We are delighted to be able to announce that our old friend Terry Williams has agreed to join the band as from the 1st of March.
It’s been a couple of months of dicing with the weather. Enfield, Farnborough, Sutton Coldfied and Unwin rd S C all snowed off. Great Sessions at the 100 club and The Pump house Watford to look back on and enjoy. Why do we keep doing it? As a friend said “ because we can” Well, the New City Jazz Band from Crawley have just packed up after some 50 years, and their leader Bernard puts it like this in his new book: “Nothing matters but the pulse of the music.” (This could sound like a flimsy excuse, of course. Paul Newman uses it at the end of “Paris Blues” to avoid settling down with Joanne Woodward. (The fool ) But the tunes still weave their spell…
We keep adding bits and pieces to the repertoire: Pete his multi-brass array, Brian his sousaphone, Matt his multi-reed ideas, Jack all those Cotterill drum techniques, Chris his desperate attempts to sound like Bessie Smith!
So see you somewhere in 2013
TRAVELLING BLUES Sleeve Notes
This is the fourth collaboration between the Millennium Eagle Jazz Band and Peter Kings, sound engineer extraordinaire. As ever it was done in a big hall with a big crowd, in an attempt to give the atmosphere of a live performance rather than studio sound. In the two years since the last CD what developments have there been? Well, you can chart the band’s traveling progress from our Newsletters ( meagle.co.uk) The CD’s title seems more than appropriate for a group who get from Scotland to the Isle of Wight 2 or 3 times a year. But the friendships you make, and the variety of landscape and accents, more than make up for the fatigue. And the band’s collective Hippocampus – the area of the brain where you store your knowledge of good breakfast bars – must be second only to Chris Barber’s! As for the music, we hope it still pleases. The front line cohesion meets its best challenge in the a cappella section of “Goodnight Sweet Prince;” but it is the weave of the whole ensemble which is the acid test. Polyphonic music has to have players who dovetail. Rhythm sections have to give drive, lilt and lift. We like to think we can “honour” jazz compositions anywhere between Jelly Roll Morton and Irving Berlin, hovering somewhere between a 2-beat rhythm and something a bit looser. Individual prowess may be judged in the feature items. There is Matt’s enviable fluency in “St. Philip Street”; Jack’s speed of hand in “Hawaiian War Chant”. “Kansas City Man Blues” highlights the Bechet side of Matt, both as student of the early Bechet bands and as an exponent of the soprano sax. Later he has to be Alphonse Picou in “High Society”, Omer Simeon in the two Jelly Roll Morton adaptations, and play with a Gallic accent in “Le Marchand de Poissons!” Brian’s double-bass is, as ever, the indispensable cornerstone. Peter and Chris air their lungs in “Hi Lily” and “Good Ol’ Wagon” respectively: it’s hard to know whether Peter has more trouble imitating Alma Cogan than Chris does with Bessie Smith! Despite all the travelling
SEE THE GIG LIST!!!!