( STEVE CROCKER)
Here is a brief account by one of our great bass players STEVE CROCKER whilst he deputised on numerous occasions to the delight of those who attended the RHYTHM STATION. He also has great memories of the club and the many great musicians he played for . STEVE is very deeply involved with jazz in the north in particular LEEDS and the surrounding area and is held in great regard throughout the jazz fraternity. He kindly sent along a number of photosbelow at gigs with...Ricky Woodyard, Dennis Freeman, Pete King and Jim Scaife
"I used to like the Rhythm Station - sticky floors, overhead railway and of course Tommy's jokes... Steve"
I liked the Rhythm Station the first time that I went there. It wasn't long after it opened as a jazz club (as I knew it featuring the Tommy Melville Quartet). The first thing that struck me about the club was how friendly the place was. I didn't know anybody at all there, but then Manchester is 20 odd miles away! For the next 15 years or so I was a regular member at the club and through all those years heard some wonderful jazz and heard some truly outstanding players. An early memory was the visit of American altoist Herb Geller, a true West Coast legend. Happily, Herb would return to the club on a number of occasions in the years that followed. But it was another great American altoist, Bud Shank, a contemporary and friend of Herb's that, I think, most people who were present will remember as well as any other gig there - a night to remember for sure. Another special night was when Conte Candoli, in dazzling form, played there backed by a quartet led by Dave Newton with Mark Nightingale. But I could say that about so many of those types of night. I always looked forward to seeing Bobby Wellins, Don Weller, Benn Clatworthy and Spike Robinson, all tenor players playing the club many times. I recall Tommy Melville telling me that it was Spike who he attributes to himself (Tommy) getting the sound he wanted from the tenor telling him to put cotton wool inside his mouth on either side of his cheeks when he was practising to form his embouchre. Then there were the many visits from Alan Barnes who always packed the club. Yes great memories and I'm sure all those regulars will have their own special recollections. I was saddened when the Rhythm Station closed but as I look back I can still see myself in the club 'diggin' the sounds. I said earlier in this piece that I didn't know anyone in the club the first time I went but by the time it closed I knew everybody on first name terms and made some lasting, cherished friendships - yes it was a very friendly club. I thought club regulars might be interested to read an article that I wrote for 'Crescendo and Jazz Music' when the Rhythm Station closed in 2009.
Bernie also wrote this article regarding "Jazz at The Chambers"
Titled "As one door closes"