Savannah Jazz Band – Jazz on a Sunday
Reporter: Tony Sheldon
Date online: 14 October 2010
It is two years since the Savannahs visited ‘Jazz on a Sunday’, and an enthusiastic reception greeted one of the best bands on the circuit.
Led by drummer John Meehan the gig got underway with “Martha”, slowing down to a Sunday favourite “In the Sweet Bye and Bye” tastefully performed. Other highlights of set one contrasted “My Old Grey Bonnet” with “Teasing Rag and trumpeter Bill Smith’s harmonica expertise on “My Babe”, the 50’s hit number one.
Set two, full of variety presented the melodic “Ting-A-Ling”, the moody “Creole Love Call”, muted trumpet, Rod Chambers’ clarinet break, and the wah-wah muted trombone of Sam Ellis, and a powerful rendition of Sophie Tucker’s “Some of these Days”, Smith’s trumpet and vocal interspersed with solos by Louis Lince’s banjo and Tony Pollitt on double bass.
“Buddy’s Habit” with a good integration of instrumentalism made good listening and the interval number of “Shake it and Break It” built up to a crescendo with driving clarinet, throbbing bass and rhythm section leaving everyone gasping for a drink.
Into the last stretch with Chamber’s vocal “Over in the Glory Land” accompanied by trumpet solo, slide trombone and up-beat tenor-sax. “Dippermouth” a fast stomping attack, quiet middle section and Meehan’s barn storming drumming climaxing the finish.
A duo for trombone and clarinet followed by banjo solo, and front line interplay gave a fine arrangement to “Black Cat on the Fence”, then into Louisiana with rasping trombone one leading “Boogalousa Strut”.
“Stormy Monday Blues” another opportunity for Smith’s harmonica supported by solo trombone drive from Ellis faded away for the popular number “I want to be Happy” in which sax, trumpet and trombone paved the way for a drumtastic attack by Meehan, during which Pollitt decided to read a newspaper much to amusement of the audience. And so the end was nigh and what better way to leave than with Ken Colyers “Goin’ Home” much to the chagrin of the appreciating fans.
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