Robin Mason’s Apex Jazz & Swing Band
Robin Mason clarinet & saxes
Jon Stone trumpet & vocals
Ron Hills trombone
Peter Robinson banjo& guitar
Bob Boucher bass
Jim Harney drums
This Midlands based band formed over 20 years ago with some members from the Hazel Slade Big Band gave us a great evenings entertainment. The repertoire was varied and presented in a light hearted fashion with some banter between Jon & Robin. They really are a little big band!
Robin introduced the band straightaway and then tunes played in the first set were as follows:-
W C Handy’s tune Beale St Blues was played quicker than some similar to the style of Alex Welsh, a big band tune called Teddy the Toad which was written by Neal Hefti for the Count Basie Orchestra, an Ellington tune We Don’t Get AroundAny More was sung by Jon, Dinah saw the audience join in and had a brilliant banjo solo including bars from Harry Lime (The Third Man), Good Queen Bess another Ellington number saw Jon using his bent trumpet – like Dizzy Gillespie, a beautiful version of Nuages the popular Django tune with Robin on clarinet & the rhythm section, Jive At Five definitely a big band number, I Left My Love and finishing this set with So Do I sung by Jon in German complete with hat – see photographic evidence on our Facebook page!
The second set was just as entertaining with Watermelon Man, a feature from Ron called Sultry Serenade, Taps Miller a tune by Marion Joseph “Taps” Miller an American trumpet player who also danced, a popular tune from 1918 was Somebody Stole My Gal a feature by Jon who showed his scat singing skills, Tea For Two a tune from there musical No No Nanette, Mood Indigo with lovely harmonic ending, Jive Jack another vocal by Jon, My Melancholy Baby with Robin on sax bringing us to their final tune which was an arrangement by Peter of Farewell Blues – this contained beautiful harmonies. However the final two numbers were Perdido & Sweet Georgia Brown. A great evening in the company of a local band with good musicians – it was about 10 years since they’d played the club – why did we wait that long!!