A few photos and audio clips from a musical career -                                                                    Colin Redfern

Leading a trio in the Alcazar Lounge - (now the Seafood Bar) - at the Breakers Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida in the 1980s. Background noise tended to increase as the evening progressed….

1) Medley: The touch of your lips
                I hadn't anyone till you

6) Medley:  Agua de beber
                 Girl talk

2) Medley:  How did she look ?
                If you could see me now
                The end of a love affair

7) Medley:  There's a small hotel
                 A foggy day
                 Don't get around much anymore

3) Medley:  Will you still be mine ?
                 There will never be another you

8) Medley:   Misty
                 That's all
                 These foolish things

4) Medley:  I'm in the mood for love
                 Moonlight in Vermont

9) Medley:  I've got you under my skin
                I get a kick out of you

5) Medley:  That old black magic
                 Mack the knife

10)  Lullaby of birdland
11)  Like young              12) Route 66

An outdoor dixieland concert at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach in 1985 had a great front line of Harry DiVito on trombone, Billy Butterfield on trumpet and Johnny Mince on clarinet. I was on piano, the bass player was Pat Merola and Jimmy Navarro was on drums.

There was a VHS tape of the concert, and the following track - (“Struttin’ with some barbecue”) - has survived. Unfortunately the quality - (video and audio) - leaves a lot to be desired.

Vinnie Burke (above, left) was a fine bass player who lived for a while in Palm Beach, Florida. This evening in 1989 was the first time we’d worked together, and these were our improvisations on “I can’t get started”, “Out of nowhere” and “Darn that dream”, recorded by a friend of his at the bar.

The late Vic Knight put together one of the best big bands in Florida during the 1980s and 1990s, and I was fortunate to be a part of it for about ten years. During that time the band backed a lot of celebrities. Bob Hope, for example……

Here’s the band playing “I’ve got you under my skin” and “Take the A train” at a concert at Bryant Park in Lake Worth. Logistics required the use of an electric piano on this occasion.

Vic also put together smaller groups, usually playing dixieland tunes. Here we are at Ernies - (audio clips below) - playing a crazily fast version of “I’ve found a new baby” and a mercifully slower version of “St. Louis blues”. The atmosphere is typical of Ernies, a jazz club in Delray Beach that is sorely missed. Personnel on this occasion consisted of Vic (trumpet and vocals), Ron Davisson (clarinet), Bill Prince (flugelhorn and trumpet), Hank Bredenberg (trombone), Vince Lewis (guitar), myself (piano), Mark Trail (bass) and Jimmy Osterman (drums).

…....and a much quieter evening at the old Royce Hotel in West Palm Beach in the 1980s. On electric piano with George Kricker (bass and vocal), Ted Parker (clarinet) and Jim Beck (drums). “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans ?”

Another noisy evening with a trio in The Alcazar Lounge at the Breakers Hotel…..
1)  How insensitive
2)  Medley: Watch what happens
                 Corcovado (Quiet nights)
3) I’ll remember April

Playing for a wedding in Ontario, Canada in 1985. My wife Janet (at left) also attended.

Another wedding, this time in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 2001 with a group led by Billy Duke.

Below, the band plays a concert on July 4th, 1985.

In a Delray Beach club with a trio led by Ron Davisson (bass and vocal). Doug Mattocks on drums. Thanks to a customer at the nearby bar, who recorded these four songs on cassette.

At Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
1964 to 1982

1966 in the Treasure Cay Inn dining room/bar/lounge - the only game in town at that time. Above were the room rates….

January, 1974. Around the piano on opening night of the Spinnaker Restaurant. On the left is the Hon. Simeon Bowe, M. P., who had earlier cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony.

1975. Someone placed a cassette recorder near the piano on a typical evening in the Spinnaker bar. The bar overlooked the dining-room, so the music was relatively subdued in the first segment, which includes Dancing on the ceiling, The nearness of you, You go to my head, Satin doll, Here’s that rainy day & How insensitive. After dinner things get a little noisier, partly due to the addition of a drum machine. Maracas, bongos and some happy voices can be heard in the final segment, which was taped towards midnight.

Sometimes guests were fine singers - (thanks, Annie - I wish that I had you on tape)…….

…..and excellent musicians would sometimes bring their instruments across to the island - (thanks, John Harding).

The piano was tuned once a year, and that night - (from about 1am to 5am) - I’d sit in the empty bar and play some tunes with a cassette recorder running. These are a few of the results:

With Harry Walker (bass) aboard the “Paradise ll”

Another club, another customer at the bar with a tape recorder. With Suzie Renner (vocals), Jim Kessler (bass), Tom Davis (drums).

1996 (above) at Irelands Inn in Ft. Lauderdale with Don Smith and Charlie Hudson. The trumpet is Charlie’s.

wu

1986 with Gene Greco (bass) and Tom Davis (drums).

George Zann’s Dixieland Band was well-known around south Palm Beach county for most of the 1980s and 90s and into the early 2000s. The personnel changed every now and then, but the photo below shows the lineup for a part of that period. George Zann (trombone), Tommy Smith (trumpet), Larry Kenzora (vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, most often on clarinet), myself (keyboard) and Joanne Rander (drums).This photo (definitely posed) was at a house party………

Unfortunately I don’t have a single audio file to accompany these photos, the first of which shows us in 1995 at a “French Night” (hence the berets).

TRAVELS with BILLY


During the same period I worked a lot with the Billy Duke Orchestra, which was actually comprised of anywhere between two to sixteen pieces. Once again I have no sound clips to accompany these photos.

With a sextet for a week’s gig at Frenchman’s Reef on St. Thomas, USVI.

The show band on a 10-day southern Caribbean cruise. We joined the ship at Aruba, then visited Bonaire, Cartagena, the San Blas Islands (photo below with Tom Roberts and Bunny Carfagno), and the Panama Canal as far as Gatun Lake. Billy Duke (right) was responsible for this and numerous other adventures.

On board with Bunny Carfagno (left) and negotiating the Panama Canal with Bunny, Tom Davis, Billy, Ray Oram and Tom Roberts

On three different occasions we had week-long contracts at what was then the Hyatt Resort at Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The group would split up for various events. Playing solo (left) for a cocktail party on the terrace (left) and with the Billy Duke trio (right).

….and on another occasion - (had we no shame ?) - we dressed “Bavarian” (at the client’s request) to draw attention to a gig in Austria the following year - (which unfortunately didn’t materialize).

On one occasion the hotel had us do a gig in Waikoloa t-shirts and caps. We referred to this photo as “Billy Duke and the Painters”. I still have the t-shirt somewhere…..

On our final trip Billy and I flew out to Hawaii a few days before the rest of the band. Janet and Billy’s wife (Lea) came with us, and we took the opportunity to tour the Big Island. Janet found it to be a little chilly at the observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea.

Billy and I sometimes discussed the subject of when we’d stop playing professionally, and I always told him that I’d quit when he did. Billy died in 2007, and I kept my word.

JERSEY and FRANCE
1962 and 1963


The summers of 1962 and 1963 were spent playing at a number of locations on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, including the bar at the Old Courthouse Inn at St. Aubin (right) and the dining room of the St. Brelade’s Bay Hotel (below).

The majority of my work was with the Doug Tanguy Trio at the Revere Hotel in St. Helier, which is still under the same family ownership more than 50 years later.

The first four months of 1963 found me in France with the Bryan Bridge Quartet, and for some reason I still have Bryan’s confirmation letter. This was considered to be pretty good money at the time….

And here we are in La Rochelle.

No, we didn’t always wear the hats. This was some sort of special occasion.

But yes, we did always wear the leopard-skin jackets……

1958 and 1959 with the Royal Marines Band Service

1986. The band performing on a “Dolphin” cruise to Freeport, Bahamas and (below, with spouses) relaxing on board.

1958. With “The Oceanaires” dance band at Deal in Kent. Later that year we appeared as extras in “Indiscreet” (below), a film with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. That’s us, out-of-focus in the background.

We all doubled on other instruments, and I played alto sax when not playing piano. In 1958 the entire 60-piece band from Deal flew to Vancouver to take part in the British Columbia Centennial celebrations

In addition to numerous dance-band engagements, we also performed as the pit orchestra for the Christmas pantomime.

Later we were ferried across to Vancouver Island on board a ship of the Royal Canadian Navy (above), and spent several days performing in Victoria. Back in England we were a part of the massed bands of the Royal Marines in the ceremony of Beating the Retreat on Horse Guards Parade in London (below).

In 1959 I was assigned to the band on H.M.S. Tyne, a submarine depot ship that was about to embark on a goodwill tour of Scandinavia.

We docked and spent time in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Aarhus (Denmark). At each port the ship and accompanying subs were open to the public, and the band paraded on the dock. In Stockholm a piano was hoisted aboard so that we could play for a dance for the British Embassy.

Later that year I rejoined the band at Deal and we flew to Toronto, where we performed for a week in the bandshell at the Canadian National Exhibition. A piano and drumkit were set up at the front of the stage so that the bass player and I were able to put down our wind instruments and join the drummer for a short trio session.

Setting up this page has brought back many happy memories. To finish, here are a few tracks from a solo CD that I made a few years ago.

1982 to 2007 in FLORIDA

Fortunately there was an independently recorded audio tape of the concert, and below are“Basin Street blues”, “Indiana”, “It had to be you”, “I’ve found a new baby”, “Misty”, “Honeysuckle Rose” and “What’s new ?” from the same concert.

Subsequently our good friend Steve Salo was usually on drums…….