The Viaduct Pub, Hanwell
Roger Trobridge writes: "I have just spoken to my friend Alastair Young who leads the Ealing Community Interest Company which seeks to preserve and publicise the musical heritage of the Ealing area. We were talking about the history of The Viaduct pub in Hanwell where a lot of the early jazz bands played as well as Cyril Davies and his friend Colin Kingwell. The current landlord seems to be interested in the history of the pub and its music room so I suggested that we might be able to get some memories from the readers of your newsletter. For the last 10 years we have run the Hanwell Hootie to get new music back into the pubs of Hanwell - the home of Marshall Amps. The next one will be on 11 May, 2024.
[If any readers have memories of The Viaduct, please let us know. Ed]
Sandy Brown In Ireland
While researching the history of jazz in Ireland, Conor Guilfoyle has sent us newspaper cuttings from the RTV Guide for February 1963 when Scottish clarinettist Sandy Brown was playing there. Part of the cutting reads: "Leading the group, a clarinettikst, an Englishman, Sandy Brown, who has just won the poll for the top jazz clarinettist in Europe. With this combination you will not be surprised when I tell you that an extremely high standard of jazz was created. I think if you went anywhere in the world and and asked them what they thought of the Irish modern jazz scene, they would tell you they didn't know they had one. This is only because of lack of opportunity.” and in an article by Peter Collinson: "Jazz musicians are a group of people who live in a world of their own, and within this world they create music that is entirely personal. In this respect they are an extremely lucky group of human beings. This is proved as only great jazz is created by musicians when they are allowed complete freedom of expression. Now and again one comes across the odd case in this world when a musician has pushed himself to the extreme of his own technical ability and creativeness and has often looked for drugs as the answer to go even further. Modern jazz as such is an extremely young form of musical expression and is only truly appreciated by a minority ....."
Eric Henning writes: 'I was reading your page about Charlie Parker and his son Laird (here). I met Laird when I used to go to his music/recording studio in Lansdale. I believe the address was 109 Walnut Stret, Lansdale. Pennsylvania, USA. It is a smoke shop now. I traded a few guitars for a Vox Berkeley amplifier. I’ll have to see if I can find the receipt. Once while cleaning the frame, I found the name “Parker” written in pencil. I also seem to recall him telling me he had a woman relative living close by near Lambertville New Jersey.'
The Best Of Sandy Brown Album
Greg Blose has written asking about an album The Best Of Sandy Brown, and album unknown to us. Greg says it is a 2009 CD album which has 34 songs." Despite searching, we have not been able to locate it. Greg asked in particular about a track, Sandy's Blues. That track is available on the album In The Evening, recorded by Sandy with the Brian Lemon Trio here. Has anyone come across the 'Best Of' album Greg asked about?
The Birdland Music Box
Leon Parker and Dave Harwood have been looking into the history of the Birdland Music Box, an Uxbridge record store. Leon sends this information from Dave that some readers might find of interest: "I found this piece in the 'West London Observer' dated Friday 13th December 1957: “RECORD SHOP USED BY FAMOUS. Do you want to use a record shop where you can rub shoulders with the famous? Well then the place for you is the Birdland Music Box, opened on Saturday by former Eric Silk's Traditional Jazz Band drummer, Stanley Lewis. Present, to wish him good luck at the opening, were many famous personalities of the music world. They included two of his best friends. Ken Sykora of the B.B.C. 'Guitar Club' and pianist Dill Jones of B.B.C. 'Jazz Club' fame. It was Dill Jones who cut the tape at the opening ceremony. Mr. Lewis has one of the biggest stocks of jazz and popular records in West London at his shop, which is at 166 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush. He also has a tremendous range of musical instruments, especially guitars. Is Mr. Lewis retiring from playing now? Not likely, he told me. I'm still playing gigs around the town and shortly I shall be forming my own club trio.”
Mike Coney's daughter Carolyn writes: "I have just finished reading your article online about The Dancing Slipper, West Bridgford. I stumbled across it as I have been searching for articles about my dad, Mick (Mike) Coney who was a superb drummer back in the day with John Johnstone All Stars and Johnny Hobbs, along with other bands. I remember him playing regularly at The Britannia, and The Fiveways, but don't recall the Dancing Slipper, though I have to admit I was a young child and was more into Wham! than Jazz! Dad passed away, after a short illness, last Monday, 18th December, aged 86 and we want his send off to be a Tribute to him. When he and his wife Sue Coney got married, their Reception was a great affair. It was like an Open Mike night where musicians were coming and going, up on the stage, play a few numbers and then another would join them or take their place. Sue would like something like this for dad, and she does have a contact in the now dwindled trad jazz world, but when I read your article I thought I'd get in touch to see if you had any other articles that mention my dad? I was delighted that one of your writers, Bob Jackson, included a picture of the Jazz Spectrum band, and my dad is on drums! Precious, precious memories. I would be thrilled to receive any further info/articles/mentions of my dad, and would be very grateful."
[If anyone remembers Mike, please let us know and I'll pass your memories on to Carolyn and Sue. Ed]
Jazz Spectrum. L-R: Ken Sansom (trombone/banjo); Bob Jackson (vocals/trombone); Ralph Laing (piano/leader); Mike Coney (drume); Dave Leithead (trumpet); Jerry Williams (clarinet/alto sax); Bill Cole (basss). Probably taken at the Old General in 1970/1971 Photograph © Bob Jackson
Infusions Community Radio
Pat Megginson has written to say: "I would be grateful if you could plug my show on your site - which is critically short of promotion (afraid I have a few years before I retire and can put more effort into the marketing side...). It's called Infusions and is mainly contemporary jazz and airs on the third Monday of every month between 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm on www.radiofreematlock.co.uk.
Radio Free Matlock, based in the Derbyshire town, was originally an ultra-local station, broadcasting a few shows online each week for the residents of one small part of Matlock. In 2018 the decision was made to spread the word and expand the station’s line-up to include not just core weekly shows, but also monthly shows on rotation too. Like many local radio stations it now can be heard online by a far wider audience. The link above will take you to their website where you will find more information about the station and its presenters. Of Pat Megginson it tells us "Pat Megginson is what is often referred to as a “veteran broadcaster” or more simply just “old“. Having cut his teeth in the late seventies & early eighties in college radio presenting funk and soul shows, he took a thirty year sabbatical before joining a local community station in his native South Lincolnshire, having developed a love of jazz. Having moved onto a number of online stations in more recent times, Pat relocated to Matlock in late 2019 and joined us in 2021."