Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The view from the front row.


That’s what I saw (no really) when I staggered off to my Jazz Club. Now I can see who I really am listening to.

It’s been quiet for some weeks and I can live with that. We get all the best musicians on a Monday night when it’s quiet and they play all the swish places at the weekend to earn a living. Us alley cats got a special deal, the rich kids pay extra. After an evening of Northern Soul (Keep The Faith) a seat up the back for some quiet jazz was about all I could cope with.

But when I turned up it was packed out, no seat, no standing room even. So I had to go right up to the front to find somewhere to sit. I was about a foot away from the musicians - there were so many things I’d never seen before – they have hands, faces, expressions even. Now I know who I'm watching.

Mind you, last week up at the back I thought my camera needed a longer lens, now I think it needs a shorter one.

This is Trevor Tomkins from up close:


  and this is Mick Hutton on the bass:

My old camera couldn't cope with the front row players without flash and I wasn't about to blast them from a foot away.
It was an evening with a smattering of original compositions. Alex Hutton on piano contributed ‘Clouds’, quiet and dreamy while Kelvin Christian on Sax gave us ‘frequency’.

Roger Beaujolais’s ‘Jobim’ was exquisite, combining Kelvin Christian’s flute with Beaujolais’s vibes and the samba beat brought out TT’s signature sound of a stick in one hand and a brush in the other. It hit the spot and was a real homage to Jobim’s music.

‘Laura’ always presses some sad buttons for me while Clifford Brown’s blues ‘Sandu’ had the room moving in time with the piano.

I could get used to the view from the front row ...and the sound.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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