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13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Thursday, April 07, 2016

RIP Jazz Esquires

One of the longer running bands on Tyneside has folded up its music stands for the final time. The Jazz Esquires decided to call it a day after their last session at the Magnesia Bank, North Shields. Trumpet player and singer Miles Watson cited a dwindling, and an aging audience for the decision.
The Esquires began life at the Wheatsheaf pub in New York, North Tyneside although it wasn't until they moved to the Porthole near North Shields Ferry Landing and trumpet player, the late Joe McMullen, took over that the Jazz Esquires name was taken up.
The above sketch shows some of the players from those very early days
The trumpet player is Hughie Aitchison, the late father of 'Our Man in Hong Kong' Colin, clarinettist Munro Sutherland, guitarist, Eric Gamblin, bassist Derek Dixon, The drummer may be Mike Yorke. The pianist Bob? and trombonist Len ? I can't put surnames to - help needed. Nor do I know the name of the artist.
In the picture, Eric Delaney can be seen sitting in with the later edition (l-r): Roy Gibson, Tony Winder, Doug Fielder, Stan Nicholson, Eric Delaney, Miles Watson, Ray Walker, Laurie Brown.
Good solid swingmen who neither looked back or looked forward but stayed with the mainstream.
Always entertaining.
Lance.

4 comments :

David Hannant said...

Hi Lance,

My name is David Hannant - I'm a reporter based in Newcastle. Having spotted your blog I'm interested in running a piece about the Jazz Esquires calling it a day.

I don't suppose you have any contact details for anybody from the band who would like to talk about their career?

If you'd like to add a few words about them as a fan, I would also be really happy to talk to you.

Would you be able to ping me an email please? It's david.hannant@gmail.com

All the best,
David

carstairs said...

Trombone is Lennie Samson who moved to the Channel Islands; piano Bob Coulson; drummer is Mike Yorke.
I used to dep for Derek Dixon, indeed I bought my old bass from him and he the spent the next 15 years trying to buy it back! That old bass had a fascinating history, having been liberated from the Opera House in Algiers during WW2 by Frank Harriot.
George Evans was a frequent visitor, immaculate in silver- grey slacks and blazer. He would ask " I wonder whether you gentlemen would mind if I joined you for a few numbers?"

John Taylor said...

Yes the drummer is Mike Yorke, originally from Ashington. He played drums for my friends 21st at The Esplanade in Whitley Bay some 49 years ago. (Ronnie Macs band with Hugh A on tpt and John Pearce on tpt/piano. I got a lift with Mike that night in his "Z cars" Ford Zephyr. Mick went on to play with Dick Straughan's band.

laurie brown said...

I proudly took over The Jazz Esquires from Joe McMullen
after sitting in on drums on many occasions. The days at
the Porthole were heady with numerous sitters in
vying to play and an audience which crammed the place to
capacity! The closing of the Porthole was really the
begining of the end. Many many thanks to all the musicians who played with us over the years some sadly no longer with us and also the audience whose support
encouraged us.
Laurie Brown

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