Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Hard Bop beats the blues anytime.

Monday was always going to end up at my Jazz Club. It didn’t matter to me whether the news was good or bad at Charing Cross Hospital. It didn’t matter that I had a hacking cough. It didn’t matter that I got home late and worn out. I was always going to make it.

On the way back from the hospital I passed Sid’s Shoe repairs/keycutter/Trophy supplier on The Fulham Palace Road – I wrote about his amazing trophy cabinet last month;
This time, to my horror, the life size F.A. and European cups had disappeared from his window. Sid was closing up and I asked him – when the shop shuts he has to lock them away because he is worried that they would be stolen.

In their place?


 The World Cup, of course. I fear that’s the only one that’s coming to London this summer.

I made it to the Jazz Club because the great Art Themen was playing. He is the best in British Hard Bop and is there any other kind of Jazz worth listening to?

It also matters to me because at every stage in my illness when I’ve need a bit of a boost, Art Themen happened to take his turn at the club and I found that little bit extra I needed to make it in.

My reward?   Art Themen on top form – saxophone screaming and then breathless as he blasted through ‘Trinkle Dinkle’ and ‘Hackensack’ by Thelonious Monk, ‘Four’ by Miles Davis and ‘Doxy’ by Sonny Rollins to name just a few.

Trevor Tomkins on drums, Paul Morgan on bass and John Donaldson on piano made up a great quartet.

Quite a night.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)



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