The Westcoast Jazz Orchestra - 1978

I’ve been sorting through stuff around the house and I came across this photo of my old big band, the Westcoast Jazz Orchestra. This photo was taken, by mega-jazz fan Willi Germann who thoughtfully dated and signed the back, at the Hot Jazz Club in Vancouver (then on Broadway) on October 30th, 1978. If I remember correctly this concert was recorded and broadcast by CBC Radio. A couple of years later, and with a few changes in personnel, we recorded the lp The Westcoast Jazz Orchestra - First Time Out. An image of that lp can be seen in the photos in another section on this site.

This was my first big-time pro band with a real mix in generations - with Dave Robbins being the senior member down to those of us in our early and mid-twenties. I would have been 25. Some of these great players have retired from playing - Herb Besson, Dave Montgomery and Blaine Tringham. Some have moved away - Don Clark and Gary Guthman. Some have passed away - Dave Robbins, Bob MacDonald and Lew Hilton. The rest of us are still at it in some form or another.

The personnel are, starting on the right for each section:
Saxes - Tom Keenlyside (tenor), Jack Stafford (alto), Bob MacDonald (alto), Al Wold (tenor), Lew Hilton (Baritone)
Trombones - Herb Besson, Dave Robbins, Dave Montgomery, Sharman King
Trumpets - Blaine Tringham, Jamie Croil, Gary Guthman, Don Clark
Rhythm Section - Dave Sinclair (guitar - at the far end of the trombones), Bob Murphy (piano). Unfortunately neither Rene Worst (bass) or Graham Boyle (drums) are visible.

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