River City Jazzmen - Jazz on a Sunday
Reporter: Tony Sheldon
Date online: 31 May 2012
We had another new band to Jazz on a Sunday on 29th April with the visit of Wales’ River City Jazzmen. Their longtime trombonist Harry Price had sadly passed away ten days previously, but leader and banjo player Curly Jones insisted on fulfilling the gig with Bob Hambledon filling the breach.
Front line trumpeter Charles Wilson directed operations, and the band got off to rousing start with “The Original Dixieland One Step”.
The vocals were shared by Wilson and reedsman Gerry Owen and a varied programme had something for all tastes.
The rhythm section powered by Malcolm Hogarth’s piano fused the blend with Jones’ banjo, Glyn Edwards on bass guitar and the drumming of Rod Ledsham and were prominent backing the vocals of Wilson in “When You’re Smiling” and “I Like to go back in the Evening” and Owens’ renditions of “Smiles” and “Curse of an Aching Heart” in an entertaining first set.
Suitably refreshed, Owens told the story of “Dinah” and a twenties arrangement of “Charleston” had Wilson adding the words.
The melancholy sax of Owens led “Georgian on my Mind”, and a bright and breezy “Hiawatha Rag” had the band at full power.
The big numbers came thick and fast, and Wilson led into the break with “When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabay”.
“Clarinet Marmalade” led into the last set with Wilson’s powered trumpet, slowing down to the gentle spiritual “Lily of the Valley” and Owens’ vocal.
Wilson hit the boards with “Cabaret” and the full force of sax, trumpet and trombone, and a superb interpretation of Armstrong’s “West End Blues” set the room alight.
With a rousing outro of “Tiger Rag”, the crowd yelled for more and Wilson obliged with an encore adding his vocal to “Shine”, which aptly sums up Jazz on a Sunday!
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