AS I type I’m listening to George Lewis’s band playing JUST A LITTLE WHILE TO STAY HERE, broadcast by Simon Stribling on his radio program “Web of Jazz” on WMN.FM from Whistler, BC, Canada.
Simon’s show is on Friday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm, and you can hear it live at Web of Jazz if you’re an early bird – at the moment 2pm in Whistler equals 7am the next day in Melbourne – but come daylight saving time, it will be a more civilised 9 o’clock on Saturday morning.. You can even “chat” live with Simon!
If you’re not up early or are otherwise engaged, the shows are archived here and you can listen at your leisure (which I’m doing) . The music is great, wih the occasional reference to Oz and to Australian bands.
As Australian jazz fans will know, Simon is a multi-instrumentalist who played with such great Oz bands as HOTTER THAN SIX, THE WOMBAT JAZZ BAND, FIREWORKS, EAST COAST CONNECTION and at various BOB BARNARD JAZZ PARTIES. Here’s a video of Fireworks playing DIGA DIGA DOO at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in 1998, a magic year for the band!
The lineup is Graham Coyle on piano, Mark Elton on bass, Jo Stevenson on clarinet, Simon on trumpet, Tom Baker on trombone, Ian “Smithy” Smith on drums and Paul Finnerty on banjo
.Simon moved from Australia to Vancouver in 2000 with his wife Lauri Lyster. In 2004 he established his band The New Orleans Ale Stars (yes ALE). While the original vision was to play straight ahead in the New Orleans tradition, the band couldn’t help but pay tribute to the many masters in the field including Simon’s hero Louis Armstrong. Add to that some swing, the occasional bop tune and a fine smattering of Australian jazz tunes and you have the sound of the Ale Stars.
Here’s a recording of the ALE Stars playing in Vancouver in 2007.
Recently Simon and family moved up to the ski country at Whistler, British Columbia where he is taking the opportunity to fill an entertainment gap by promoting trad jazz and swing.
Simon, all your aussie fans wish you the best in your musical adventures! Thank you to John and Brenda Withers for alerting us to this info.