Review: Steyning’s manifestation of rhythmic brilliance

An evening of stunning virtuosity rewarded a packed Steyning Jazz Club on July 6 as Andy Woon and his Allstars recreated some of the finest jazz performances of the 1920s and 1930s.

Band leader Andy Woon on cornet, with Keith Nichols piano; Spats Langham banjo, guitar and vocals; and Malcolm Sked on sousaphone and string bass, opened the evening with Fats Waller’s dazzling I’ve got a feeling I’m falling and I can’t believe I’m in love with you, featuring Spats Langham on banjo and delightfully animated period vocals, his feet irresistibly tapping his brown and cream two-tone brogues and rolling his eyes in a manifestation of rhythmic brilliance.

The band slipped effortlessly into the 1930s with I’m in the mood for love, with Andy Woon’s seductively shimmering cornet supported by string bass and guitar. Keith Nichols’ awesome piano style in Bix Beiderbecke’s Davenport and Fats Waller’s Kitten on the keys brought adulation from an appreciative audience as did Malcolm Sked with his solo sousaphone mastery.

This is a band that amazingly seems to conjure up the persona and very soul of the finest past jazz musicians, recreating performances now shamefully banished to history and scratchy old recordings, bringing them vividly to life for the delectation of today’s audiences.

Colin Jilks