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Jade Basin Five plus One - Jazz Band
Thanks to Maurice Gavan, Clarinet

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1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe Jade Basin Five plus One was a RAF Jever Station Jazz Band led by Stanford Howard in 1957 and 1958.   They were very famous in the area and on the camp, they also broadcast on British Forces Network introduced by Bill Crozier.   Maurice Gavan tells the story of his involvement:

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes"I arrived in Block 40 after midnight on 23rd December 1956.   Those who were awake were stoned.   It turned out that Tiger Shaw had donated a huge barrel of Jever Beer to the winners of the Best Bar competition!

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesI soon met the unforgettable Stanford Howard and we formed the Band.   We were: Stanford on trumpet; Dave Watt piano; Dennis Crewe trombone; Dave Fowler, Drums and yours truly on clarinet.   The "plus one" bit came later when Ginger Cobbold joined us on double bass.   Danny Sands also came along from time to time as a vocalist.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesWe did a lot of gigs on the station and all the venues in and around Jever and Wilhelmshaven.   We were invited to do a broadcast for BFN in Cologne by Bill Crozier who later handled the popular Two-Way "Family Favourites" for the BBC.   He loved his jazz, was a fine pianist, and booked us into two jazz cellars in Cologne.   These were the infamous "Tabu" and "Boheme" clubs.   We had a ball!!

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesI recall that we had a residency at the Strandhalle at Wilhelmshaven where the local jazzers seemed to regard us seriously, in that they all copied our numbers.   One memorable gig was at the Officers' Club at Bremerhaven.   After the dance, we were entertained at the bar by some Senior Officers.   The first Sputnik had just gone up and was successfully bleeping.   Some of our American friends refused to accept that this event was a reality!   Their hospitality left some of us with monumental hangovers the next morning.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesDemobilisations meant we had to have two replacements for the band.   Bill de Graaf, our Dutch guitarist and banjo player was a very good musician.   We managed to obtain Bruce 'Digger' Davidson who kept us going well in his place.   Dave Fowler was replaced by Phil Riggott and we stayed together until Stanford was posted to the U.K.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesAfter the disbanding of the band I did a short spell playing Tenor Sax with the Station Band.   However, I was discovered to be playing notes which were not on the arrangements and had to depart!

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesAfter I left the RAF I went into education and took early retirement from Preston College where I laboured under the title of Principal Tutor.   This gave me the opportunity to play more clarinet and piano.   I still enjoy the odd gig.

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L to R: Dave Watt piano, Danny Sands vocalist, Phil Riggot drums, Maurice Gavan clarinet, 'Digger' Davidson guitar and banjo,
Stan Howard trumpet, Dennis Crewe trombone.   (Thanks to Brian Walker.)

List of Pictures:
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