Hot Stuff coming to St John’s!

Lifestyle / Mon 28th Jul 2014 at 11:29am

A RARE opportunity to catch Britain’s leading traditional jazz band of the ‘90s occurs at the final concert of the season at St John’s Arts Centre, (St John’s Walk, Market St, Old Harlow CM17 0AJ) on Thursday (31st July) @ 8pm.

Chez Chesterman’s Hot Stuff! drew huge audiences at festivals and theatres some 20 years ago, playing classic jazz tunes seldom heard today.

Hot Stuff! has a wide repertoire ranging from obscure tunes recorded by New Orleans cornetist, Freddy Keppard in the ‘20s, to Fats Waller, to Duke Ellington to Sidney Bechet, with liberal helpings of the blues and spirituals.

Bandleader, Chez Chesterman was born in Hull. He left Humberside in the ‘50s to join Cy Laurie’s Jazz Band. A spell with another legendary clarinettist, Sandy Brown followed. In the early ‘90s he toured with George Chisholm OBE and Essex jazz singer, Maxine Daniels in “Swinging Down Memory Lane”.

He led a re-formed version of the famous London busking band, the ‘Happy Wanderers’ and was spotted by the producer of “The Boy Friend” and provided the music for the successful revival of this hit musical.

Freelancing these days, Chez enjoys playing and singing with a variety of bands all over the UK and Europe.

Clarinet / sax man, John Wurr, was a huge presence on the London Jazz scene for many years. He was a onetime sideman with the famous Ken Colyer and became Maxine Daniels’ musical director. He recorded the album, ‘Heah Me Talkin’’ with Chez and John Petters in tribute to one of his idols, clarinettist, Johnny Dodds. Now based in Devon, John spends much of his time on the road delighting jazz fans wherever he plays.

Mike Pointon is a multi talented individual. As a tailgate trombone player he stands alone. In a long and colourful career Mike has worked with such veteran American stars as Albert Nicholas, Mezz Mezzrow and Alton Purnell.

As a writer and broadcaster, he produced numerous BBC documentaries on Jazz and comedy, which stand up very well against the Corporation’s recent efforts. His book ‘Goin’ Home – the Uncompromising Life & Music of Ken Colyer) won the All Parliamentary Jazz Award in 2010.

Pianist Tim Huskisson has become a regular visitor to St John’s in recent months. He has gained a considerable following since returning to the jazz scene after working as musical director for comedian, Brian Conley.

Guitarist, Jim Douglas, whose autobiography, ‘Tours, Tunes and Travel-itis’ tells of wild days on the road with the Alex Welsh Band, is without equal. Jim learnt his craft accompanying a host of American stars, most notably, trumpeter Henry ‘Red’ Allen. A video exists of a BBC Jazz 625 show from the ‘60s, where a young Jim is clearly seen to be having a ball.

The band is completed by Harlow bassist, Keith Donald and ex Harlow drumming man, John Petters, both of whom worked with Hot Stuff! in its heyday.

The show starts at 8pm and tickets are only £10 on the door. For further details call 01406 365 731 or go to www.traditional-jazz.com.

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