Thanks to Flemming Thorbye and Jonathan David Holmes* for the quartet of hot performances that follow — by Keith Nichols’ Blue Devils in a tribute to the territory bands of the late Twenties — going on into the next decade.
Keith had a wonderful complement of swinging sight readers and jazz scholars for this set, as he led from the piano and occasionally burst into song. They were Bent Persson, Rico Tomasso, Andy Woon, trumpets; Steve Andrews, Jean-Francois Bonnel, Matthias Seuffert, reeds; Alistair Allan, trombone; Richard Pite, string bass; Martin Wheatley, guitar; Nick Ward, drums. This band has a wonderfully rich sound and a deep idiomatic approach, turning this hotel ballroom into a simulation of a local dance hall: you can see some dancers off to the right.
We begin with SPRINGFIELD STOMP (Jonathan), recorded by Lloyd Scott’s Bright Boys, a band based in Springfield, Ohio — that at various times had Bill Coleman, Frank Newton, brother Cecil Scott, and Dicky Wells on the stand :
Early Bennie Moten, before Eddie Durham revolutionized Kansas City jazz, can be heard in the THICK LIP STOMP (Jonathan):
SIX OR SEVEN TIMES (Thorbye) comes from a small group out of the Don Redman / McKinney’s Cotton Pickers group; the familiar opening riff surfaces again, at twice the tempo, in ONE O’CLOCK JUMP:
SOME OF THESE DAYS features Steve Andrews, paying tribute to Coleman Hawkins and the recordings he made with the Ramblers in Holland:
*A few lines about Jonathan — he lives in Lincoln, Lancashire, has studied journalism. At twenty, he’s a new but dedicated collector and restorer of hot and dance band 78s, a man with his own YouTube channel, and is busily teaching himself both the trumpet and the Charleston.