AFTER four months of being off the jazz scene for various medical reasons, it was great to be back in the swing again last Sunday. And what better way to start testing the waters than lunching at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel with good friends Bob and Marcie Whetstone, and the inimitable Ian Smith Trio providing the music. I don’t know whether it’s because we’ve been starved for live jazz for so long, or whether the group was in particularly good form, but the music was at its mellowist.
The lineup – which varies week by week – was special. Ian Smith on cornet, Will Purcell on guitar and James Clark on bass. In addition Bob Whetstone had brought along his new Bobby Shew Yamaha trumpet and sat-in for several numbers.
“Blueberry Hill” was an early request. Bob and Graeme joining in the vocals.
Just to prove they can and do play anything (well almost anything) the punters ask for, the band did a chorus of “Loch Lomond” for a Scottish party. That’s the lovely Marcie Whetstone in the foreground.
Another request “Ain’t She Sweet”. Note Bob’s new mute which he tells me is a straight double mute, which looks rather like one described on the web as a Humes and Berg “Stonelined Cleartone Trumpet Mute”. Check it out and tell me if I’m wrong.
Bob breaks out on “Mack the Knife” while Ian has a go with the mute.
Graeme proves that he can still sing.
It was good to see James and family back in Australia after a sojourn in the UK, (based in Bristol) where he was playing with C. W. Stoneking’s Primitive Horn Orchestra.
Here’s a clip from a Stoneking performance in Athens in February 2012.
And yes, that’s Stephen Grant on cornet.
Well, I guess it pays the rent.