Manchester Jazz – Jazz on a Sunday
Reporter: Tony Sheldon
Date online: 23 November 2010
A welcome return to Jazz on a Sunday by Mart Rodger’s Manchester Jazz, and off to a fine start with “All The Girls Go Crazy” and the powerful trumpet of Alan Dent.
“Wabash Blues” presented nicely spaced pieces for Rodger’s clarinet, Eric Brierley’s trombone and the bluesy banjo of Charlie Bentley.
“Deed I Do” brought a vocal from Brierley with neat front line interplay.
The sorrow within was shown in the smooth interaction of the front three in the arrangement of “Sobbing Blues” and Rodger’s clarinet blended tightly with the rhythm section in “If I Ever Cease To Love”.
A bossanova style intro bu drummer Chris Pendlebury with brush and stick to the Artie Shaw favourite “Frenesi” welcomes Rodger’s clarinet talent, Bentley’s banjo and a duet for drums and Colin Smith on double bass.
“Georgia on my Mind” with Brierley’s vocal and Bentley’s guitar lef to the interval number “St Thomas” Caribbean vibes with front line melodic fusion and neat interludes for banjo and drums.
The slow strains of New Orleans “Louisiana” settled the refreshed aficionados leading to King Oliver’s “Riverside Blues”, the melancholy trials and tribulations of the trombone with integral banjo and fine trumpet and clarinet.
The smiling face vocal and banjo of Bentley told us “When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam” with front line jollity and “Kansas City Stomp” featured Smith on tuba with Bentley’s banjo and the front three stomping along.
The Ink Spots’ “I’ll Never Smile Again ‘til I Smile at You”, a gentle tale of sadness beautifully arranged for front line finery and trumpet finesse faded away for the second interval offering written by Colin Smith “Saving all my Pennies” with the front line backing a vocal from Mart Rodger.
It was the voice of Rodger starting the final set with Fats Waller’s “Let’s Sing Again” with a solo piece for Smith’s double bass. Dent’s powerful trumpet led Clarence Williams’ “Kansas City Men Blues” with Brierley’s frenetically sliding trombone, and it was Brierley taking the vocal in the swinging “Jeepers Creepers”.
“Strange Blues” slowly built up for the smooth trumpet and clarinet strains whilst Dent’s muted trumpet interplayed with clarinet, banjo and double bass in “Oriental Man”.
Brierley’s gentle wistful trombone accompanied his vocal in the melancholy “I’m Going to Move to the Outskirts of Town” before Bentley’s vocal and banjo went “Sailing Down Chesapeake Bay” – they do a lot of travelling this band!
It was time to go, and the band played out at full throttle “It Don’t Mean a Thing if you ain’t got that Swing”. Rodger’s band played 22 numbers of which 12 I have rarely heard played, and the appreciation of the audience was obvious to see.
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