle saved us from a catastrophe. We had 59 brave souls who shammied and shimmied their way through the evening. Nearly all the dancers came from one table and apart from showing us their dancing skills, nine of them did a dance called the Charleston Stroll.

Wendy displayed her excellent ‘Sales Table’ which included various magazines, beads and many Jazz Cassettes and CDs. One was Kenny Ball’s Midnight in Moscow which was rather apt considering the recent incident in Salisbury. I remember when it was popular in 1962. At the time I was in New York and every music shop on Broadway was playing it. I’m sure Kenny was a good musician but did nothing for New Orleans jazz.

This year we had an extra gig thanks to the visit of Doc Houlind’s Revival All Stars from Denmark. When I was offered the gig even though it wasn’t on our usual 2nd Friday I jumped at the chance, having had a near sell out last year. As I have been having trouble with my computer lately, the following is a tribute to all the Grandmas and Grandpas who have been fearless and learnt to use the Computer.

The computer swallowed up grandpa, yes, honestly its true, he pressed ‘control and enter’ and disappeared from view, it devoured him completely, the thought just makes me squirm, he must have caught a virus or been eaten by a worm. I’ve searched through the recycle bin and files of every kind; I’ve even used the internet, but nothing did I find. In desperation, I asked Jeeves. My searches to refine, the reply was negative, not a thing was found ‘on line’ So, if inside your ‘Inbox’ my Grandpa you should see, please ‘Copy, Scan’ and ‘Paste’ him and send him back to me.

Thank you for your support from the Salisbury Jazz Club team, Wendy, Paddy and Joe

PS I did not realise it was the season of lent in the Christian calendar until I saw the following on a church notice board 'The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals'.

Newsletter – October, November & December 2017

What a lovely surprise I had when our October band, New Orleans Jazz Bandits finished their first number. What a difference they sound from when Colin Kingwell ran the band. I believe the main reason was newcomer Alan Beechey on cornet. Alan has brought a breath of fresh air to this 60 year old band. I first heard the band some 30 years ago, drummer Malc Murphy is the only one remaining. John laws, clarinet and Doug Kennedy banjo, now play with the Solent City Jazzmen. Bass player, Terry Knight and trumpeter Dave Clennell now play for that jazz band in the sky.

Colin and the late Pat Halcox of Chris Barber fame were teenage friends but did you know Pat started out on trombone and Colin, trumpet? Well now you do also Colin favoured the Classical style playing things like Jelly Roll Morton’s Seattle Hunch and Tank Town Bump before adopting the New Orleans style in the 70s.

In November we had Tim Eyles. If I was the band leader and I saw the dance floor nearly empty it would indicate to me I was playing the wrong tunes or that I was playing to fast so why couldn’t Tim see what so many of us did. Tim is a very good musician and had good musicians with him on stage also it would have been nice if they had played in a New Orleans style and he sang 90% of the tunes, I would have preferred 10%. On the plus side we had two new dancers at the club who hardly left the floor all night. The standard is getting better with every gig. Last year I mentioned Stephen and Stephanie James and Peter Hudson and his partner oh lal la Liss how good they were dancing a style called the Balboa, since then a young Bella Italian lady, Tiziana and partner John now grace our club with their dancing skills. I get the impression Tiziana would like the band never to stop playing such is her enthusiasm for dancing.

During my table to table visits at the October gig I got talking to Steve and Stef James who told me about a cultural event I might be interested in so on Saturday November 11th saw me in Romsey Abby listening to the Verdi Requiem performed by the Romsey Choral Society and Southern Sinfonia. I now know what Steve does when not doing the Balboa at the club; he is singing bass in the choir. With the amazing acoustics it made for a most enjoyable evening.

Our Christmas party night was a huge success with 104 happy jazzers in the club thanks to Wendy’s publicity talent. She encouraged everyone to bring snacks and she had designated table numbers so our regulars had their usual seats. She was helped by Irene Green and Janet Frost to decorate the tables, and get us all in a festive mood, thank you ladies. My thanks also to Paddy Hunt who greets you as you enter the club.

Dave Stradwick’s Sussex Jazz Kings gave us a memorable evening of jazz. Due to an illness Dave had to pull out only to be substituted by Cuff Billett, the king of New Orleans trumpeters. As drummer Pete Lay was in charge he asked us if we had any requests. I counted at least six, it’s so nice when a band play tunes that the audience requests.

This year I gave the Club Person of the year award to Lionel and Irene Green for their dedicated service to our club. They regularly month in month out put posters up in Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire spreading the message. On behalf of all club members, our sincere thanks to two very nice people.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and are now ready for another great year of New Orleans jazz starting on the 12th when we have The New Europa Jazz Band. The band is led by King Billett, trumpet, John Wiseman trombone, Loz Garfield clarinet,Terry Wood banjo. Ray Goold double bass and Pete Jackman drums. I have been reassured the band will be bringing a microphone this year so we won’t have to strain our ears to hear any announcements.

And so begins the Salisbury Jazz Clubs 39th birthday and my 78th

Jazzy Joe - 023 8086 9720

Newsletter – July, August & September 2017

July saw us have our ‘Dress for Summer’ gig when the Sussex Jazz Kings entertained us. It was lovely to see so many of you dressed for the occasion in all your Summer attire also the band showed up with their Hawaiian outfits even down to a Deck chair draped with a towel. I am sure you all know whose idea that was. They will be back with us on December 8th for our Christmas party night. Tickets will be on sale at our next gig.

Recently I was doing some research into the origins of dancing to jazz music. Congo Square in New Orleans was where jazz dancing was performed by Black slaves owned by their Christian masters who allowed them to congregate and dance on a Sunday way back in the early 19th century. Moving on a hundred years and we had the Lindy Hop which was first danced in 1927, although it contained elements of earlier dances, such as the Shimmy and the Black Bottom it was something new. The Lindy Hop became the specialty of the Savoy Ballroom in New York. The world at large became aware of the Lindy Hop by 1935 when white dancers also began doing it. Someone dubbed them ‘jitterbugs’ and latter jive. With the advent of World War Two, American servicemen came to Britain and showed us how to do it. Initially it was greeted with hysterical condemnation; much of the comments carried a whiff of racism. Over here no one choreographed these frenetic gyrations, so we just made it up on the dance floor with our partners.

I shocked my parents one evening in the mid 50s when they saw me jiving in a contest but grudgingly gave me their blessing when I won. Up to then they had no idea what their innocent son got up to on a Saturday night. The rest my of life has been downhill ever since, visiting sleazy jazz clubs both here and in America, and fortunately meeting some delectable and luscious jiving partners…………………………I even married one of them.

The Golden Eagle entertained us in August as only they can. Inspired by the music of the ‘Revival’ Kevin Scott has put together a band who like to see the dance floor full. With the addition of Malc Murphy on drums (7 years with Ken Colyer) they now have a very good New Orleans sounding one.

Last month we had the return of the Cuff Billett’s New Europa Jazz Band. They were missing the bass player because he forgot to put the gig in his diary and what a difference it made, however on the plus side we had Salisbury’s own Ted Wood on Banjo. What a treat it is to listen to this band playing acoustically.

I have always wondered what the definition of musical terms are. Between a Bass Clef and a B Flat I still have my doubts.

Obbligato – being forced to practice. Allegro – a little car. Metronome – short, city musician who can fit into a Honda Civic. Lento – leading up to Easto. Con Sprito – drunk again. Colla Voce – this shirt is so tight I can’t sing. Flats – English apartments. Melody – an ancient, now almost extinct art, in songwriting. Prelude – warm-up before the clever stuff. Cords – things organists play with one finger. Discords – things that organists play with two fingers. Suspended Cords – useful for lynching the vocalist.

Jazzy Joe 023 8086 9780

PS Plan ahead-it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

Newsletter - April, May & June 2017

Our April band was a huge success when the Savannah entertained us. The floor was full all evening which was testament to the varied tempos the band played. Being a Good Friday I was apprehensive on how many members would show up. As it turned out my concerns were totally unfounded when 93 of you lovely jazzers came through the door which broke a record since I took over three years ago, not including our Christmas party nights. This year the trombone player, Brian ‘Sam’ Ellis brought his Keyboard and together with trumpeter Bill Smith also playing his Harmonica was able to add something extra especially when they played ‘Nothing Blues’ and ‘Just like a Woman’ which had a hint of good old Rock and Roll. Other numbers I remember were ‘One Sweet Letter from You’ and ‘Hymn to Freedom’ composed by the great Canadian pianist, Oscar Peterson played beautifully in the chalumeau register by Roger Myerscough on clarinet with just the rhythm section and as they always do they sent us home playing Ken Colyer’s ‘Going Home’ which Ken composed in his prison cell in New Orleans awaiting to be deported back to the UK in the early 50’s.

Recently I had an Email from Ray Harris who is house bound but would like to donate his collection of Jazz Journals from 1955 to 1960 all in pristine condition. Ray can be contacted on 01722 712439. It would be nice to see the journals go to a good home so give Ray a call.

Moving on to May when local artist, Ray Brotherton brought along some of his jazz paintings to be displayed. His exhibition called ‘Lets Dance’ is being shown at the Five Rivers Leisure Centre until July 16th. I would love any feedback on Rays Jazz paintings please.

Our ‘Dep’ band, John Shillito’s was eventually well received. Unfortunately the band that was booked, Brian Carrick’s Algiers Stompers had to cancel due to Brian being laid low with a serious back problem. Unlike other bands who will accept a gig, Brian will not send a ‘Dep’ musician; it’s the full band or nothing.

As John Shillito’s band had never played at the club before they experimented in the first set but all credit to John he did ask if they were too loud. By the 2nd and 3rd sets they had it sussed and played very well according to the feed-back I received. The barometer I use is how many dancers are on the floor. The tempos were mixed from very slow to quite fast which included Memphis Blues, Second Line and Choo Choo Ch’Bogie……………………… My only minor quibble, John sang nearly every number.

What a memory Wendy has, while I can’t remember what I did yesterday, during her announcements she told us that the trombone player, Bobby Fox, was in the band the very first time she heard live jazz in Salisbury, 55 years ago!

What a treat we had last month when the New Orleans Z’hulus were our guests. This is a Belgium based band now led by Brian Turnock from London who lives over there. On your behalf I have tried to follow in the foot-steps of Margaret and Geoff in bringing the best bands to our club. Did you notice they played without the need for microphones just like the New Orleans bands did years ago? If only other bands had the confidence and ability to do the same, I wish, I wish. I was very impressed with the rhythm section comprising of Brian Turnock on bass, Paul Sealy banjo and guitar and Emile Martyn-Godfrey drums. Brian’s ‘Slap’ style, Pauls ‘Pica to style and Emile’s ‘Press Roll style.

Due the absence of Tina from Gillingham, Wendy helped me with the raffle, but being a wise lady she preserve her modesty when drawing the winning ticket by preventing me from the only pleasure I get in life by trying to peek at her cleavage …………………………… Tina please come back.

I want to save this paragraph to thank all you wonderful Salisbury jazzers who donate a prize for the raffle. It has been remiss of me to not thank you before now.

By the time we meet again I will have been to my spiritual home, Cornwall. As I drive over the border I scream with pleasure without a care in the world leaving any problems back in England. I have a very dear friend who lives in St Austell where I stay. At precisely 6pm I knock on her door, besides her culinary delights we catch up on our relevant gossip and we decide on where we will explore the following day. I have been coming to Cornwall for the last 15 years and have only heard jazz twice, both times at the famous Smugglers Inn in the tiny hamlet of St Erth Praze.

As always I look forward to seeing you at our next gig when the Sussex Jazz Kings will be our guests.

Jazzy Joe 023 8086 9720

PS As you slide down the banister of life may the splinters be in the right direction.

Newsletter – January, February & March 2017

Due to a very cold night and the weather forecast for snow we had only 38 paying customers for our first gig this year. I feel so sorry for clubs further north of Salisbury; they probably had it worse than we did. The Amersham club had only 18. Having said that Tim Eyles Ragamuffins gave us an evening of jazz and Tim’s jokes went down well with the audience. To put it into perspective nearly everyone won something in the raffle. We really do have some lovely members. During the raffle with my assistant, ‘Voluptuous Tina’, I joked that I would be going round with a hat to collect a Fiver to pay the band. Peter Burton immediately approached me with two Fivers, one for him and the other for his lady wife Selena. The following month Peter Hendon put a ten pound note in an envelope with his apologies for his January non-appearance which he always does when he misses a gig.

The clubs fortunes took a dramatic change in February when thanks to Wendy’s promotion expertise we had 82 in the club. Before I continue, sadly we lost Jim Goddard, co founder of the Salisbury Jazz Club. I managed to attend Jim’s funeral to a full house at crematorium. It was nice to see Ian Bateman there who played ‘Just a closer walk with thee’. Also we lost Mary Gory after a long fight with cancer. Our condolences go out to husband Ken. My thanks to Maggie who passed on the sad news. Ken is the gentleman who reminds me when to turn the lights down before the band starts.

Getting back to the jazz, John Maddocks Jazzmen gave us another evening of high octane jazz. Due to John’s trumpeter, Peter Wilkinson being laid low with back problem, Tom Connor depped for him and did a very good job. JM had to change from his usual Chicago/Classic style to a more New Orleans one to accommodate Tom’s preferred style. The good news is about 98% did not notice as Mr Maddocks music is always entertaining. Recently he had Shingles but the true pro that he is he never cancelled a gig. I caught him over Christmas at the St Leonards hotel and I asked him could he play a request. You should have seen the look he gave me when he heard what is was……………………...Shingle Bells.

The surprise of the year was last month’s band, Doc Houlind’s Revival band from Denmark. I have been a devotee of what is known as the Revival Period of New Orleans jazz which started in 1940 when musicians such as Kid Ory, Bunk Johnson, George Lewis and many more were re-discovered after years of doing manual jobs in and around the Crescent city. Kid Ory a chicken farmer, Bunk Johnson worked in a saw mill over the lake in Manderville and George Lewis a stevedore. Musically this was the best New Orleans band we have ever had and by the end of the evening I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven. The rhythm section was driven on by the Bass player, also I couldn’t help but notice the Alton Purnell influence of the lady piano player. The front line was dominated by Jesper Capion Larsen on clarinet very much in the style of George Lewis.

Wendy’s talents never cease to amaze me. As always, at her own cost she decorated every table with the Danish flag out of recognition of the musician’s homeland which did not go unnoticed with the band and according to the leader was much appreciated as they had never seen that before, but of course other clubs don’t have a Wendy Lawrence as their Publicity Officer.

That’s it folks for this quarter and please continue to support your friendly Salisbury jazz club. Jazzy Joe 023 8086 9720 Ladies between 19 and 90 will be answered first.

PS Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.

Quarterly Newsletter – October, November & December 2016

For the club’s 37th birthday we had Tim Eyles’ Gentlemen of Jazz in October, when we had our second best attendance this year which was very welcome after the last two months of low numbers. During my table to table visits a few of you told me you did not like the band and I appreciate the feed-back but I cannot ignore the large turn out. Now let’s get back to the positives. I hope you all enjoyed the balloons and the birthday cake. It took me a week to make it, I had better stop now before my nose grows longer and longer. Talk about Pinocchio!

November’s band, Pete Lay’s Gambit Jazzmen, gave us a polished performance of good old New Orleans jazz despite the old Gambit we all knew and loved is no more. Both Davy Waskett cornet and Johnny Rodgers reeds have left the building. Barry Weston trombone went back home to Yorkshire and Chris Marney on banjo joined the Savannah band. I was amazed at how good the new musicians worked together although I shouldn’t have been. I remember when George Lewis first came to England and Ken Colyer suggested they should practice before their first gig. George Lewis told Ken ‘We are musicians, we don’t need any practice’. There is something special about New Orleans jazz, it’s played from the heart, it’s an emotional sound and has been for me for the last 65 years when I first heard jazz.

Trumpeter John Shillito was obviously the star musician on stage on the night and considering the three front line musicians had never played together before they played very well. Dave Hewett on trombone normally plays in the Mainstream style while Chris Pearce on clarinet can easily adopt the various genres whether it is New Orleans, Dixieland or the Classic style.

For our Christmas party night we had Dave Stradwick’s Sussex Jazz Kings. 98 tickets were sold and in the words of that Fats Waller tune, ‘The Joint’s Jumping’. It surely was with the floor full nearly all-night. My sincere thanks to all of you who brought along a prize for the raffle and for all of your Christmas cards. Many, many thanks.

After three years of being the club's promoter I thought it was about time I recognised the people who have been instrumental in helping me, so I decided to create a Club Person of The Year Award. The first recipient was Wendy Lawrence for her outstanding contribution in the publicity department. Wendy’s involvement has been exceptional. At her own cost she advertises our club in the Just Jazz magazine, designs and prints all the club’s flyers and promotes our club at every opportunity. I can’t finish this letter without thanking our Door Man, Paddy Hunt, for his dedicated service. A very important member of Team SJC.

Here’s looking forward to a happy and successful Salisbury Jazz Club New Year.

Jazzy Joe 023 8086 9720 or joecroll@sky.com

PS If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you

Quarterly Newsletter - July, August & September 2016

Where has the time gone, here it is October, three quarters of our 2016 jazz calendar has been and gone. July saw Cuff Billet’s New Europa band making their second appearance at the Stockman’s Lounge. One of the few bands today that play genuine New Orleans jazz. With only two changes of personnel in over 35 years they could play with one hand tied behind their backs, on second thoughts perhaps not. It was very noticeable that they played acoustically as of course the originators did 100 years ago. Both Wendy and myself do not like or want very loud bands, it’s bad enough having the bass player using an amplifier, sadly its becoming the norm.

It was so nice to see an old friend of the band and mine, our American friend Don Knies, at the club. Don is a walking, talking encyclopedia of New Orleans jazz. He was lucky enough to see one of the early pioneers of our music when as a 15 year old he would sneak into the Stuyvesant Casino in New York to hear Bunk Johnson’s band. Until quite recently he was one of the promoters of the annual Sturminster Newton Boogie Woogie Festival. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Don for the last 26 years and he’s been a great help to me as a student of our music…..Don please come back.

Our August band, the Golden Eagle, are always popular with you lovely Salisbury jazzers so I was surprised at the low turnout. However being the holiday period I should have booked them two months ago. They also played When I Grow Too Old to Dream, which sadly reminds me of……….me. They finished the gig with Dr Jazz. To you computer people see if you can get Ottilie Patterson’s version on YouTube, you will be in for a treat. When you do you will think you have made a mistake, you haven't, it starts off very slow before exploding into Jelly Roll Morton’s 1926 tune.

Sadly it fell to me to announce the passing of Larry Keene. Larry was a long time member and was rather fortunate when it came to winning the raffle. Wendy, John, Margaret and Geoff represented the club at Larry’s funeral. Our condolences go out to Phyllis. I think the words to When I Come to the End of My Journey is a fitting epitaph to Larry. ‘Oh when I come to the end of my journey, so weary of life, the battle is won, carry the cross, stand by redemption, he’ll understand and say well done’.

Last month we were entertained by Matt Palmer’s Millennium Eagle band. Although they are more of a ‘Show Band’ rather than an out-and-out New Orleans sounding one I am of the opinion they are always entertaining, but again there is absolutely no need to have their microphones ‘On’ when playing as it distracts from the obvious good musicianship of the band members. Some of the tunes I remember were My Gal Sal, Wabash Blues and Matt’s version of Wild Cat Blues, a huge success for Monty Sunshine. At my request they played Tiger Rag, did you notice the trombone player using a roll of Sellotape when it came to ‘Hold That Tiger’?

Next Friday October 14th will be the club’s 37th birthday when we will have Tim Eyles’ Gentlemen of Jazz celebrating it with us. I am going to finish this newsletter with Wendy telling us how it all began.

“Early in 1979 I picked up a leaflet advertising a coach trip to the 100 club in London. I rang the contact number to explain that I would like to go but was unable to get to the coach departure point. The person answering the phone was Jim Goddard who agreed to give me a lift. This trip was quickly followed by another, this time to see Pete Allen at the Wagon & Horses in Newbury. He knew that I would love the band and he was right.

It was not long before I was helping to dispatch the band’s monthly date list and realised that it was up to me to get the band into the Salisbury area. The city was desperately short of suitable venues and I eventually booked the function room at The Greyhound in nearby Wilton. I chose a date in October as a surprise birthday treat for Jim.

I wrote to everyone I knew - all my friends, family, work colleagues and people I had known from clubs in earlier years offering them the opportunity to buy a £1 ticket to see this great band (I needed to sell 100 to cover the bands fee alone). The evening was a huge success and the crowd yelled for more. And more they got. Pete and the boys were back the following month and the Salisbury Jazz Club was born.

Jim, who has been a special friend since that first trip to the 100 Club, ran the Salisbury club with me for about eleven years and is still a regular visitor 37 years later”.

On behalf of all of us Wendy, thank you for sharing how it all started.

Jazzy Joe 023 8086 9720 or joecroll@sky.com.

P.S. On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disappointed to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food……… Sue’s excellent menu is all I want!

Quarterly Newsletter - April, May & June 2016

I was pleased to have the New Orleans Z'Hulus back at the Stockmans Lounge in April especially to see Jesper Capion Larsen on clarinet who I met last year at the Bluebird Club. Jesper is one of Denmark's top reed players and it was nice catching up with him again. Also it was a surprise to see they had a banjo instead of a piano this year and to my amazement it was Paul Sealey who, besides being one of our best banjoists, usually commands a much higher fee than I can afford to pay. I suspect it was the band's leader Brian Turnock calling in a favour. They started with Down in Jungle Town and went on to play 21 more tunes including Savoy Blues, Give Me Your Telephone Number, Yes We Have No Bananas before sending us home with Get out Of Here.

The drummer, Emile Martyn, was born in New Orleans but speaks with an English accent while his father was born here but speaks with an American one, I should add he has lived in New Orleans for over 40 years but so have many ex British musicians, none have lost their English accents, the mind boggles.

And now for something different, a poem called 'Doctor Jazz' by Nick Balmforth.

To me the best tonic for ills great and small is to spend a few hours at the Jazz Band Ball. For those moments in life when I've had regrets I've been quickly cheered up by jazz clarinets. There've been days in the past when I've had quite a moan but that soon disappeared with a tailgate trombone. When life seems a chore and brimming with woe, it can vanish apace with a Dixie banjo. And when in the dumps and long in the face, a smile soon appears at the sound of a bass. There've also been times when I've felt quite forlorn but my spirits leap up to the trill of a horn. When come those sad moments and life feels quite glum, the old feet start tapping to the beat of a drum And on those occasions when tempers wear thin, bad moods are transformed by a jazz violin. Add saxes and keyboard, a Sousa or two, the whole joint starts jumping, its hullabaloo. Yes jazz is my tonic more than fortune or wealth, it should be prescribed on the National Health.

Our May band, the Dart Valley Stompers, certainly lived up to their name, playing fast and furious. It was noticeable the decline in dancers taking to the floor. This was down to the fast tunes they played and also the three changes in the band from last year. There is no need to have a live microphone on every member of the front line as it's far too loud. After saying that, if this is their preferred high volume of playing, fair play to them but we certainly can do without it at our club. The band leader and his wife promote week-end jazz events under the name of M&J Promotions so perhaps that is where their future lies.

As many of you may know I favour New Orleans sounding bands and I am always conscious it is you at the end of the day I think of when booking bands. From your very valuable comments it would seem I get it right about 90% of the time so my apologies for this one.

And now a few words on our second Summer Solstice Ball that we enjoyed on a warm summer evening. The tables and chairs were beautifully decorated by Sue Davis and her team of ladies. My thanks to those of you who came dressed for the special occasion. I think one of the keys to the success of the evening was walking down the red carpet and being served a glass of 'Bubbly' on entering the club and then not only canapes were dished out to every table we also enjoyed a feast of other gastronomical delights.

Another reason for its success was the band we had, the Sussex Jazz Kings who also dressed for the Ball in white shirts and bow ties. They kicked off with In The Good Old Summer Time and went on to play a further 20 tunes including Stevedore Stomp, All Alone By The Telephone sung by trombonist, Bob Dwyer, Telephone To Glory sung by drummer, Malc Murphy. They sent us home with Brahms' Cradle Song. All in all it was three hours of sheer pleasure as was witnessed by the dance floor being full for nearly every tune the Sussex Jazz Kings played.

By the time you see me again I will have been to my favourite place in England, Cornwall. I just have to get away to charge my batteries without a jazz band in sight. I started off last Friday morning arriving at my hostess's cottage in St Austell at 6 pm. On this visit I went via Plymouth on the Torpoint ferry stopping at Cawsand, Kingsand and then driving along the coast to Looe and on to the beautiful village of Polperro. On Saturday we explored the Roseland Peninsula arriving back home where Sue served delicious scones and was excellent company.

I really can't finish this letter without acknowledging Wendy's enormous help since she came aboard last Autumn. Our attendances have gone up from an average of 72 to 84, also my sincere thanks to the members who donate a prize for the raffle, it is much appreciated.

On Friday I look forward to seeing all you regulars and also those young Ceroc dancers who have been a breath of fresh air to our club and have brought the average age down considerably.

Jazzy Joe 023 8086 9720 or joecroll@sky.com

PS Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.

Quarterly Newsletter - January, February, March 2016

Despite an accident on the A31 and the inclement weather we had a very acceptable audience for our January gig and Team SJC thanks you. Again we were highly entertained by the John Maddocks Jazzmen and again the bass player was far too loud. Talk about deja-vu. Drummer, Brian Barker was late again just like our November gig and for the same reason, the accident already mentioned. They kicked off with Should I Reveal before going on with Beale Street Blues and Perdido Street. Trumpeter Peter Wilkinson sang the amusing Never Swat A Fly before breaking into Don't Sweetheart Me, a reference to an errant husband being scolded by his wife (probably for listening to modern jazz).

I briefly mentioned during the gig what John Maddocks has done to preserve the music, but I think it deserves a more in depth explanation. John started playing clarinet in 1960 and was leading his own band by 1961. To any of you who have a record collection it is obvious John is drawn to the love of classic jazz and has developed a style based on Johnny Dodds. John has always led his own bands since the one that he formed in school in 1961, where both Hugh Crozier and Brian Lawrence were in the same class year and who are very much active on the scene today. It was Hugh and Brian that with John formed the John Maddocks Trio.

The trio became the basis of John's first 'proper' band, The Black Bottom Stompers. In various formats this band became very popular with John recording for VJM before he moved from London to Poole with his job. He reluctantly had to give up the Black Bottom Stompers. After John moved to Dorset he quickly formed his 'Jazzmen' and this band has been active since 1973. Now in its 43rd year the band is as popular as ever, this is down to John's leadership and personal playing style.

Moving onto February when Wendy, with the help of Irene, organised a Mardi Gras evening which went down very well, only 16 short of our first theme night when we had 85 in June 2013 for the Summer Solstice Ball. Between these two ladies they made sure everyone had a Mardi Gras decoration and that everyone enjoyed themselves. Wendy even had a local photographer record the evening who seemed to take hundreds of photos. Even the band joined in wearing colourful shirts and we also had a parade around the hall led by the Grand Marshal, Paul Morgan-Owen, who led the band and the 'Second Liners' in and out of the hall and back in again with their beautifully decorated umbrellas. On a personal observation it was nice to see John Lawrence playing his trumpet during the parade. I would love to see our 'Local Musician' up there on stage again. If Bunk did it......I'll say no more.

Last month we heard the music of Baby Jools & the Jazzaholics, he enjoys having some of the best 'Revivalist' musicians in his band including Denny Ilett trumpet, Jim Swinnerton slap bass, Brian Mellor banjo, Mike Owen trombone and, guesting on reeds, John Maddocks. With the addition of Mike Owen's humour, plus his superb New Orleans style playing (lived in New Orleans for ten years), the Jazzaholics are an excellent example of our music that was popular after 1940 in the Crescent city which we call 'The Revivalist Period'. My only criticism was the amount of numbers they played, only eighteen when most bands play at least twenty four. As an ex Quality Control Manager I feel you deserve to have your money’s worth............ It will not happen next year!

Thanks to Peter Burton, he kindly sent me the list of tunes they played. They started with Old Spinning Wheel and went on to play a further seventeen including Georgia Grind, West End Blues, Collegiate and sent us home with Climax Rag.

Until quite recently I was not aware we had a ''Published Author'' in our midst. I am referring to the gentleman who sends you via email the newsletters and any other important information. Tony Barnes has been a most welcome addition to Team SJC. Tony has had to resign due to his many other interests. On behalf of us Tony, many many thanks for all your help and support. They say a woman’s work is never done so I am pleased to announce that Wendy has taken over this important function starting with this epistle.

Finally on behalf of TEAM SJC thank you for supporting your favourite jazz club.

Jazzy Joe 023 8086 9720 or joecroll@sky.com

PS My Therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance................We'll see about that!

Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720 or email me at: joecroll@sky.com

Website: www.southwilts.com/site/salisbury-jazz-club

Quarterly Newsletter - October, November, December 2015

First all, many thanks for your most welcome Christmas cards and for your very kind words of encouragement, may I wish you all a healthy and happy 2016. I'd also like to thank Wendy Lawrence for her most valuable help............................... More of this lady's input in paragraph four.

I must admit I was taking a gamble booking our October band, The Charlestown Jazz Band from Holland, as I had only heard them on YouTube. As it turned out, we had an audience of 92 which was a most welcome relief after many months of low turnouts. They started the evening playing 'All The Girls Go Crazy About The Way I.....' For fear of offending our more discerning members I'll refrain from including the last word! Other tunes they played included 'Stevedore Stomp', 'Corinne - Corinna' and an old Chris Barber favourite 'Isle of Capri'. In the second set they veered away from the New Orleans style when they played Count Basie's 'Jumpin' at the Woodside' but came back to our music sending us home with 'Dr Jazz', 'Canal Street Blues' and, finally, 'Ice Cream'.

As an ex - Jiver I'm always fascinated looking at the many and varied styles we have at the club. In the past few months I have noticed two couples who dance 'The Balboa'. I'm told it was named after a ballroom in Balboa Beach, California in the 30s when the ballrooms used to get so crowded that dancers invented a style where they kicked their feet between their partners, basically dancing on the spot. Peter Hudson and his partners, Liss and Carol, are very good examples. However, Stephen and Stephanie James are excellent exponents of this dance who also manage to make it look sexy! Remember the dancing isn't a contest, all that matters is that you enjoy doing it. It never stopped me thinking I was better than John Travolta in that film 'Grease'. (I was!!)

My thanks to all of you who completed the questionnaire on the future of our club. I had a meeting with Wendy who, as you may already know, was the first promoter of the club. At our meeting, the many replies to the questionnaire were discussed. So far this is a 'Work in Progress Project'. Some of the things we agreed on were:- Wendy to expand all publicity, produce flyers and Tony Barnes will email everyone on the SJC address list. So far, Wendy and Tony have identified and are covering the following outlets for our advertising:

Spire FM, Salisbury Information Centre, BBC Wiltshire, Events 24, Gazette & Herald, Salisbury Gig Guide, Salisbury District Hospital via the Intranet system, Salisbury Library, Salisbury Journal and Valley News.

I hope this will be the positive turning point in the club's fortunes.

My sincere thanks to Irene and Lionel. After completing the questionnaire, this lovely couple didn’t just 'talk the talk', they 'walked the talk'! They got on their bikes, buses and Shanks' pony to deliver flyers that Wendy had designed. They pinned them on every notice board they saw, left them in libraries, information centres, hairdressers and newsagents where they also agreed to put money in the Pudsey box for the Children in Need charity. They covered Christchurch, Ringwood, Fordingbridge, Downton and Salisbury - the bottom line was that we had 97 at the club in November!

What this determined couple did reminds me of something I read a few years ago:- Everybody was sure that Somebody else would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it. Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up with that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done ................ I'd love to hear your stories on what you have done or could do to help our club to survive and to bring in our 'monthly jazz fix'.

Another regular who deserves a mention is Peter Burton who takes the band photo every month for the club's website. Peter is very knowledgeable on our music which is no surprise as he gets out and about listening to jazz so often. Log onto his weblog at www.isomatic.co.uk/weblog.htm where you'll be able follow his most interesting assessment and observations on all the gigs that he and Selina have visited, some even mentioning the name of the wine they enjoyed!

Our November band was the John Maddocks Jazzmen who despite their excessive volume especially from the bass/tuba player, who for reasons only known to himself insisted on using an amplifier, they still gave us so much pleasure. They started 15 minutes late due to an accident on the M27 which involved drummer, Brian Barker. To make up the time they only had two short breaks and didn’t finish till 11.05pm. They started with a fast 'Some Of These Days' and went on to play a rarely heard King Oliver tune 'Wang Wang Blues' before playing a spiritual, 'Sweet Fields' which is a reference to a cemetery in New Orleans. Pianist Chris Satterly then sang a tune called 'Get Acquainted With Yourself'. I've no idea about this one, but I think Peter Burton may be able to help should you be interested in the tune's origins. In the last set, John, with just the rhythm section played 'Wild Cat Blues'. I'm of the opinion that, if we show our appreciation of what we're hearing, the band will show their appreciation by playing accordingly. Many of the band thanked me for what a good audience we'd had, which is always nice to hear.

For our Christmas Party night I must start by thanking our hostess, the lovely Sue for decorating the room and for the hot mince pies she provided, also to Maggie behind the bar who serves us with that beautiful Wiltshire accent of hers! Also Irene and Lionel who bought very nice paper Silver Bells to add to each table. Where can I find just 20 more people with such a determined attitude? Finally, thank you to other members of Team SJC -Paddy Hunt our doorman and Tony Barnes who's responsible for distributing by email the Club's flyers, programmes, updates, newsletters, etc. Both deserve recognition for their ongoing support.

In December, and for the second year running, we were entertained by the Pedigree Jazz Band whose programme nods its head towards the 'Three Bs' - Barber, Ball and Bilk. They kicked off the evening with 'Wilhelm Tell' and went on to play 'Under The Double Eagle' and 'Blaze Away' which Acker recorded way back in '59. Then we had 'The Green Leaves of Summer' and 'Sukiyaki', both hits for Kenny Ball. The band went on to play a few of Chris Barber's well known tunes including 'Chimes Blues', 'It's Tight Like That', 'Hiawatha Rag' and 'The Martinique' before sending us home with some of my favourite memories of Acker Bilk by playing 'Summer Set' featuring Chris Walker playing in the Charalmu register. Another great evening of jazz from six very good musicians.

To sum up the year, it can be best described by the opening lines of a Charles Dickens' novel, 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'. In our case it was the other way round. January's attendance was 64, February 74 and May 52 which averages at 63 when I need 80 to break even. This left me out of pocket by £270.00, so I was a little saddened last month when, as I was leaving the Club, a regular remarked, 'Joe you must be minting it in!' I don’t know of any promoter of our kind of jazz who 'Mints it in'. We do it because we love the music and only recently, after nearly three years of low numbers, we've finally made a profit. I've no intention of finishing this newsletter with further negative comments so let's all think positive and have a great 2016 listening and dancing to New Orleans jazz at the famous Salisbury Jazz Club!

I look forward to your company on Friday January 8th when we'll have John Maddocks Jazzmen playing for us.

PS: I've ordered a chicken and egg off the Internet - just to see which one comes first!

Jazzy Joe (Team SJC). Phone: 02380 - 869720 or email me at: joecroll@sky.com

Website: www.southwilts.com/site/salisbury-jazz-club

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Newsletter July, August and September 2015

The most memorable thing at our July gig was seeing Pat Alkett leaving the club in a wheel chair with a big smile on her face after being entertained by her favourite band the Savannah Jazz Band. Sadly this was to be Pat's last gig, she left us a few days later. This remarkable lady had been fighting that dreadful cancer for far too long. My deepest condolences go to Geoff on his sad loss. It was very thoughtful of John Meehan, the Savannah Jazz Band leader who himself had a heart attack recently, to phone Geoff to extend both his and the band's condolences. John is fortunately making a speedy recovery and will soon be back behind his drums.

Considering the popularity of the July band, the Savannah Jazz Band, I was surprised at the low turnout - only 65. However, the band were on top form as usual. Some of the tunes they played included, Dinah, A Louisiana Fairytale sung by banjoist Chris Marney, The Isle Of Capri. Two old Ken Colyer numbers, Barefoot Boy and his famous Going Home, but the tune that I liked best was His Eye Is On The Sparrow. It is a beautiful tune and I know a little of its history:- In 1905 in Elmira, New York State a lady was visiting her friend who had been bed-ridden for 28 years but had always remained happy. She asked why was she so happy? The lady replied, 'Because His Eye Is On The Sparrow and he watches over me'. This is a reference to The Bible, Matthew 6.26. I've often thought that, if all of us had a positive attitude to life instead of always finding something to complain about, what a more fulfilling life we would all enjoy. To me the glass is always half full and always will be.

The Gambit Jazzmen were with us in August. Due to the various enforced changes since their last appearance four 'deps' had been engaged. The trombone and the banjo musicians have left. Johnny Rodgers on reeds can only make a few of the gigs due to his ongoing recovery from cancer. Dennis Armstrong has been 'Depping' since Davy Waskett left the building, so only Roger Link on bass and Pete Lay on drums are left holding the fort. Talking about Pete, I didn’t know he could he could sing, who does he think he is - Malc Murphy?! As a New Orleans style drummer, it's my opinion that he's probably the best we have, with his press rolls and not using a 'High Hat' which only became popular in the 30s. For the more knowledgeable students of our music, if you ever get a chance to hear Baby Dodds on a recording you will know what I mean. Pete is never intrusive but propels the band with his immaculate timing. Did you notice the lady who helped me with the raffle? Out of many applicants who auditioned for the prestigious position, I finally chose a lady all the way from Canada, Heather Bolom Lay. You may well ask why, well she's the band leader's wife. They met in New Orleans on a rainy night but that did not dampen their mutual attraction for each other and one year later they married - yes you’ve guessed it, in New Orleans!

In September we had Tony Robinson's Jazz Aces which included ex - Chris Barber reed player, Mike Snelling and Ken Ames ex - Ken Colyer banjo and guitar player in the 7 - piece line up. Musicians of this calibre can command very high fees. Fortunately, they both realized the position we are in and agreed to a much lower one. They started the evening with My Gal Sal followed by Louisiana - ay - ai. In the second set, they played Kid Ory's Savoy Blues and the popular 1922 tune Running Wild. Mike Snelling played Wild Cat Blues which he did on every Chris Barber gig when he was a member. For me that was worth the price of the admission alone, and brought back memories of Monty Sunshine. The results of the Band Survey form were as follows. 1 Top Notch, 6 Liked Them and only 2 Never Again.

Due to the decreasing numbers, Wendy Lawrence has devised a questionnaire entitled 'Do You Want To Save Our Club?'. They will be on the tables on Friday, 9th October, so please take time to complete them if all you regulars want to have jazz at our club in Salisbury.............We really will appreciate your answers.

Talking about love, our hostess, Sue Davis is getting married. I'm sure we all wish this lovely lady much happiness. I have donated the September raffle money on behalf of you all and I will present Sue with £80.00 along with the Wedding Card you all signed. Sue has gone out of her way to help the club; for instance, it was her idea of having the Summer Solstice gig in 2013. She's also decorated the club on the last two Valentine Day gigs at her own cost.

PS: Impotence is nature's way of saying 'No Hard Feelings'!

Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720 or email me at: joecroll@sky.com

Newsletter April, May and June 2015

A young couple arrived at the Club for our April gig at 6.50pm enquiring what time did we start, promising to return after they'd had a meal in Salisbury and they kept their promise! To Sarah and Chris, thank you. I'd dearly love to see more younger people come to the Club to enjoy our music so, if any Salisbury young people read this, take it as an invitation to come and enjoy yourselves!

In April, we were entertained by Tim Eyles Gentlemen of Jazz. I can't quite make up my mind if Tim's a comedian who plays the trumpet or if he's a trumpeter who's a comedian! Either way, he scored high on the Band Survey Forms and that's the barometer that I have to go by. I know they were not everybody's favourite band. I also know that, with 100 jazzers in a room, you will get 200 opinions and that's why I appreciate the monthly email I get from Irene and Lionel who, like most of you, come to enjoy a safe and friendly night out without any negative comments.

Whilst mentioning the Band Survey Forms, could I politely ask you to bring a pen or pencil with you to complete the forms after each gig? They do help to give me a steer as to what bands I should be booking.

After reading my last newsletter, a few of you enquired about its first paragraph regarding a black musician called Buddy Bolden. I was ecstatic that some of our wonderful jazzers were inquisitive enough to ask for more information on Charles 'Buddy' Bolden, a barber by day and a jazz musician by night. One man who set out to record an accurate picture of him is Don M Marquis who, in the 1970s, wrote what is the 'bible' on Bolden. The book's titled 'In Search of Buddy Bolden - First Man of Jazz', (ISBN 0-8071-3093-1) and it was revised in 2005. For your information and enjoyment, this valuable book is still in print.

Cuff Billet's New Europa Jazz Band was our May band. They kicked off with 'Rip 'Em Up Joe' and continued with 'Moose March', Mahogany Hall Stomp', sending us home with 'Climax Rag'. Now for a bit of trivia, the trumpet Cuff plays is the same one you hear on the opening of every episode of 'Coronation Street', however, it's not Cuff playing. As Michael Caine would say, "Not everybody knows that!"

Wendy Lawrence is a prolific contributor to the 'Just Jazz' magazine with stories of her own and husband's, John's, most interesting reminiscences on their latest adventures. I mention this because I was reading a few back copies and came across a most amusing one in the January edition. A serious question she asked was, "How does one define jazz?" Answer: "If you hit one wrong note, that's a mistake. If you hit two wrong notes, that's jazz!"

I don't know if this is a coincidence because recently I was asked to explain some musical terms, so here goes with a few of them:

·Obbligato, being forced to practice.

·Allegro, a small car.

·Lento, the days leading up to Easto.

·Chords, the things that organists play with one finger.

·Discords, things that organists play with two fingers.

·Suspended chords, useful for lynching the singer.

·Prelude, the warm up before the clever stuff and finally,

·Refrain, the correct technique for playing the bagpipes.

Last month, we had the very popular Sussex Jazz Kings. Apart from the good dance music they played, their leader, Dave Stradwick, entertains the audience with his most amusing stories. The band has made two enforced changes. Trombonist Len Baldwin has retired to the Isle of Wight and has been replaced by Iain Mcauley; also John Hall on drums was replaced by Robin Beams due to John's major health problems. The latest news I have on John is that he's recovering and we hope to see him very soon back where he belongs, behind his drums.

I came across the following story which I thought was amusing: A trumpet and a saxophone player, who were Siamese twins, were visiting London and saw an ad for jazz at a well known club. They approached the proprietor, Ronny Scott, and asked if they could sit in for a couple of numbers. Ronnie thought that this would be hilarious and agreed to their request. They were a sensation and the punters demanded more as they brought the house down. A couple of days later, the twins were wondering what to do on their last night in London and thought they would chance another visit to Ronnie Scott's club, so off they went. Modestly they ran into Ronnie and said, "You may not remember us...............!!"

In July's edition of 'Just Jazz' magazine, there's an article claiming that our club isn't 34 years old but that it was originally started back in the 1960s. I would be interested in finding out more about this claim. Maybe Wendy Lawrence or Geoff Gilbert could shed some light on this?

Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720. Email: joecroll@sky.com

Newsletter January, February and March 2015

Out of the stillness of the evening a horn uttered its impassioned plea. A drummer began an endless beat, other players took up the music's wail, each in his own style. Feet shuffled and a hoarse voice sang in a mood that was a half sad memory, half tragic appeal. The tempo quickened, the mood brightened and through it evolved a beautiful music that I've loved for 63 years called New Orleans jazz, thanks to the sons of black slaves, and in particular Buddy Bolden, said to be the Father of Jazz. In 1951 I heard the George Lewis band playing Climax Rag on the radio, I was hooked. Search on Google for 'Avery Kid Howard's Olympia Band - Climax Rag' and you'll understand!

115 years later, our club kicked off the 2015 season with that same music with the Excelsior Vintage Jazz Band who, according to your comments, you liked very much. You serious students of New Orleans jazz will have enjoyed the brilliant rhythm section of Ray Goold bass violin, Doug Kennedy banjo and Dave Evans drums, a Sid Catlett fan. I asked the leader, Ron Rumbol if we could have Max Edmonds on trumpet as he also plays the harmonica which brings something extra to the party. I'm a big fan of their regular trumpeter Cuff Billett, but as I've already booked his band to play for us on our May gig, I decided on the change. To any of Cuff's fans you can see him every month at the Talking Heads in Southampton or at the Yellow Dog Club on April 25th or September 26th. I'll be at all of them as I said I'm a fan, will Cuff's?

I had some very interesting and only one negative feedback on the Band Survey form that I invited you to complete. Although it's early days, the comments were very encouraging. I received 21 replies which equates to about 42 of you. 75% either liked them or ticked the 'Top Notch' box. No one ticked the box 'Poor Quality' or the 'Never Again' one and I only had five 'Not That Good'. One survey form I read suggested that I book certain bands. To Ruth and Clive, your wish has been granted and they have already been booked either at our club or at the Yellow Dog Club. Nine years ago, when I started the Yellow Dog Club, I wanted to find out who my audience were and what they liked so I devised a very simple quiz on jazz. Only five people answered any of the questions and only two got any of them right! Brilliant, I then knew my audience were people who were only interested in having a lovely night out listening or dancing to the music they remembered when they were younger without any preconceptions about the music.

For our February gig, our hostess, Sue Davis decorated the club with hundreds of paper hearts from the ceiling to the walls, tables and anywhere else she could find a place. Also, on each table she had a heart shaped balloon floating above as it was our Valentine's Day gig. We all owe a debt of gratitude for the extra work she put in at her own cost. Thanks again Sue. As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, it was Sue and the lovely Maggie who persuaded me to accept Margaret and Geoff's invitation to take over the responsibility of running our club. I'm so pleased they did, I think we work well as a team - but that’s just my opinion!

The band, the Golden Eagle, continued the Valentine's Day theme when they played 'Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland', 'Fair And Square In Love', 'When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful' and 'One Sweet Letter From You'. According to your responses to my tentative enquiries on your rating of the band, I got a 100%, 'Can we have them back?' Yes, we can! In fact, they've agreed to play for us twice next year.

Last month the Magnificent 7 Jazz Band entertained us. This is the only band we book who are all full time musicians. I first met the leader, Amy Roberts, about six years ago when she did a gig at the other club I run. At the time, she was studying at the Royal Northern School of Music in Manchester, but unlike other teenagers who would normally decamp to the local pub with their friends on a Saturday night, Amy didn’t, instead she caught a train to Eastleigh where I met her. She did the gig and returned to Manchester the next day. I then followed Amy's progress through the Jazz Guide magazine. Her hunger to succeed was truly a revelation. It reminded me of a story about a musician standing in Times Square New York who enquired, 'How do you get to Carnegie Hall?' 'You practice and then practice some more', was the reply. Well this young lady has certainly done that. Besides graduating with honours she was the first lady ever to be invited to play in the famous Chris Barber Big Band.

Although, according to the Band Survey forms, many of you liked them, I feel a band of this quality and cost are more suited to a concert atmosphere rather than of a jazz club one that encourages dancing/jiving. I booked them hoping I was going to have a repeat of last year when we had an audience of 120. This year it was 90 which equated to a potential loss of £300. Fortunately, the raffle saved the day. It was very noticeable that so many regulars were absent so to you may I offer my apologies. In future, I'll stick to traditional New Orleans jazz bands who have a banjo or piano.

I'm putting a monthly advert in the Salisbury Journal which has a weekly circulation of 22,000, hoping it will attract more local people to enjoy a safe and friendly evening at our club. - Let's hope it works!

I would now like to publicly thank Peter Henden for sending me a £20 cheque, apologising that he could not be at a couple of gigs. It's with Peter's generosity and understanding that our club will survive. At the Yellow Dog Club many regulars send me the entrance fee if they can't make a gig as they don’t want their club to fold. Well that's all the news so far this year, but please don't hesitate to suggest to me anything that you think may help our club in future.

PS: Just a thought but why is 'Abbreviation' such a long word?!

Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720. Email: joecroll@sky.com

Newsletter October, November and December 2014

I can hardly believe it but this month is the start of my third year promoting your famous club. So the first thing I am changing is from 'Your Club' to 'Our Club' in all future newsletters as I feel I have served my probationary period and you have welcomed me as I have got to know more of you over the last two years. Before I get into the rest of the newsletter, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t recognise the people who have been a tremendous help in keeping our club alive. Paddy Hunt, on the door. Paddy has a fascinating job, unfortunately I can't reveal what he does as I am bound by the Official Secrets Act. It's not thanks to me that you receive the Quarterly Newsletters, that's down to Tony Barnes who volunteered his services as he is a computer wizard also Wendy Lawrence who keeps the club's website up to date. Also my thanks to Win Bowen that the club is still going, Win persuaded the local Salisbury press to advertise last year's March gig when we had the Magnificent 7 band which resulted in an audience of 121. I can't thank my predecessors Margaret and Geoff enough, not only for their encouragement but also for standing in for me three times which, incidentally, were the highest audiences we’ve had since I took over. As a result, I have changed my hygiene habits, I now have a shower at least once a month even if I don’t need one....... but my biggest thanks is to you wonderful people who want to see our club succeed. My apologises if this paragraph sounds like an acceptance speech for some film or TV award, it's just a coincidence!

Now to the jazz. Our October band, Tony Robinson's Jazz Aces were the surprise of the year when we exceeded our average attendance by 23. This added to a much needed income! Thanks to Win Bowen for recommending the Jazz Aces at their modest fee as he is aware of the club's financial position. They started their programme with Jelly Roll Morton's Wolverine Blues, other tunes I remember were Chimes Blues, Doctor Jazz, Satin Doll, Careless Love. Also, the surprise of the evening was seeing Ron Poole on stage as I never knew he was a musician and I particular liked his piano solo playing Dill Pickles, an old Bluegrass tune. Ron has been coming to the Yellow Dog for ages but, being a modest gentleman, he never told me about his mastery of the ivories! The Jazz Aces will be back with us on September 11th.

A few days after the October gig, I was informed of the death of John Knott by at least six of you. John had been a member for many years. One email I received was from Irene Green saying that over 150 mourners attended his funeral. Irene went on to say, 'He was a great fellow and obviously well thought of'. I'm sure all the club would like to convey their condolences to his wife Pauline.

As I couldn’t be with you in November for the Brian Carrick's Algiers Stompers gig due to hastily rearranged visit to America to see my grandchildren, Margaret and Geoff kindly stood in for me. According to reports, some of the tunes the band played were Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet, That Teasing Rag, Margie and Kid Thomas Boogie. This is another band which only plays in the tradition of the Kid Thomas' Heritage Hall Stompers which hailed from the Algiers district across the Mississippi from the centre of New Orleans in, but I'm sure you all knew that anyway!

Just before my annual trip to America, I heard the sad news that Acker Bilk had left the building after a long illness. I've been following his band since 1968 and have lost count of the many times I'd seen them. The last time I heard Acker was at Lord Montague's 80th birthday. I was in New York when he had a hit with Strangers On The Shore. Although it was a lovely tune as it was played 1,000 times a day, it was jazz people who had renamed it Stranglers on the Shore. Just to think, Acker was once briefly Ken Colyer’s clarinet player. Our thoughts are with Jean his wife of 60 years.

Our Christmas party night was a huge success when we were entertained by the Pedigree Band who focus their programme on the music of the '3Bs', Barber, Bilk and Ball. They started with Bourbon Street Parade before playing Midnight In Moscow, Chimes Blues, Under The Double Eagle and Summer Set, just to name a few and sent us home with Ice Cream. Sadly only Chris Barber is now still with us. Of all the musicians I've met, trumpeter Graham Trevarton is one of the nicest I know. Graham appeared in the first episode of Doc Martin, 'Going To Bodmin'. He can be seen after 39 minutes for about 15 seconds leading a jazz band when he frightens the hell out of Martin Clunes as he starts playing near the beach at Portwenn or, to give it its correct name, Port Isaac. It is one of my 100 hundred special places which I love in my favourite county, Kernow which you probably all know as Cornwall! I make at least four pilgrimages a year to this wonderful place to recharge my batteries. On my next adventure, I'll be on the Lizard Peninsular visiting, St Kervern, Coverack, Mullion Cove and, if I'm lucky, I'll hear the famous 'Fisherman's Friends' choir singing in the Pub in Cadgwith.

I'd now like to thank Sue Davis our hostess, for the splendid Christmas decorations and the hot mince pies. It would appear Miss Davis has found love, sadly not with me, no it's with a gentleman more in keeping with her refined tastes. So let's all wish Sue lots of happiness and, who knows, their first child could be called Joseph ....... just a thought! It's also thanks from me to Sue and the lovely Maggie, who were both instrumental in me accepting Margaret and Geoff's invitation to take over the club. Thank you again girls, you're a pleasure to work with.

Thanks to an idea of Tony Barnes, I'm trialling a Band Survey Form in 2015 for you to let me know whether or not you liked a particular band. The form will include a 'Comments' section to help me to hire bands that the majority of you want. After all, it's a members' club, so I'd appreciate you completing a form at every gig. I can then build up a profile of your likes and dislikes.

Well that just about sums up the club's last three months' activities. With with your continued support we'll have a great 2015 season of jazz. Please, please do try and come to every gig.

PS - Is it just me, but why is there an expiration date on Sour Cream?

Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720. Email: joecroll@sky.com

Newsletter July, August and September 2014

There are certain Salisbury Jazz Club people who are doing their best to keep your club from closing. I was amazed when I saw an ad for the club in the July edition of the Just Jazz magazine. Wendy Lawrence took it on herself to book ads for the remaining five months at a personal cost of £90.00. Then I received a cheque for £20 from Peter Henden apologising because he could not be at the June or the August gig. My sincere thanks to both of these genuine lovers of our music. It is with this level of commitment that I have enough faith that your 35 year old club will be around for its 36th one next year, any similar financial help to achieve that goal would be appreciated, and before I forget, my thanks to all of you who donate the raffle prizes for it is most welcome. - If any Salisbury local would like to do my job promoting the club I would step aside gracefully.

At the other club I run I asked if anyone was a member of U3A, bowling clubs or any clubs or organisations which may like our music. As a result, I have a regular attendance of over 88 as opposed to an average of under 60 at Salisbury Jazz Club. All it will take is for you to suggest to your friends or acquaintances that they may like to enjoy a safe and friendly night out enjoying jazz once a month. Please don't keep it a secret, spread the word to all and sundry!

Our July band, the Solent City Jazzmen entertained us playing authentic New Orleans jazz. They kicked off the gig with Weary Blues. Other tunes I remember were the 1927 Sam Morgan's Bogalusa Strut, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, George Gershwin's Lady Be Good and they finished with the 1912 standard Panama. They had a deputising drummer on the night, one of the top jazz drummers in the UK, none other than Malc Murphy whose use of his wood blocks and press rolls reminded me of New Orleans drummer Cie Frazier and was exactly how a New Orleans drummer should play. Besides myself, I think Wendy Lawrence is also a member of the Malc Murphy fan club.

Ray Brotherton, a local painter of various genres including jazz scenes contacted me enquiring if I would mention that he had an exhibition at the Salisbury Waterstone's bookstore. Obviously my answer was yes and suggested he bring a few of his jazz paintings to our August gig which he did. I also love art, having been to many of the galleries in Europe and America, but I must confess my bias is towards the old masters of yesteryear, not being knowledgeable on modern art. However I must admit I did like Ray's painting of Jelly Roll Morton. The paintings went hand in hand with the music of John Maddocks Jazzmen who played (far too loud, my apologises to the gentleman from Weymouth who had to leave due to the unnecessary volume) music that Jelly Roll Morton would have been familiar with. Some of the tunes they played were The Original Tuxedo Rag, Yellow Dog Blues, Workingman's Blues and the 1926 Dixieland Jug Blowers and, with Johnny Dodds on clarinet, Memphis Shake. If any of you have this in your collection, you'll appreciate it was not the best choice to have a full band playing this tune, on the other hand if you haven’t you'll never know! The original is a beautiful laid back tune where Johnny Dodds happened to be in the studio and joined in. This is one of my eight Desert Island discs! For you computer people, type 'Dixieland Jug Blowers playing Memphis Shake' in your search engine to hear this tune. You'll then be entertained by Clifford Hayes Dixieland Jug Blowers. I came across it some 30 years ago.

It was a pleasant surprise to see four members of the other club I run at the gig. Perhaps a few of you may consider a reciprocal arrangement, you're most welcome to visit the Yellow Dog Jazz Club anytime, but there was a special lady missing in August, none other than the lovely Maggie who serves us our chosen beverages always with a smile - well not always with me!!!!

During August, I visited the Blue Bird Club in Ferndown to thank the leader of our March band, Amy Roberts, leader of The Magnificent 7 when we had an audience of 121 thanks to the advertising that Win Bowen did in the local Salisbury press. I took a huge gamble booking this full time professional band but it paid off. The club was just one gig from folding as I had lost a considerable amount of money mainly due to the awful weather we had in January and February.

Anyway that's history and Miss Roberts has agreed to a return visit next year on March 13th - again with her Magnificent 7 band. I couldn't be at the gig this year due to my knee operation and I understand only 90% of you liked them. To the other 10%, the SJC has never advertised exclusively as a club that only presents New Orleans jazz. As already mentioned, it was this band that saved the club from closing. My plea to you is, if you only want New Orleans bands, then encourage your friends and anyone else to come to the club and of course I'll oblige. I passionately love jazz, but please don’t expect me to run the club at a personal loss, so please meet me half way.

Last month we were entertained by Matt Palmer's Millennium Eagle band from Nottingham. They play exciting jazz as evidenced by the floor being full for most of the evening. They got the evening off with a lively Somebody Stole My Girl followed by that good old New Orleans favourite, Algiers Strut. Then, just as we were trying to catch our breath, they went straight into Duke Ellington's Stevedore Stomp, finally finishing the first set with Climax Rag. They ended the gig with Tiger Rag which again had the floor full of dancers, one couple that stood out were Ron and Katherine Meldrum from Southampton who were amazing in their most energetic dance routines. As a bonus, the band finished the gig with a tune associated with the Eric and Ernie TV show, Bring Me Sunshine, which by your applause they certainly did. Mike Challis noticed nearly everyone stayed to the end which is testimony on your opinion of the Millennium Eagle Band. During the second interval, I had a chat with Matt Palmer and he stated that in his opinion, if the floor is full of dancers, they were playing the tunes that his audience wanted. I also loved it when the front line harmonised and sang Exactly Like You, Sweethearts On Parade and Who's Sorry Now.

We had at least six first timers including a lady from Broadchalke by the name of Lucy who wanted to know how to jive, I volunteered to show her but as she is employed by a well known bookmaker, she wasn't sure if she could be with us at the October gig. Being pessimistic I wagered her 10/1 she wouldn't show, she being optimistic offered me 6/4 she would - we shall see!

It was very nice to see a few new faces so, come on let's spread the word about the famous Salisbury Jazz Club. As the saying goes, the more the merrier, so let's have more which will make it merrier. I've already booked bands for the first six months of next year and in my next newsletter I'll give you the complete line up of bands for the 2015 season.

Finally, one last thing, I'm truly grateful that I had the pleasure of being invited to promote your club by Margaret and Geoff who successfully guided it for 18 years. If I can achieve just 50% of their success I'll consider it to have been 'Job Done' - only time will be the judge.

PS: Did you know statistically 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.......I didn't either !!

Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720. Email: joecroll@sky.com

Newsletter April, May and June 2014

With the clocks having gone forward, I'm looking forward to a Summer of light evenings and more people venturing out to have a safe and friendly night out listening or dancing to some of the best jazz bands around at the famous Salisbury Jazz Club. I put out flyers on every table in April with the next six months bands which includes the Pedigree Jazz Band and who play a 'Tribute to Trad'. All of them have a banjo in them which will please Colin Bush. More about the Pedigree band in October. In return, please try to encourage your friends to join you as the numbers are down so far this year and I don't want to be known as the bloke who closed the famous 35 year old Salisbury Jazz Club. It's your club, not mine but we need more bums on seats. Any suggestions would be very welcome.

Our April band, The New Orleans Z'Hulus, played some terrific jazz which was not surprising as they had world famous clarinettist John Defferary playing with Brian Turnuck on bass, Emile van Pelt piano, Emile Martyn drums, Dan Vercruysse trumpet and Philippe De Smet trombone and I still had some complaints because they didn't have a banjo! Any knowledgeable jazz fan would know the Z'Hulus play jazz as was heard in New Orleans in the early part of the 20th century where many bands did not have a banjo. I think the 'Banjo' critics think our music started in the 50s with the Barber, Ball and Bilk bands in London, which it didn't, it was 50 years before in New Orleans! Some of the tunes they played were Wabash Blues, Rose Room, Panama Rag, Bucket Got a Hole In it, Tin Roof Blues and Mama Inez. I hope I can get them to play for us again sometime in the future.

On May 9th we saw the return of the Gambit Jazzmen. I noticed in the second and third sets their abandoned their prepared running list of tunes as they were inundated with so many requests some of which included Girl Of My Dreams and Sweet Sue, I wonder who requested these tunes? They also played Sid James in Germany, you may know it by its correct title St James Infirmary before sending us home with a rousing Shake That Thing. It was sad to see Johnny Rogers having to play sitting down. This was due to that horrible disease he thought he had conquered last year rearing its ugly head again. I was speaking to Johnny's wife Kath and she told me it is his wish to die playing his clarinet. Let's hope that he beats this monster again and he plays his clarinet on his 100th birthday!

To finish our second quarter, last month we were entertained by The Golden Eagle Jazz Band who simply enthuse excitement. Pete Jackman on drums is normally a very quiet gentleman but even he joined in the merriment. One of the many things I like about this band is that they play tunes any average jazz fan would recognise. They're also a band that played tunes very easy to dance/jive to including Red Wing, my pretty little red wing, I'm Forever blowing Bubbles and Make Me a Pallet On The Floor. They must have been good, Colin Bush was seen dancing at least twice!!! If we're still in business next year, I will of course book them.

I have just heard that Acker Bilk has retired after many years of ill health. Acker has had a wonderful career doing something he loves, how many of us can say that? Also, many of you may not know he was a respected painter. I first heard his band, the Paramount in Winchester in 1959 with their bowler hats and striped waistcoats. Leading the line was Ken Simms on cornet with John Mortimer on trombone who I saw again some 25 years later. He looked at me and said, "It took you 25 years. Was I that bad?!!" (John was well known for his wit) Discussing the Second World War after a gig in Munich with many German fans he came out with this famous line, "It's not so much about winning but taking part that counts!" Other members of the band were Earnest Price double bass, Roy James banjo and Ron McKay drums. Great days for this 20 year old jazz fan!

Funny things that Jazzers observe at a gig: Recently I went on a member's Blog and read the following, "We were fascinated by the man sitting next to us who announced that his companion and dance partner was one of his ex - wives. I commented that she had her hand on his knee." He said. "Yes good isn't it, we sleep together as well! " This made me realise that I've led a simple life by comparison. I instantly recognised all the people involved. Obviously my lips are sealed to protect the observant gentleman involved. However, a pint of Summer Lightning may loosen my tongue, no will!!

Well folks, that's all the news for now and I look forward to your company on July 11th when the Solent City Jazzmen will be with us featuring my favourite New Orleans style trumpeter Cuff Billett. Please support your club.

Jazzy Joe. Phone:02380 - 869720. Email:joecroll@sky.com

PS: I went to a local library and asked the assistant, "Where's the self help section?" She refused to tell me saying., "If I told you that, it'd defeat the purpose!" (Wilton Branch)

Newsletter January, February and March 2014

And so starts my second year at the helm of the famous Salisbury Jazz Club. My thanks to all of you who gave me a Christmas card, it was very much appreciated, also to the five people who could not make the January gig who sent me the entrance fee as we were thin on numbers. To you five people, who I won't mention by name, it is with your generosity and understanding that I will carry on. The weather that night wasn’t very nice, we only had 53 so maybe a few more of you regulars may wish to do what those people did, it would be nice to help your club to survive.

Our January band, the Sussex Jazz Kings entertained us as only they can. I have noticed since Len Baldwin on trombone joined the band last year they have introduced a few new tunes to their repertoire including 'Marie' and 'Shine' which many of you may remember back in 1962 when the Simms /Wheeler band recorded these tunes on their only LP. For those of you who follow the lives of jazz musicians, I can tell you Ken Simms is still in the building, Ian Wheeler isn’t. During the course of the evening I had a chance to talk to a very nice local muso, Win Bowen. Win, as with many others, have been asking local newspapers to advertise your club. People ask me how do I know if Win is a nice bloke, the answer is quite simple....he told me himself, in fact he insisted. They say self praise is no recommendation........in Win's case it most certainly is.

A few years ago at the other club I run, a 'Cherry Picker' complained that I never insulted him in my newsletters. I had to be honest when I told him 'I only insult nice people'. I believe it comes under the heading, "There's nothing worse than being talked about than not being talked about!". My problem with you lovely Salisbury jazzers is that you're all nice people. Maggie, the lady who serves us our alcoholic refreshments, could be the exception. At a gig last year, she came with a rather revealing dress. I couldn’t make up my mind to ban it or make it compulsory. As I didn’t want to take a chance I tossed a same sided coin, guess what, it came down heads every time, so Maggie please, please wear it again, again and again..................apparently the bar takings trebled that night!

For our Valentine's night, the Excelsior Vintage band entertained us. It was a dreadful night with an attendance of only 40. I really can't blame any of you for not coming as so many flood warnings were in force. I should have cancelled the gig but just like the London Windmill Theatre's motto, 'We Never Closed' it never crossed my mind. My thanks to those of you who contacted me in advance of your travelling problems. The band, led by Cuff Billett played some terrific jazz including 'Girl Of My Dreams', 'Canal Street Blues' and sent us home with a rousing 'Caledonia'. The highlight of the evening was seeing Sarah, Lindsey and Nick from the Wilton Ceroc Club who graced us with their presence. They were amazing with their dancing routines, at one time Nick was dancing with both the girls simultaneously. What a breath of fresh air seeing these young dancers at the club, do please come back, our music deserves to be enjoyed by a younger audience.

Last month we were entertained by Amy Roberts Magnificent 7. Unfortunately, I couldn't be with you as I had a knee replacement the week before so the experts, Margaret and Geoff ran the gig. Wendy Lawrence emailed me a report on the gig:- ''It was standing room only almost from the start.(121) Most of the audience seemed to enjoy the evening and the style of playing did not deter the dancers who were frequently on the floor. Members of band were smartly dressed in black suits and looked to be enjoying the evening. Probably the most obvious difference between this and a New Orleans band was the lack of alcohol on stage. Excellent evening with top class musicians who received a standing ovation as they finished the evening with 'Tiger Rag' played at a frantic pace.''

Four or five years ago Amy played for Jim McIntosh's band at the other club I run. At the time she was studying at the Royal Northern School of Music, but unlike any other teenager she didn’t decamp to the local pub with her mates on a Saturday night, no she caught a train to Eastleigh where I picked her up. Even then she was learning the jazz lingo, her answer to anything I said was met with 'Cool'. Amy is from Cornwall so just to make her feel at home I gave her a Cornish Pasty. All those miles of travelling round England and New Orleans absorbing and honing her talent certainly paid off with an invitation to join the Big Chris Barber Band in 2011, the first female musician to do so ...........................Amy's proper Cornish!

I hope to be with you all again on April 11th without my crutch when, from Belgium, we have a band called the New Orleans Z'Hulus

In the meantime, keep on jazzin'!! Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720. Email: joecroll@sky.com PS: Did you know ..............6 out of 7 Dwarves aren't 'Happy'?......I didn’t either!

If you wish to be included on the Club's email list so that you can receive quarterly news letters, the half - yearly programme and any other Club updates, please send your email address to Tony Barnes at barnes41@btinternet.com inserting SJC Mail as the Subject. If you think you're already on the list but aren't 100% sure, please double - check by sending Tony your email address.

Newsletter October, November and December 2013

My first year of promoting the Salisbury Jazz Club could be summed up by quoting the opening lines of Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities, 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'. In June I was diagnosed with a prostate problem and that I was diabetic. The following month it was my knee that needed replacing but, compared to the great jazz, we had my situation was a mere inconvenience. I am truly grateful that Margaret and Geoff Gilbert who entrusted their 34 year old club to my stewardship, 18 of which they were in charge........... A hard act to follow...........and so it's proved!

Despite my plea in the last newsletter for you to help your club survive, only a few of you bothered to contact me with any helpful suggestions. The October attendance was down and I personally lost £132.00. This was despite being invited to do an interview on Radio Wiltshire on a programme called 'Join Our Club' to promote your club. I would like to thank Tony Barnes, Irene and Lionel Green, Win Bowen, Paddy Hunt and Richard Sharp for their helpful suggestions.

It is with deep sadness I bring you the news of the death of Dennis Dimmer. Dennis was a true jazz man and a member of the Salisbury Jazz Club since it was founded in 1979. He was an expert on the music of Duke Ellington and was also a member of the Duke Ellington Society. I only knew Dennis in the last five years of his life, I wish it had been fifty five for he was an all round nice gentleman. Dennis with his lady friend Mary were our raffle ticket sellers. I'm not saying Dennis was pushy but I bet the first thing he did going through the 'Pearly Gates' was introduce himself to Duke Ellington. I can just imagine the Duke's reply, 'What the hell took you so long Mr Dimmer?' and Dennis replying, 'Language, Duke, don’t you know where we are?!' As funerals go, this is one of the best I've attended. We heard three Duke Ellington tunes and a very moving spiritual, 'Higher Ground' played by Brian Carrick's Algiers Stompers.

Right, that's enough of the negative news, let's get back to the jazz. The October band, the Millennium Eagles, was well received by you. I had a e-mail from Irene and Lionel saying they played so well and lovely numbers and they mentioned that, 'We almost danced our socks off!' As the floor was full nearly all night showed me that I had booked the right band. They are one of most entertaining bands on the scene today who play a mixture of tunes. Do any of you remember the medley they played in the third set, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Little Brown Jug, Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree and Pennsylvania 6-5000? Most of us are old enough to remember them in our younger days....aren’t we?

November 8th saw us being entertained by Pete Wilkinson's Apex Jazzmen. Pete has that knack of being able to read an audience and play tunes accordingly. They kicked off the evening with a very lively Algiers Strut and played many Duke Ellington tunes as a tribute to Dennis Dimmer, who left the building in October, including Black and Tan Fantasy, Creole Love Call and Mood Indigo. The musicians on parade that night were Pete Wilkinson trumpet, Win Bowen trombone, Bernie Mertha clarinet, Doug Kennedy banjo, Ray Goold bass and John Hall on drums. Some of the highlights that night for me was seeing Mary Michel helping with the raffle despite attending Dennis’s funeral the previous day; also Larry got back to his winning ways when his number was called during the raffle.

On November 23rd I visited the Alderholt Village Hall in order to check out a band to see if they would be suitable for your club. The band is called the Pedigree Jazz Band who play tunes that the early Chris Barber, Bilk and Ball bands played back in the 1950s and 60s such as Bobby Shaftoe, The Isle of Capri, Sweet Georgia Brown, Ice Cream and the Kenny Ball's 1962 top twenty hit, Midnight in Moscow. Although they advertise themselves as 'A Tribute To Trad' they have their own unique sound. For Salisbury jazzers of a certain age it will be a wonderful night of nostalgia, listening to the music we fell in love with all those years ago. The bottom line is I have booked them for our Christmas party night on December 12th next year.

Unfortunately I was not able to attend our Christmas party night as I was recovering from a minor prostate operation and was advised to take time off to recover. The experts, Margaret and Geoff Gilbert kindly volunteered to run the gig for me for which I was very grateful. They told me we had the best audience of the year when 112 of you enjoyed the Rich Bennett band from Cornwall. Due to the attendance, I can't make up my mind, should I book this band every month or should I advertise them every month as the Christmas Party night, on second thoughts perhaps not!

Looking back on your club's records the entrance as been £8.00 for the last three years. All credit to Margaret and Geoff for keeping it so low. I have checked with at least six other clubs here in the South and they tell me that, just in order to survive, they have to charge an entrance fee of £10.00 due the increase of hiring bands plus their travelling costs. So it is with regret I also have to increase the entrance fee to £10.00 as from our January 10th gig. Although all the bands that I have booked are very good, I've also managed to book 'The Magnificent Seven'. This is a band you would normally see at the Salisbury Playhouse with ticket prices at £22.00. They are musicians from the Chris Barber, Acker Bilk and the late Kenny Ball bands who play a varied repertoire, with compositions and arrangements by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Louis Prima and many others. They will be with us on March 14th.

By the time you get this newsletter Christmas will have come and gone and all I can say is I hope you all had a good one. Come on you Moonrakers, let's spread the word about the famous Salisbury Jazz Club and have a fantastic 2014. Remember, 'Together, Every One Achieves More'. Happy New Year to you all.

PS: At the evening service tonight, the sermon will be on 'What Is Hell'... Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Newsletter July, August and September 2013

Have you noticed the above heading? This is thanks to Tony Barnes's excellent idea of identifying your club by resurrecting its logo. Now that Tony has started the ball rolling I want other ideas from you which will help the club survive so please get in touch with me as I am having severe problems with low attendances. Are any of you members of the U3A's, Red Hats, Singles Clubs, Bowling Clubs, or any club, please help me to keep your 43 year old club alive and kicking?

Looking back to July, what a month that was. On 6th the club put on a Jazz at Vespers concert at the local Methodist church. Something happened that night which was as rare as chickens teeth......wait for this...... and its true....... everyone I spoke to did not have one word of complaint despite not a banjo in sight. The Real Ale & Thunder Band played out of their skins. Not only did they play 16 tunes on the official programme they also included a couple of requests. We had an audience of 142 and the charity event raised over £350 for the church so well done to Mary Mitchell, Denis Dimmer and Helen Clemow for making it a successful evening. I am pleased to hear the church is going to promote their own Jazz At Vespers concert next year. To those of you who missed it this year, you will have a chance to hear the Real Ale And Thunder band playing Spirituals and Hymns, take my advice, if you missed this one, don’t miss it next year, you will be sorry if you do. It will be on July 5th.

A week later on the 14th the Savannah Jazz Band from Yorkshire entertained us. Before I forget, my thanks to local muso, Win Bowen for bringing along his Keyboard so Brian Ellis could extend his trombone talents to the ivories. They are all top notch musicians but Bill Smith on trumpet, harmonica and vocals just about edged it for me. They are a band who are great entertainers but sacrifice playing genuine New Orleans jazz for commercial reasons and I applaud them for that as they play for a living and have learned to adapt to what the paying public wants to hear, who probably have never heard of Bunk Johnson, Kid Thomas, Louis Nelson et al. On the financial front I just about broke even which surprised me knowing the excellent reputation of the band.

My thanks to the 2 members of the Salisbury Jazz Club who purchased tickets for the River Boat Shuffle I run just to have a Sunday afternoon off from mowing the lawn or maybe it was they, like the other 168 of us who enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoon slowly sailing down the Solent with the palm trees gently swaying in the breeze, listening to the beautiful harmonies of the music of New Orleans and being part of the Brolly Parade.

Colin Kingwell's Jazz Bandits were our August band. Unfortunately John Lawrence (trumpet) could not play due to dental problems. It was sad that half the room was empty after the raffle also it was the lowest turnout we've had this year so I lost £52. Although I like Colin's band it's obvious to see why they don’t get invited on the festival circuit. Gone are the days when a band could just show up and play. The majority of today’s audience couldn’t give a fig who the band is, they just want to go home after being entertained by bands who engage with their audience. As a devotee of the music of New Orleans it's a fact that the music alone is not good enough in the modern era, and quite correctly, audiences will vote with their feet if they feel they are not being entertained.

Moving on September's gig, due to a complete cock up on my part, the band I thought I had booked told me, yes I had booked them but for 2014. I heard this news at 3.00pm on the afternoon of the gig so it was 'Squeaky Bum' time. After my 6th phone call to various band leaders Ray Goold, leader of the Solent City Jazzmen came to my rescue. Ray got back to me within 20 minutes saying he had rounded up five other musicians who would play for us. John Laws clarinet, was in a restaurant enjoying a family afternoon tea in London when Ray phoned him. Like a true pro, John finished his ice cream and drove to Salisbury. Doug Kennedy, banjo was on the 6th green putting for an eagle when his mobile went off. Doug not only missed the eagle but went on to get a double bogey, sorry Doug. I am truly grateful to Ray Goold for getting a band together to play for us at such short notice.

They played Tiger Rag, however I doubt if any of you had heard it played that slowly also they played Panama in the same vein. Many of you asked me who was that amazing trumpet player not knowing it was Cuff Billett. Cuff is probably the best exponent playing genuine New Orleans trumpet in Europe. Unlike last month nearly everyone stayed to the end which reflects your opinion on how much you enjoyed the band...... They will be back!

Finally the tickets for Christmas Party gig on December 20th with the Bennett Brothers featuring Dorine De Witt will be on sale at our October and November jazz nights.

Please keep jazz live by supporting your club.

Jazzy Joe. Phone: 02380 - 869720. Email: joecroll@sky.com

Newsletter April, May and June 2013

Our April band, The Golden Eagle band went down a storm. I booked this band on the advice of Colin Bush but as he was not sitting at his usual table I thought he was not there, he was but had moved to a table at the front. If ever the microphone is not working when I am calling out the raffle winners I can always rely on Mary Mitchell. She did an amazing job calling out the numbers, I suspect she has been a Bingo Caller in her time. It was another good night hearing well known jazz tunes that we were all able to dance to, so I was surprised we did not have 130 happy jazzers after my plea in my first newsletter. The future of your club depends on ‘Bums on seats’ so please help me to help you in making your 34 year old club the success it deserves. I can lead the jazzers to water but I can’t make them drink, that is up to you to do your bit. Due to your enthusiasm for the Golden Eagle I will book them for our 2014 season. On a personal note I particularly liked their version of Canal Street Blues and Jelly Roll Morton’s Doctor Jazz.

Moving on to May when the Gambit Jazzmen entertained us, sadly again the numbers were down so please encourage anyone you know to come along to enjoy an evening being entertained by the music of New Orleans. The band played some great jazz mainly thanks to Alan Gresty on trumpet, and 'Deps' Andy Maynard banjo and the master himself, Mr Trevor Williams on the double bass. Pete Lay plays as many requests as possible, I think he played five at this gig, including, Sweet Sue, When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, I'll See You In My Dreams and Fair And Square In Love......................... I wonder who requested these lovely tunes?

Last year was the bands 'Annus Horribilis'. In January cornet player, Davey Wasket died of cancer, in March, Johnny Rogers reeds, was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer and in December the band lost a lady who was affectionately known as the seventh member of the band when Jill Lay left the building. The thing that caught my attention was the action that Cathy Rogers took. She popped down to her local aerodrome, got into a light aircraft and jumped out at 12,000 feet....................with a parachute. As a result of this brave act, she raised over £5,000 for the Lymphoma Association. I was pleased you approved of me donating the raffle money to the Lymphoma cancer Association. Lets hope none of us will ever have the need for their help. Oh by the way, you generous Salisbury Jazz Club supporters raised £148 which I passed on to Cathy and Johnny Rogers. Also they sent me an email thanking you all which I will read out during next month's gig.

And now a few words on the Summer Solstice Ball. My thanks to those of you who came dressed for the occasion. Many of you came up to me to say how much you enjoyed the evening including an email from Irene Green. The Summer Solstice Ball was Sue Davis, our hostess's idea, not mine. I think one of the keys to the success of the evening was walking down the red carpet and being served with a glass of 'Bubbly' on entering the club and then not only the canapes were dished out to every table we also enjoyed a feast of many other gastronomical delights.

The band, the Dart Valley Stompers provided the music and I must admit it was a bit loud to begin with and so my apologies to a lovely couple from Weymouth. In future I will ask all the bands to play with the minimum of amplification. Again the 'Stompers' gave us an evening of good jazz as the floor was full for most of the night. Did any of you recognize Graham Travarton from the Doc Martin series? For you computer people, type into your search engine Doc Martin going to Bodmin, and then fast forward to 29 minutes and 55 seconds and there you will see Graham playing trumpet at Port Isaac which is one of my favourite places I love to visit in Cornwall. Will we be having another Ball next year? That's up to you lovely Salisbury Jazz Club people, its your club, you tell me.

Please support me on Saturday July 6th when the Real Ale & Thunder band will be playing a 'Jazz At Vespers' concert at the Salisbury Methodist church. The band will be playing Gospel and Spirituals as were played in New Orleans a hundred years ago. The concert is from 7 to 9. 30pm

That's all folks till my September newsletter.

Jazzy Joe .. tel:023 8086 9720 email:joecroll@sky.com

P.S. The only trouble with retirement............you never get a day off.

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