Sarah Spencer returned from her home in England; stopped by at Disneyworld to catch up with friends, then settled in Connecticut, playing at Bill’s Seafood. We were fortunate to have her with us in Lincoln, MA, with her International All Stars. Our local musicians were thrilled to have Sarah here – that was obvious!
Jeff Hughes cornet, John Clark clarinet/soprano sax, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Herb Gardner piano, Justin Meyer bass, Bill Doyle guitar, Steve Taddeo drums, Sarah Spencer tenor sax/vocals/clarinet/alto sax.
They opened with Jimmy singing Exactly Like You. Sarah and The All Stars played New Orleans Traditional Jazz – it was refreshing to hear it again! She explained where the tunes came from, and what bands played them, like The Sam Morgan band, Papa Celestin, Billy & Dede Pierce, Kid Thomas, Ma Rainey’s Tiajuana Man.
John Clark took up soprano sax for Sweet Jenny Lee, a Cab Callaway tune.
Steve Taddeo has been studying Baby Dodds – surprising the members of the band on Traditional Jazz – his passion is playing drums!
Sweet Jenny Lee
Sarah sang several songs, including Love, by Jabbo Smith.
The band reveled in playing unusual pairings of musicians. Sarah played clarinet on Savoy Blues, persuaded by John Clark. Jerry Gagnon sang a duet with Sarah – that was a surprise!
Jimmy Mazzy sang Sweetheart of TKO, from “Papa” Celastin’s Original Tuxedo Orchestra.
Closer Walk With Thee had both Sarah and John playing clarinet, backed by the rhythm section. Justin Meyer was behind Jimmy with fluid intonation and flawless timing.
Herb Gardner enjoyed playing on Bemis’s antique grand piano showing his astonishing improvisational skills – he had never heard some of these Traditional Jazz tunes!
Gerry Gagnon is amazing on trombone, improvising harmony lines, playing lovely slow glissando.
It was impossible to get a clear picture of Bill Doyle, playing guitar in the rhythm section, making every note count – invaluable to the band.
They closed with an astounding Panama.
All agreed that they will do this again next year. The attentive and enthusiastic audience applauded wholeheartedly!
The following Wednesday, Sarah Spencer played at a private house party in Concord MA that was well attended by Jimmy Mazzy fans. She’s been driving from Connecticut to this party for years!
Thursday 26th she drove up to Primavera in Millis, Massachusetts and sat in with Jeff Hughes, Craig Ball, Jimmy Mazzy, Steve Taddeo and Ron L’Herault. She said it was the most magnificent send-off possible; last few hours of her trip with the very best of friends. Next morning she headed back home to England.
We look forward to her returning next year!! We all love you, Sarah!
videos by Harold McAleer