A Pembrokeshire-based trombonist and his band brought a taste of New Orleans to the Imperial Hotel, Tenby on Sunday.
Trombonist Tudor Thomas brought his New Moonshine Boulevard to the Tenby Jazz Lunch on November 19, five musicians conjuring up a real taste of New Orleans in the Imperial Hotel. The line-up has changed over the years but the band works like a well-oiled vintage machine – solid, dependable, with a few sparks along the way.
Joining Thomas were Andy Leggett on reeds, Bill Ridley on trumpet, Vic Partridge on banjo and guitar and Peter Berry on string bass. With three saxophones and a clarinet, Leggett was a class act throughout. His first instrument, aged five, was a tin whistle, and after lessons on recorder, piccolo, clarinet and oboe he went on to play for jazz greats including the Syd Lawrence Orchestra and Chris Barber’s Band. Ridley’s trumpet playing was brilliant, while Partridge and Berry were so much more than a rhythm section.
Thomas, Leggett and Ridley all contributed don’t-give-up-the-day-job vocals, with Leggett bringing the house down with his all-gone-wrong version of ‘Blue Heaven’, complete with dysfunctional kids, mortgage nightmares and a nagging wife.
The band really knows how to get the best out of any number. In ‘September in the Rain’, Thomas’ poignant singing led to the beauty of Ridley’s muted trumpet before the texture was pared down to just guitar and bass. It was magical – just one memorable number in a wide-ranging repertoire with heart-warming playing from all.
For the next Jazz Lunch, organiser Chris Osborne is overcoming his inner Scrooge to present Sarah Meek and Dave Cottle in ‘The Ella and Louis Christmas Show’ on December 17, giving everyone a chance to wear their Christmas jumper and get in the spirit.