Thanks to Sammy Stein for writing this review/interview.
On a corner of a main road in the busy, noisy borough of Kennington, London, sits an unassuming building, easy to walk past but turn in and you find yourself in the place of wonder and magic that is Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec. Downstairs is a bistro restaurant filled with intriguing little nooks and crannies, creaky wooden floors and chic art work, already offering a pleasant refuge from the traffic outside. The Loft, which is the jazz club, is up some stairs, up more stairs and through a curtain, emphasising the sense of finding some inner world of magic where time has paused.
To get into the jazz club you pay a small fee (a fiver on the night in question) in exchange for a chunky, round wooden token which can be used to buy drinks in the jazz room. Up the stairs, you enter The Loft, an intimate room with a barman (I learned he is called Chris) with a wide smile and welcoming manner. Offering your token as payment for drinks it feels more and more as if you have chanced upon some wonderful part of Middle Earth where the coinage is wooden and everyone is friendly. However, in The Loft the prevailing currency is music…
The full piece is up at www.kindofjazz.com.