CD: Chris Hodgkins And His Band – Retrospection

The album is released on the September 2017. The album can be purchased at cost price from Chris at chris.hodgkins3@googlemail.com. The price is £8.00 including postage and packing.Or direct via PayPal at http://www.chrishodgkins.co.uk/recordingsreviews/

My grateful thanks to Anne Hawkes, Betty Lane, Bob Tunnicliffe, Eric Gilchrist, John Collier, Susan Greensmith for their permission to produce this CD under the MCPS Limited Manufacture licence and my thanks to Eric Gilchrist for the CD artwork and design.

To hear some tracks from the album click on the tunes below:

Isn’t This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In The Rain)?

At Sundown

Robbins’ Nest

Swinging The Berries

Bell CD 515

Chris Hodgkins And His Band - Retrospection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Satin Doll 5:00
2 Undecided 3:35
3 Bill Coleman 4:42
4 Beginning To See The Light 3:29
5 I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 4:44
6 Isn’t This A Lovely Day To Be Caught In The Rain 4:31
7 Body And Soul 3:23
8 Splanky 5:24
9 Take The A Train 2:24
10 Crazy Rhythm 2:31
11 There’ll Be Some Changes Made 3:11
12 At Sundown 4:22
13 Robbins’ Nest 5:09
14 Black Nightgown 3:23
15 Swinging The Berries 3:41
16 Kansas City Women 3:58
17 Spring Spring Spring 3:37

Total running time 67:04 mins

Tracks 1 – 3 Recorded Swansea Sound April 1976 by Wynn Lodwick
Eric Gilchrist (Alto Sax), Bob Tunnicliffe (Trombone),Chris Hodgkins (Trumpet), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Jed Williams (Drums).
Track 4 Recorded Swansea Sound April 1976.
Eric Gilchrist (Alto Sax), Bob Tunnicliffe (Trombone), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Jed Williams (Drums).
Track 5,6,8,9 Recorded Swansea Sound April 1976.
Eric Gilchrist (Alto Sax), Bob Tunnicliffe (Trombone),Chris Hodgkins (Trumpet), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Jed Williams (Drums). Wynn Lodwick (Announcement)
Track 7 Recorded Swansea Sound April 1976.
Eric Gilchrist (Alto Sax), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Jed Williams (Drums).
Tracks 10 Recorded Pollination Programme, Cardiff, 10th December 1976
Eric Gilchrist (Alto Sax), Bob Tunnicliffe (Trombone),Chris Hodgkins (Trumpet), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Jed Williams (Drums).
Tracks 11 Recorded Forum Programme, Cardiff, 30th March 1977
Eric Gilchrist (Alto Sax and vocal), Bob Tunnicliffe (Trombone), Chris Hodgkins (Trumpet), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Jed Williams (Drums).
Tracks 12 – 16 Recorded Swansea Sound April 1978 by John Ham.
John Collier (Alto and Tenor Sax), Bob Tunnicliffe (Trombone),Chris Hodgkins (Trumpet), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Terry Hawkes (Drums).
Tracks 17 Recorded Swansea Sound April 1978.
John Collier (Alto Sax), Bob Tunnicliffe (Trombone), Eric Herbert (Piano), David Greensmith (Double bass), Terry Hawkes (Drums).

Reviews

“Wonderful to be transported back to Cardiff in the 1970s by the time machine that is music awakening memories of of great times and friendships that still endure.” Stuart Nicholson March 2017

“It is a hell of a good band.” Wild Bill Davison 14th September 1976

Liner notes

In “All That Jazz” in volume three of the Cardiff Book, John Scantlebury said that “Despite his youth Hodgkins quickly brought some much needed organisation into the traditional jazz scene”. This was very kind of John but he forgot to mention that there had to be something to organise and there was – Cardiff was bristling with jazz talent. Joining the Icon Jazz Men at the Quebec hotel in 1970 with Howell Bines (piano), Alun Jones (clarinet and alto sax), Geoff Palser (trombone), Clarence Nugent (drums) and Bob Tunnicliffe (double bass) – the Icon Band took its name from the American record label of the same name – I focussed on the music of New Orleans. In 1973 I started to tread a well worn musical path into the “mainstream” of jazz playing with Vic Parker at the Quebec on Monday and Wednesday nights.  My first band played at the Bristol hotel in Cardiff with Bob Tunnicliffe on trombone – the first band I ran briefly at the New Moon Club in 1967 had Bob Tunnicliffe on piano – Stuart Nicholson (tenor sax), Mike Pearce (drums), David Greensmith (bass), and Eric Herbert (piano). The journey along the path to “mainstream” had gathered pace and by now was a gallop that would have won the Grand National. I left the Icon band in 1975 to form a quartet initially to play the music of Henry Red Allen from his “Feeling Good” album. In the quartet were Eric Herbert, Jed Williams on drums and Lionel Davis or Bob Tunnicliffe on bass.

At the Welsh Jazz Festival my new band took to the stage at the Great Western hotel on Wednesday 5th May 1976 with Jed Williams, Eric Herbert, David Greensmith, Bob Tunnicliffe and on alto sax from London was Eric Gilchrist. I was very fortunate to have the talents of Eric Herbert on piano who was always inventive and never ceased to swing and Bob Tunnicliffe – if Bob had made the move to London he would have without doubt graced the band stand of many top name bands. David Greensmith arranged for the band, he was also instrumental in developing the Welsh Jazz Festival that Geoff Palser and I had initiated in 1974. Later on David’s expertise was crucial in the formation of the Welsh Jazz Society Ltd in 1978. I was the first managing director followed by Jed Williams on my move to London in 1981. Jed Williams successfully transformed the Welsh Jazz Festival into the Brecon Jazz Festival The band went onto support musicians of the calibre of Buddy Tate, Humphrey Lyttelton, Kathy Stobart, Bud Freeman, Dick Carey, Joe Temperley, Harry South, Ronnie Ross, Howard McGhee, Peanuts Hucko, Benny Waters and Wild Bill Davison who said “It is a hell of a good band”. The band made a number of television and radio appearances with only two changes of personnel in three years; Terry Hawkes replaced Jed Williams and John Collier came into the band after Eric left to pursue a lucrative career in advertising. Sadly members of the band have passed away; Jed Williams (1952-2003), David Greensmith (1943-2002), Terry Hawkes (1932-2014), Eric Herbert (1936-2016). Further details and photographs of the band are at: http://www.chrishodgkins.co.uk/recordingsreviews/

John Scantlebury wondered “what he can produce in the years to come if he manages to rebuff London’s attractions”. We will never know as the lure of London proved too strong.

Chris Hodgkins

25th February 2017