Al Bowlly was a memorable singer and guitarist. Thomas “Spats” Langham is a memorable singer and guitarist. Does anyone see a pattern here?
The musical connections were warmly evident at the 2012 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party, when Spats took to the little bandstand to celebrate Al — with the best friendly assistance from Enrico Tomasso, trumpet; Jens Lindgren, trombone; Norman Field, reeds; Emma Fisk, violin; Martin Litton, piano; Manu Hagmann, string bass; Richard Pite, drums.
Spats crooned sweetly, earnestly, and with lovely humor — and the band rocked or serenaded around him. On the first tune (and others) I thought, “My goodness, this is how Al Bowlly might have sounded if he had ended up in the (U.S.) Brunswick Records studios in 1936 with a Teddy Wilson small band,” and the combination was inspiring.
GOT A DATE WITH AN ANGEL:
THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN:
THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (oh, so sweet):
MY SWEET VIRGINIA:
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? (Readers, I apologize for the missing eight bars at the end. It is possible that unintentionally shut the camera off because I was trying too hard to hold back tears, and I am serious):
One other selection, performed beautifully, GUILTY, will show up in another form. Immensely touching music.
I write this post with my father in mind. Born in 1915, this was his music — and I learned the lyrics to BROTHER from him, very early. He would have admired Spats very much.
May your happiness increase.