brief history of "Jazz at O Bs"
was on the last Thursday of June 1982 that two avid jazz musicians,
namely Arthur Tanner on piano and Alex Webb on drums decided to
start a jazz Club in Brentwood. It was Alex who came up with the
idea when he held a position at the "Old House".
This was the beginning of
"Jazz at the Old
it became known, which continued for almost thirty years throughout
the 80's and 90's until June 2010 when Brentwood Borough Council,
owners of the Old House, stopped the letting of the premises for the
property to be sold.
During this period of time there was a regular house band which
began with Arthur Tanner, keyboard, Alex Webb, drums, John Strellitz,
bass, Curly Holiday, trumpet and Terry Porter, saxophone and
included at various times changes that saw Frank Warby, Peter Crane
and Eddie Johnson, all on bass, join over the ensuing years. Alex
Webb was running a business and had to give up the gig which brought
in Barry Grant on drums and at the same time Arthur Tanner was
running another band with Jan Goodman who then joined as a vocalist
and subsequently replaced by Jo Burman.
It was sometime in the 1990's that our current host, Dave Grant,
took up the running of the Club with a regular rhythm trio of John
China, piano, Eddie Johnson, bass and Dave Grant on drums and then
guests were invited to sit in which brought a whole host of talented
musicians through the doors of the diminutive "Old House" which
became house full with around 40/45 people in the audience. The list
of guest musicians and vocalists who have appeared over the years is
endless but some of the most frequent visitors will include Johnny
Withers, Phil Snack, Pete Neighbour, Dominic Ashworth, Mike Barry,
Bruce Boardman, Sharon Scott, Rex O'Dell, Julian Marc Stringle, Gary
Wood, Tim Huskisson, Martin Nickless, Ted Beament, Sandra Lambert,
Jeff Lardner, Paul Higgs, Andy and Ryan Linham, Murray Salmon, Derek
Clenshaw, Graham Pike, Al Nicholls, Carole Braithwaite, Tony
Gooderham, and Kate Daniels.
Luckily, following closure of the "Old House" at the beginning of
2012, our current host, Dave Grant found the opportunity to hold
gigs at another venue, The Bardswell Social Club, on the last
Tuesday of each month and rebranded
"Jazz at the Bardswell".
The rhythm trio at the time of the move, consisted of John China,
keyboard, Ted Simkins, bass and host Dave Grant on drums. Sadly, in
2012, the trio became depleted by the loss of John China who passed
away to that great club above, after holding the keyboard post for
many, many years and who is fondly remembered by a host of regular
club stalwarts. John was subsequently replaced by the current
keyboardist, Hilary Cameron who continues to enjoy her monthly gig
at the Club amid her other musical commitments. Recent debut guests
include Jeff Williams, Simon Hurley, Ian Salmon, Kevin Mcmahon, Mike
Sagrott, Bill Yeomans, Graham Hunter, Chris Storey, Dan Banks and
However, at the end of 2016, negotiations to continue at the
Bardswell Social Club failed and a new venue once more needed to be
found. Club supporters rallied to find an alternative venue to stay
within the Brentwood area and found that the sporting facilities
created by graduates of the private Brentwood School was available
on Tuesday evenings. An agreement was reached with Old Brentwoods'
Club situated in Ashwells Road, Brentwood. CM15 9SE, about four
hundred meters from junction with the A.128 Ongar Road, and in
keeping with the venue, has become known as
"Jazz at O Bs"
keeping the reference,
phonecticaly, of Old Brentwoods' Club as referred to by their