Tuesday. 2nd April 2019 Chris Walker’s Pedigree Jazz Band
The gig opened with a rendition of “Bourbon Street Parade” sung by ‘The Male Voice Jazz Choir’! This certainly grabbed my attention and what followed was an evening of vocals, historical facts and good jazz!
Many of the numbers took me back to Saturday evenings and the school dance (I was at a co-ed boarding school for the sixth form); the quick step to Kenny Ball’s the “Green Leaves of Summer”, to name just one.
The front line of Chris Walker on clarinet, Andy Chislett on trumpet and flugelhorn with Tony Mann on trombone gave us a toe tapping evening with brilliant renditions of so many familiar melodies. Sydney Bechet’s “Petit Fleur” allowed the clarinet to sing with clarity and “Tansy” the duet between the clarinet and trombone worked so well. “Autumn Leaves” on the trombone was played with great depth and emotion and during every number Andy’s fingers flew over the valves of the trumpet really catching our imagination. “The Livery Stable Blues” brought smiles to our faces with the horse’s whinnying on the trumpet and I think it was the moo of a cow on the trombone. The farmyard had come to KJC.
John Nodding on banjo and guitar, Sy Gorelick on drums and Al Swainger ( to quote Amy Roberts “how cool a name is that!”) on double bass made up a particularly good rhythmical back line. The whole band played as one. No need for many solos.
We had an evening of many old favourites – there were marching numbers, blues numbers and classical numbers all played in the Trad style. I have never heard Prokofiev’s ‘Peter’ skip down the garden path and through the gate with such energy (Peter and the Wolf).
The evening was enlightened with many interesting historical snippets, some humour and real musical energy. The band obviously enjoyed playing as much as we did listening. Please come again!
” I can honestly say that in all my years I’ve never enjoyed a trad jazz night so much as I did tonight. Consummate musicians, all plying their trade enthusiastically and with a wonderful repertoire to boot! We could both see and hear their musicianship from our seats – so many other bands could learn a thing or two about professionalism from them. May they continue to entertain clubs such as ours for many years to come”. GRAHAM & MARTHA BLOCK – Warfield Park Jazz Club
“Yet another great night at Kingsbridge Jazz Club. In the Jazz Cellar a ‘High Octain’ performance by Chris Walker’s ‘Pedigree Jazz Band’ wowed the audience of 78 throughout the evening; the brilliant sextet certainly lived up to the band name by demonstrating their own ‘Musical Pedigree’ is of the highest order whilst performing an exciting and varied programme of classic numbers that demonstrated the rich heritage of the Trad Jazz style.”
“Just to say what a truly wonderful night we had with you and your very talented band. You were all so professional and made the evening quite memorable. It was a full house and everyone commented what a great night they had.” The Commitee of Ryedale Jazz Festival
“Thank you so much for a wonderful evening of jazz, loved by everybody, thank you so much. Would you be interested in doing another evening for us in 2018 – also a warm up jazz talk?
Julie – The Talbot Hotel – Southport
“Just wanted to send a wee note to thank you and the boys for an excellent evening of jazz on Friday night in Ayr. It certainly got the punters buzzing! Evenings like that gives the club a lift, mainly because there are some “ordinary” though good bands about and you tend to get a lot of the same standard. So Friday was an “eye or ear” opener to them all. Thanks again and will be in touch in due course. Pencil us in for 2019″ – Stuart McLean – Ayr Jazz Club
“With the packed audience’s standing ovation still ringing in our ears Stafford Jazz Society has just booked the Pedigree Jazz Band’s Tribute to Trad Jazz for the third consecutive year! They bring the very best of this iconic music and appeal to a wider-than-jazz audience that nostalgically remembers those foot-tapping days of the late fifties, early sixties and those unforgettable chart-topping numbers. Jazz clubs that see themselves increasingly as preservation societies for an endangered species of music should definitely book this band. They are both a credit and a fitting tribute to the golden era of traditional jazz.”
Nick Balmforth MBE (Chairman) Stafford Jazz Society
“The Pedigree Jazz Bank made a welcome return to Callow End Village Hall on Saturday 10 May where they once again played to an audience of a hundred avid Trad Jazz fans. The evening began colourfully with the band playing ‘Bourbon Street Parade’ accompanied by a number of ladies in the audience parading with brightly decorated brollies. That broke any ice may have been present and the remaining two hours was a Trad jazz wonderland.”
David Bailey (Callow End Village Hall)
“At the end of the session, I was surrounded by our customers demanding to know when you would be coming back to Sutton Coldfield, many commenting that it was a superb band of excellent musicians playing a very professionally presented programme.”
Clive Keeley (Sutton Coldfield Jazz Club)
Chris Walker & Roger Marks returned with their tribute to Trad Jazz in June and were even better than last year. The music, the quality of the musicians and the little anecdotes made for a great evening’s entertainment. As I said last year these bands were the music of my teens and twenties and this concert brought back many memories. We all knew it was going to be a good evening from the first note of ‘Bourbon Street Parade’ which was followed by a delightfully understated arrangement of ‘Chimes Blues’. Chris played two numbers that were no.1 hits, Chris Barber’s ‘Petit Fleur’ 1956 and Acker Bilk’s ‘Stranger on the Shore’ 1962. Both were brilliant as was Roger Marks on trombone with ‘Dark Eyes.’ I enjoyed every other piece they played but my favourites were ‘Brahm’s Cradle Song’, ‘Midnight in Moscow’ & ‘The World is waiting for the Sunrise’ which featured Ken Ames. Graham Trevarton gave us ‘Bugle Boy March’ on trumpet and on a bugle that Chris had bought on Ebay. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening one of the best this year so far.
Wraysbury Jazz Club
We had a wonderful session last night with the Pedigree Jazz Band. Possibly the most professional and informative presentation we have ever experienced. Superb musicians all. The selection of tunes was evocative in the extreme – with many of the original Barber/Bilk/Ball and Dutch Swing College numbers which were all the rage in the late 50s/early 60s.
Boston Spa Jazz Club
GOSPORT Jazz Club Gig on 11 June 2014: –
Jan & Peter Almond thought they were “Brilliant, really loved them – energetic lively, wonderful musicians”.
Reg Norton wrote ”When are they coming back? Brought back wonderful memories of the Hot Club of London with Ken Colyer, Chris Barber and Lonnie Donegan. The Best!”.
Terry Nash said “Six brilliant, well rehearsed musicians. I Could listen to them all night”.
John Carter wrote ”wonderful evening of nostalgia for British ‘pop’ music, late 50s to early 60s, between Lonnie Donegan and the Beatles! Brilliant evening!”
“It’s like listening to a band in a jazz club back in the old days.”
Barnsley Jazz Club – comment on the band’s first appearance.
“I would like to book the band again next year. It went down very well last time”
Mavis Humphries (Plymouth Jazz Club)
“Looking at your own web site, it is hard to improve on the page “A tribute to Trad Jazz”
Might use “….”experienced, professional presentation” or something of that ilk.”
Ian Brameld (Watford Pump House Jazz Club)