Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The 13th of the 13th.

13/5/13, now that was never going to be a lucky day to take a blood test at West Mid and it wasn’t. I think it was warfarin day, too, judging by the queue. In any case, there was only one phlebotomist for a million people. That may be a slight exaggeration but it did take an hour and a half.

While I was waiting, I decided that the only way I was going to beat this rap is to get hold of somebody elses blood for the test. That could work, I think.

After a tired old day, I set off for some jazz – I didn’t have any particular hopes, didn’t recognise the names but when I got there, I recognised the faces straight away and knew it was going to be a good night.

That started on the second number, ‘Dat Dere’ by Bobby Timmins. The piece was bookended by some fine disciplined piano from Nicky Weldon, but that didn’t last long. The blues jumped in with both feet, bouncing his keyboards up and down, in the middle section.

The standard; ‘everything happens to me’ allowed Quentin Collins to bend the notes on his trumpet; and that’s no figure of speech. Dave O’Higgins plays a great sax, but by the end of the piece the whistles and cheers were again reserved for the piano.

The real highlight was the last of the first set, ‘Bobby’s Bounce’ by Charlie Parker  and the first of the second set – ‘Hackensack’ from Thelonious Monk. The joint was jumping with hard tight Bop. Trumpet and Sax, hard and tight together.

I always think that Dave O’Higgins looks like a thin version of Tubby Hayes. Plays great too.

The feet were tapping, the pullovers came off, Trevor Tomkins High Hats were getting a hammering, fast and furious.

By the end, everything was hurting and I felt I was probably going to need to find some blood to drink rather than waste it on giving a blood test. It wasn’t even midnight yet.


a) This is a carefully staged view, artfully showing the movement and speed of the piece.

b) It’s underexposed but I liked it anyway.

This photo does show Dave Green squeezing some steady rythym out of his bass, standing just behind Nick Weldon. The blurry hands are no exaggeration, even though it’s caused by under exposure - I didn’t want to annoy people with a flash.

But that’s what it was like. Another good night, except I didn’t win the raffle, especially the first prize of a 5 CD box set of the MJQ at their best. Grrrrrh.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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