Ross Wooldridge Review by London Jazz Society

London Jazz Hot Stuff

Monday, November 15, 2010 - One of the best gigs ever performed for the London Jazz Society nearly brought the rafters down in London's Mocha Shrine Centre yesterday (Nov. 14). A sold-out performance featured "The Tribute to Benny Goodman Sextet." Benny Goodman fans could have closed their eyes and felt they were listening to that master of the licorice stick himself. Members enjoyed nearly two hours of Gooodman's music: Fidgety Feet, Bernie's Tune, Honeysuckle Rose, These Foolish Things, Just One of Those Things, Handful of Keys, Slipped Disc, Runnin' Wild, Everybody Loves My Baby, The World is Waiting for the Sunrise (written by Canadian Ernie Seitz in collaboration with Gene Lockhart), Avalon, After You've Gone, Airmail Special, Moonglow, Stardust, 7 Come 11, Flying Home, Rachael's Dream, Memories of You, Liza, China Boy, Goodbye, I Got Rhythm.

Ross Wooldridge leads the band and was the "Benny Goodman" of the group, helped along by the excellent performances of Don Thompson, vibes; Danny McErlain, piano; Jesse Barksdale, guitar; Chris Banks, bass; Glenn Anderson, drums. Wooldridge and this group specialize in the music of Benny Goodman Sextet/Quartet/Trio.

Under his leadership, the group performs recreation/interpretations by Goodman's small groups from 1935-1961. In some instances, he says, "I arrange in the style of the sextet as I imagine he would have done had he recorded them. This gives us a chance to delve into the best music from the various iterations of his group, since over the years the membership of Benny's small groups changed. He recorded with many different people, notably Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, Red Norvo, Slam Stewart, Charlie Christian, Mel Powell and others."

For information about the London Jazz Society: 519-433-4789.