Even in these days there are still hard-working musicians with very little internet presence. Tenor and clarinet player Ron Drake is one of them. I found only one YouTube video which has a very little of him and two percussion solos played on a collection of saucepans. Colchester Jazz Club wrote this about him: “Ron's father Ted Drake, plays banjo and guitar, encouraged by his father Ron began playing Clarinet at the age of eleven taking up the saxophone six years later. Spent three years with the Yorkshire Jazz Band before moving to London to join the Alan Elsdon band. Was with Alan for ten years until 1987. In the eighties and nineties freelanced with various bands including Keith Smith's Hefty Jazz, Bob Bates Band, Cambell Burnap’s Band, depped in Laurie Chescoe's Good Time Jazz and depped many times over the years with Alex Welsh Band.”

So, here’s the video with the saucepans. There’s a little bit of clarinet starting at 1:05. Spencer Brown will be on bass and Rod Brown will be on drums. But not on kitchen utensils. Not as far as we know...

John Etheridge and Art Themen are both central figures in recent British Jazz and it will be quite something to hear them together, especially with Arnie Somogyi and WInston Clifford accompanying. Here’s John with some solo Mingus, and a fine ballad performance of “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” by Art:

John Etheridge’s website:

John Etheridge

Matt Home’s website:

March’s band, led by drummer Matt Home with a selection of European musicians, is a tribute to the bebop pianist Elmo Hope who perhaps hasn’t been treated as well by history as he might have been. No actual video of Hope is available but here’s a trio performance (with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones) and a look at Matt Home playing drums in the Nigel Price Organ Trio:

Humphrey Lyttleton’s no longer with us, but the band continues in the same spirit. Personnel to be confirmed nearer the date.

Here’s a reminder of the old days from the home of so much British jazz, The Bull’s Head in Barnes:

Matt Home

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On April 15 it’s the Humphrey Lyttleton band with Tony Fisher on trumpet. Book your tickets now!

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