Jazz band cruises into new home

Pete Allen Jazz Band at Donnington Valley Hotel on Sunday, March 3


Celebrating 45 years as a bandleader, Pete Allen sailed into

the Donnington Valley Hotel with an eight-piece line up.

As a bandleader who changes locations for his concerts more frequently than he changes musicians, he must have thought he’d found the ideal room to present his Happy Jazz.

In a spacious, comfortable room at the hotel, the band cruised gently but evocatively into Careless Love.

This was a slow exploration of the blues with Allen’s clarinet solo taking the solo honours.

Later he switched to tenor sax and quoted from The Gypsy, an old popular song, but it all fitted into this lazy journey through 12-bar blues territory.

The band pianist James Clemas then played what the bandleader called his Donnington Valley Boogie, after spending several late nights composing it, as Pete Allen explained. Any resemblance to the Bacon Arms Boogie or the British Legion Boogie is purely coincidental!.

Then it was back to traditional blues with the sombre St James’ Infirmary. This version offered an Allen vocal, a soft-focus clarinet solo by Trevor Whiting, a recent addition to the band and, for contrast, a growling trombone segment from Roger Marks.

Whiting’s sound and approach are suitably different to Allen’s, so their doubling up on instruments works out. Later his rhapsodic approach on I Only Have Eyes For You was a standout ballad reading.

Making up the numbers for what is now an eight-piece unit were Chris Hodgkins, trumpet, regular bass player Dave Hanratty and Richie Bryant sparking the rhythm at the drums. Richie was sitting in for the ailing Jim Newton. Terry Hutchins, a veteran of modern, mainstream and traditional jazz combos gave a spirited performance on guitar. Hutchins is  adept at filling in behind horn solos and giving them extra bite. As he did so well on this occasion.

For variety, the band moved into popular music territory with James Clemas doing his Michael Buble sound alike on I Wish You Love. Then back to Doris Day land with Sentimental Journey.

The Allen band has now reached an impressive maturity as a New Orleans unit and the present eight-piece personnel represents one of his best line ups.

Forty-five years a bandleader, there is still a lot more to hear from Pete Allen and his merry men.

Please note:-


From 3rd March 2024 the Newbury residency will be held at the Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa, Old Oxford Road, Donnington,  Newbury, RG14 3AG, Tel: 01635 5511

Pete Allen Newsletter March 2024

Welcome to the March Newsletter.

Sunday 3rd March The Pete Allen Jazz Band – The Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa, Old Oxford Road, Donnington, Newbury, RG14 3AG 2.30pm to 5pm. Admission £15

Monday 4th March, Pete Allen Jazz Band, The Conservative Club,   Radway Place, Sidmouth,  EX10 8TL 3pm to 5.30pm.  Admission £15

Saturday 23rd March   May Hill Village Hall, Longhope, Glos. GL17 0NL Pete Allen with Jim Newton, Dave Hanratty, Dave Moorwood and special guest Ben Holder on violin.


Please don’t forget you can purchase my CD’s and my autobiography, “On the Beat” at all the gigs or email Jane (from Newbury) for copies:  nana.macgregor@btinternet.com


Further details of the Pete Allen Band  at: https://peteallenjazz.com/


I look forward to seeing you at one of the gigs

Best wishes


 The 3 Amigos!   Played together in Pete’s band in the 1980’s!

Playing together again at the Bacon Arms on 5th November!!



Pictures on 45th ANNIVERSARY DAY page and videos on VIDEO page!


Pete’s latest CD “45 years on!” is out now!!

You can buy it at all of his gigs or order it from Pete:- 

peteallenjazz@tiscali.co.uk or tele: 07899 925194.




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