In the 1970s and 1980s, the British jazz-funk band Paz made a name for themselves at their weekly Sunday residency at Holland Park’s The Kensington pub, as well as playing regularly at Ronnie Scott’s.
Their most popular album was Paz Are Back, released on Spotlite Records in 1982. It features original compositions as well as a cover of ‘Everywhere Calypso’ by Sonny Rollins and the jazz standard ‘Dancing in the Dark’. While original copies of Paz Are Back will set you back over £100, BBE Music are reissuing the album on vinyl for a more affordable rate.
When band leader Dick Crouch assembled Paz in the 1970s, he chose some of the top jazz musicians in London at the time. Among them was the Australian sax and flute player Ray Warleigh who played with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Marianne Faithfull and Scott Walker. Bass player Ron Mathewson was best known for working with Ronnie Scott, but also recorded with well-known jazz players including Bill Evans, Ben Webster and Stan Getz. A mainstay in the band was Geoff Castle who played on keys for Ian Duty, George Coleman and Georgie Fame. Guitarist Ed Speight also worked with Ian Dury, as well as performing with Mike Oldfield.
A new member for Paz Are Back was New Zealand drummer Frank Gibson. While he played with pop stars like Leo Sayer, David Essex and Dusty Springfield, he was a jazz man and fitted in with Paz a treat.