click red text to read full interview : mira lumos travelogue interview from jazz ascona 2019
Uk tour - February, 2019 (read more at jazznorthwest.co.uk/tradjazz.htm)
Bollington arts Centre
"I just thought we should send you a note to say what a great night we had on Saturday with Frog and Henry. We saw them in Brittany in 2017 and thought they were one of the standout bands of the Festival, so we were delighted when they approached us for a gig, nearly as delighted as our audience were on Saturday that we had managed to book them. Special praise has to be given to Hilda and Roger Bywater the dancers from Tarporley, who came to Bollington for the first time and it was the third time last week that they had seen F&H, some recommendation eh! Best wishes,"
Bernard and Carole Selby
"Just to confirm that Frog & Henry were equally well received at Bollington on Saturday night. Everybody I spoke to were full of praise for the high musical standards of the band. A fresh approach to the music we love. How many musicians are on stage with a bass sax, baritone sax, soprano sax and two clarinets, one Boehm & one Albert system. And that’s just one of them! An unusual repertoire and yet some familiar tunes." Fraser McCombe
Dove Jazz Club
"... Saturday over to Dove Holes for a full house (getting on a 100) performance by Frog and Henry Band... There was a standing ovation at the end. For those people who asked me Will Ewan be bringing his Bass saxophone ?' - the answer is 'Yes'. Too tired to get to the Caledonia in Liverpool tonight, but Kendal (Wed) and Garstang (Thurs noon) here we come. FH Henry tells me a lot of the 2020 Tour is arranged already - that tells me he really likes us in the UK and I can now retire (again!)" Norman Gibson
garsta ng Jazz Club
"When it comes to other bands, musicians rarely give praise unless it's well and truly earned. So these comments tell it like it was yesterday at Garstang jazz Club. "Loved the band, first class music, first class musicians and I had two long conversations with Ewan Bleach and tried out each other’s clarinets, an afternoon I won’t forget, and I took nearly sixty pictures." Barrie Marshall.
"Frog & Henry playing at the Garstang Jazz Club yesterday, to a full house. One of the most enjoyable performances I have had the pleasure of being at and listening to. Great, not often played repertoire, professionally played by five superb musicians. Wonderful to hear young musicians with such an authentic feel for the music. I look forward to seeing them again." Mike Lovell.
"Well, what a superb afternoon, five (young!) guys who have assimilated the 'old' syle jazz and given it the authentic approach. The future of the music is assured whilst in the safe hands of Mr. Bleach and his boys!" - Peter Lindup.
"Dear Fred, I went to bed very happy at 11.30 last night, after reading your e-mail. Your acknowledgement of Frog and Henry, after you witnessed them yesterday at Garstang, and I quote, " I now realise why you rate them so highly, they were brilliant ", meant a lot to me. Assisting them these last two years has been a joy ! The broader significance of how well the band is being received, on this second tour, is not lost on me. More young musicians in NOLA are getting the message, the 'Shake 'em Up' amazing all girl band will be back, and more will follow. Dependent on Brexit, we could see European young bands, like 'French rag', 'Sweet Peppers', 'Hot Sugar Band' etc making visits here to really liven up our jazz scene. Thanks Fred." Norman Gibson
"...enjoying the Frog & Henry band at Garstang Jazz Club. What a fabulous Quintet ! My brother hadn’t heard of them but had heard of Ewan Bleach and that he was a bit special. How right he was ! “Weary Blues” with Jim Swinnerton sitting in nearly blew the roof off, and Ewan’s “Si tu vois ma Mere” was beautiful. A musician sat next to us was literally purring with delight. I believe the band have already got potential dates for a 2020 tour – I suspect all the dates will be a sell-out after this tour." Terry Birkinhead
"Absolutely fantastic performance from Frog and Henry at Garstang Jazz Club. Great comments from everyone I spoke to." - Jim Swinnerton
Cheshire Swing Cats
"We can see now that young and old can all enjoy 'our' kind of jazz, when it's of the style and quality of musicianship of Frog & Henry. The Cheshire Swing Cats had to respond to their demand for tickets, by moving their event to a larger venue to accommodate 114 + band and organising group. Very successful event.' Check out the photos at https://goo.gl/pWnt58
Kendal Jazz Club
The long-awaited (by me, anyway) visit from Frog and Henry most definitely did not disappoint. And judging by the response from our relatively small audience, they weren't exactly sorry they came, either. I had the advantage of having heard reedman Ewan Bleach at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party in November (recommended, by the way), so knew that we would hear some fiery stuff from an exceptional exponent of early jazz styles, but the other two guys were an unknown quantity apart from a few viewings of their YouTube output. I really should have guessed from those clips (often featuring fiddle and accordion) that some of their influences come from beyond the narrower definitions of jazz, and so it proved.Things like 'Some of these days', That's A'Plenty', and 'Wabash Blues' were no surprise, but many other numbers came from the 1930s output of jug bands and, in particular, Western Swing - which is a genre previously dominated in my mind by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
However, F.H. Henry's frequent mentions of Milton Brown led me to look Milton up, and discover that he was at least equally important because of his recordings with his Musical Brownies. So food for thought there, Bruce - you can never know enough about the music we love.But whatever their influences - and there were many others - this band provided entertainment of the very highest order.
They achieved tremendous variety, with the two rhythm men multi-tasking as advertised, (full marks to Dave Neigh for doing so all night on National guitar and knee-operated tuba), Ewan swapping saxes and clarinet ad lib, and the two vocalists singing appealingly. Also, under the direction of F.H., there were many instances of broken rhythms and breaks in unusual places, making a nice contrast to their hard-swinging straight 4/4. And Ewan took the lead role with his usual jaw-dropping effect.
I would rate this as one of the very best nights we have had at the Club, and the good news is that they're touring again next February with an enlarged line-up. Having had the honour of hosting their first ever UK date, I hope they'll be back then - and, finally, thanks to Norman Gibson of Heysham for setting up this current tour. - Bruce Carnaffin