World's Finest Sausage Rolls ...

June 1, 2019

It had been a few years since our last concert in the beautifully maintained church of St Peter, in the idyllic Dorset village of Stourton Caundle, but those of us who played that concert were still talking with nostalgic longing of the utterly mouth-watering sausage rolls presented to us on that evening - along with other delicious comestibles - by the veritable Queen of sausage rolls, Vinny Taylor! Tonight, the band was making a welcome return appearance here ... but would a fresh batch of sausage rolls magically appear from the mighty AGA, as happened on our last visit? We had to play the first set before we found out ...


The delightful little church was packed with what immediately proved to be a most welcoming and responsive audience, and we had to forget for a while about those hoped-for interval nibbles, thanks to a somewhat demanding programme devised by our Great Leader, including  a couple of favourites from our Ellington and Morton repertoire. As our 'living legend' Hamish Maxwell was off somewhere exotic enjoying a well-deserved holiday, we were joined by the last of the great Portesham Delta Blues singers, Ali Whiting, for a couple of vocals, and - as our attempt to engage Stephane Grappelli had proved somewhat posthumous - Ali also obliged with some nifty violin in a duet with Trevor.



​​Also joining the band for this concert was banjo star Sarah Thatcher - more usually seen as part of the engine room of Black Cat Jazz - standing in for Eddie Edwards, who has been out of action with long term health problems for some time. As always, Sarah - who had travelled down here all the way from South Wales - gave an excellent account of herself, and blended in seamlessly with the overall ensemble. With Sarah and Ali on board, the average age of the band was of course reduced dramatically ...


The high spot of the evening for the band came in the interval - more usually a time for a quick swig of water and a crisp or two - when we were kindly invited into our host's kitchen just as the AGA door swung open to reveal a tray of the best sausage roll in the entire History of Jazz, along with copious other succulent offerings. Such hospitality is rare indeed on the jazz circuit, and such sausage rolls exist nowhere else - Vinny, you're a marvel!


After this gourmet highlight came the musical one - Terry Taylor appeared, clarinet in hand, and much to the surprise and delight of the assembled throng, performed a couple of duets - Sometimes I'm Happy and Old Fashioned Love - with Trevor and the rhythm section, and received the kind of accolade from the audience which is specially reserved for a local boy made good! We then managed some even more demanding Morton and Ellington arrangements, plus our 'Nigerian Special' (Everybody Loves Saturday Night - although it was Friday!) before Ali signed us off with Dream A Little Dream Of Me ...


Of course, we enjoy nearly all our gigs, but some are indefinably much more enjoyable than others, and this was one of them - a great audience, a superb venue, and hospitality second to none! Thank you all for the invitation - we look forward to next time!



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