Hugh Crozier's Incomparables
Hugh Crozier - piano & bandleader/arranger - Hugh has a long musical background including choral singing. He started to learn piano from an early age but it was not until hearing Jelly Roll Morton’s Gennett recordings of King Porter Stomp and Wolverine Blues at the age of 14 that the bug really bit. Although his musical tastes are quite eclectic, it is classic jazz that remains his firmest interest.
His first gigs were with a trio consisting of himself, John Maddocks and Brian Lawrence in a variety of pubs in South East London and later playing in the intervals in Jazzshows (which became the 100 Club) and Ken Colyer’s Studio 51 Club. This blossomed into the Blackbottom Stompers which developed its skills and repertoire in the North Kent Tavern in Woolwich and later in the Green Man, Blackheath.
Hugh went on for a stint with Steve Lane’s Southern Stompers and then a prolonged stay with Bill Brunskill at the Lord Napier, Thornton Heath. In 1982 he was featured in the Thames Television ‘Whatever Happened To Bill Brunskill?’ documentary.
During the 1970s he had a residency in Düsseldorf with Mac White’s Levity Lancers and another in the Skyline Hotel London with Dave Price’s Celestial Banjo Band. Until the 9/11 disaster which suddenly ended the high volume of tourists from the USA, he held down a long-standing residency at Langan’s Brasserie in Piccadilly. He currently plays with Graham Collicott in Bob Dwyer’s band and they are frequently together in Harry Strutter’s Hot Rhythm Orchestra.
Hugh was with Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band for some years and toured extensively on the Continent. The band was featured in a number of television programmes.
Hugh has made several recordings with various bands as well as solo.
His vision for the Incomparables band is one which is flexible and able to play the standard jazz band repertoire, but which can also attempt more unusual and perhaps more complex music. This includes transcriptions of classic jazz recordings, adapted for the band.
Andy Woon - cornet - Andy’s musical skills were learned in the British Army. His trumpet inspiration is Clifford Brown, and of course Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. His reading ability, quite unusual among jazzers, means that we are able to attempt quite complex numbers from the classic jazz repertoire. He currently plays with Harry Strutter’s Hot Rhythm Orchestra as well with a number of leading jazz musicians including George Huxley. Andy shares with Hugh an interest in reproducing classic jazz performances by such greats as Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong.
Goff Dubber - reeds - Born in Croydon, Surrey, Goff learned the clarinet at school, playing in both school and Croydon Youth orchestras. He soon caught the “jazz bug” upon leaving school, and started playing sessions around London, especially in the Soho jazz clubs of the day.
The first band he worked with was Graham Stewart’s Jazzmen, which, as the Graham Stewart Seven, went on to become resident on tele-vision’s “Six-Five Special”. Goff played with many bands ranging in approach from “trad” to swing, including brief spells with Ken Colyer and the Temperance Seven, and several years with Ian Bell’s Jazzmen, with whom he broadcast and recorded. He went on to form his current band “Dixieland Express”, a versatile unit whose repertoire ranges from New Orleans to Charles Mingus.
He has made guest appearances throughout Britain, as well as working regularly with such bands as Neville Dickie, the Gresty/White Ragtimers, and Ray Terry (who were resident at the London Forum Hotel jazz brunch for over twenty years).
With these he has been featured on several CDs, and has played at Jazz Festivals and concerts as far afield as Toronto, Palm Springs, Sacramento, Nice, and the Middle East.
Geoff Cole - trombone - Geoff writes that he started playing jazz in 1951 and is beginning to get the hang of it.
Graham Collicott - drums - has been a fixture on the Vintage jazz scene for many years. He played alongside Hugh in Dave Price’s Celestial Banjo Band and both currently play in Bob Dwyer’s band. They are also frequently together in Harry Strutter’s Hot Rhythm Orchestra.