Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Flat Batteries.

I thought I’d post another self-portrait – it’s a sign that I’m getting a bit above myself. I’m calling this ‘Tuesday morning’, although I took it yesterday. This one was really enjoying a sunny morning, almost seemed to be smiling.

Today? Raining and miserable and I don’t have any pictures from last night because my batteries ran out on me. I am just talking camera batteries here, I think.

First of all, I now realise that the celebrated trumpet ace guesting last week, over from the States, was Warren Vache, with an accent so that it rhymes with ‘Cachet’, rather than Vachet to rhyme with ‘sachet’, I hope that clears things up.

Last week, everyone but me had heard that it was going to be a special night, so it was packed out. Today they didn’t show and as Trevor Tomkins said; “I’ll get the bouncers to throw them in”.

It’s a shame – the band sparkled with talent. Nigel Price was introduced as “the finest jazz guitarist in the country”, and I think that’s probably right. Simon Spillet on Tenor Sax sported a proper black suit and a skinny tie, which usually indicates someone with a taste for jazz from a certain time and space.

The first and last numbers showed me I was right. Last to go was Charlie Parker’s ‘Ornithology’, at high speed. First off was the Bird’s ‘Yardbird suite’. Trevor was having to work the drums tonight. In between were quite a few standards and the odd ballad, ’What’s new?’ started slowly – I heard the pianist, John Critchinson say “We’ll find our way in” – then the sax kicked down the door and they were off again, but there were a lot of chances for a delicate guitar or a languid sax to be heard.

Alec Dankworth was a solid bass and Trevor fairly firm on drums today. John Critchinson on keyboards was with the Ronnie Scott band for many years, a link back to the early days of British BeBop, where it all began.

It was late May, the weather that’s hung heavy all year seemed to break open for one just day. It was light till late, cool and warm long into the night, all at the same time. Not yet a midsummer night’s dream but…..

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)
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