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Pete Allen Jazz Band: Sacramento Lift Off (1983)
Pete Allen (Clarinet and Alto Sax), Chris Hodgkins (Trumpet), Ian Bateman (Trombone), Bernie Allen (Banjo, Guitar, Vocal), Len Thwaites (Bass), Graham Scriven (Drums). Photo (foreground) Nat Gonella; (left to right) Chris Hodgkins, Pete Allen, Bernie Allen, Ian Bateman, Len Thwaites and Graham Scriven.
Harlem Airshaft: Echoes From the Park
Mike Nash (Trombone), John Evans (Clarinet), Max Brittain (Guitar), John Ferguson (Double Bass) and Clive Pracy (Drums). Ealing Jazz Festival August, 2000. Don Cook replaces Clive Pracy in 2008
Harlem Airshaft at Ealing Jazz Festival 2000 playing Full Count
Harlem Airshaft London 18th January 2008 playing Rosetta
Chris Hodgkins and Matt Anderson live at Scarborough Jazz
Providing a link to the Scarborough Literature Festival is now a well-established event for Scarborough Jazz, and this year involved contributions from the local Poetry Workshop. The poets seemed a straightforward, good natured group, with not one languid consumptive among them, or any eccentric clothing: I’d secretly hoped for long strings of beads tangled in crocheted shawls – at least among the men. We were treated to a well-chosen set of poems, many of them jazz related. Felix Hodcroft read one about Thelonious Monk. Jamie McGary read Philip Larkin’s For Sidney Bechet and Jo Reed Turner recited her own poem about hearing Joe Harriott at Ronnie Scott’s. This was enlivened by Matt Anderson’s tenor sax adding colour to her words. Material of a wider nature emerged. Stewart Larner read from Under Milk Wood with Mike Gordon improvising throughout in a sensitive manner. Rosie Larner read Marry The Man from Sitwell’s Facade, going so far as to attempt the voice of Dame Edith.
Musically the evening began with two numbers from the Mike Gordon Trio. These ate into the time available for readings and excluded the two guest musicians booked for the gig. However the first number by the full band, Blue Monk, was excellent, with Matt Anderson’s persuasive and assured sax and Chris Hodgkin’s muted trumpet in wonderfully bluesy mode. Now fully warmed up, the band stopped while two poems were read. In fact, we didn’t get two consecutive musical numbers, despite several times hearing two or even three consecutive poems. Was it a case of the poetry interrupting the jazz or the other way round? The jazz we did get was very good, with a feature for each front liner. Chris Hodgkins took the seldom played Black Butterfly and reminded us of what a lovely tune it is, while Matt chose It Could Happen To You which show-cased his beautiful sound. It proved an interesting evening with something for everyone. There was an ‘open’ section where audience members could read, Patrick Henry and Rob Tyson took advantage of this. There were notices asking for quiet during the readings. Perhaps a crowd of school children had been expected. They couldn’t apply to the audience of adults who had paid to listen, surely? This event may well grow year upon year, and we look forward to the next link with the Literature Festival.
4th April 2012 by Dick Armstrong