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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Recollections of the Rex Jazz Club, Whitley Bay by Scott Adair.

Like Lance, I too have fond memories of the Rex Jazz Club, Whitley Bay, taking place every Sunday evening. It was held upstairs in the Palace Room of the Rex Hotel.
My earliest recollection was back in 1960 when, along with my pal Dave Murphy, we'd listen to modern jazz played by a group of musicians comprising Jack Sheldon on piano, Sid Trager on bass and Frank Gibney on drums. Regular guests included Eric Gamblin on guitar, Joe McMullen on trumpet and of course those inseparable friends - Syd Warren and Arthur Mowatt on saxes.
Dave and I would hope every week that we could play in the interval with the musicians we both admired. These were the learning days!
Eventually, we became part of a great regular quintet at the Rex that featured Syd on tenor and flute, Bobby Carr on trumpet and Colin Haikney on piano and vibes.
Lance makes reference on The Blog of hearing Syd play "Blue Daniel". The arrangement was actually transcribed from my 'Cannonball Adderley at the Lighthouse' LP along with "The Big P" and "Sack of Woe".
Guest players would arrive every week hoping to have a knock. Among them, Arthur Mowatt saxes, Kenny Morrell, Malcolm Saul piano, Sammy Padmore bass, when he was home from Uni., and many more. The bar manager who ran the evening was a great character - an ex-RAF man, complete with handlebar moustache called Jeff Murphy. He later became a rep for Teachers whisky. Happy days indeed!
The quintet mentioned above became the nucleus of the Corner House Monday evening band that Jazz North East asked to back the visiting Americans.
Hope this is of some interest.

1 comment :

Tim Sokell said...

I remember you Scott from Valley Gardens School during the very late fifties/early sixties. You were head of my dinner table and used to sneak in, not having paid your dinner money as you said you were saving up to buy Tom-Toms!

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