I don’t usually use this blog to reference my residency, mainly because I don’t think many people care. But here we go…
It’s been a great year for the gig. Since moving into the new Loft Bar at Toulouse Lautrec we’ve established a little scene that seems to be growing very healthily indeed. In fact, it’s now a large scene, verging on XXL some nights.
Thanks first to the guys at the venue for sticking with us. Nothing worse to a musician’s ears than “we’ll give you one gig and see” – these things take time to build up. Nolan and the gang have stuck with us and given us time to get it going. We’ve had some hairy nights… football, rain, etc…
On to the guest soloists. We’re very lucky that some of the best in the business come down and play with us. We’re even luckier that, once subjected to BTL, they seem to want to come back and do it again… So, in no particular order (and if I’ve left anyone out it’s my increasingly raddled memory not you), thanks to:
Dave O (wonderful stuff, and thanks for leaping out of the bath on a couple of occasions to save us from some diary eff-ups); Gareth (especially for keeping us on our toes with repertoire that always challenges); Roberto (an irrepressible bundle of fun and surprises); Brandon and Gilad (for scaring the crap out of me, in a good way); Steve The Fish (for elegant postbop); Vasilis aka Mr X (for some Greek fire) and Fulvio (for some cool fire); Quentin (QC, appearing for the harmony m’lud); Tony (for fascinating insights into the more Monkish corners); Anita (for being just generally spellbinding – and a gift to pianists so they don’t have to do all the solos); Christian (the thinking listener’s thinking saxophonist) and really just to everyone for supporting the gig.
Thanks also to my wingman Alan Gibson on bass (who sometimes has had to play his fingers raw) and our rotating stable of drummers: Gabor, Mike, Saleem, Soph (when we can get her) and Joel.
And thanks also to everyone who comes down to play. Especially the regulars. I know I come across sometimes as an irritable git, but I honestly always try to give everyone a fair shake.
Last but not least, thanks to Louise and Miyuki (aka The Twitter Sisters) for taking care of the LOLing, liking, Facebooking, Meetuping and all that jazz. It’s a side of things I don’t really grasp, so I’m very grateful for what you do. And thanks to Mary at Jazz in London for printing us in a different colour every month (I personally look at my most fetching in purple).
Oh, not last or least, actually… Of course, the punters. Thank you all for coming down and sacrificing your livers on the altar of jazz, and on a school night too. The gig wouldn’t exist without you. I hope we’ve gone some way towards proving that jazz doesn’t have to be some boring introspective insiders’ club, but can be terrific fun for all.
If anyone has any complaints or suggestions, please write them in pencil on the back of a £50 note and hand them to me at the next gig. I shall then consider your input carefully and respond to each one of you by email from my new villa in Barbados, when I have time between massages.
My very best wishes, and again thanks to you all (including the 17.3 that comprise the regular international readership of this blog). Seasonally yours, J
Here are some highlights not taken from the Monday sessions… Nice.
(International readers might be interested to know that some of the musicians are named after London tube stations – Theydon Bois, Stepney Green, Stamford Brook and of course the inimitable Lester Square…)