Blog Archives

Threepenny Lyrics

Bit of fun this week. I sat in on a gig the other night and the singer called Mack the Knife. It’s an interesting one because it’s harmonically very simple – just the four main chords of the key, but

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Posted in b) Harmony & Comping, e) Rants & Ramblings

The End of an Earache

STICKY TIL END OF JUNE – NEWER POSTS BELOW Well, residencies have a lifespan and I’m afraid we’re losing our lovely dog Weekly Wednesday. He’s heading for that great jazz gig in the sky, where all the musicians are glum

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings

Young Jazz Synergy Weekend & Guildhall in Focus

Friday 19 May – Sunday 21 May Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec, London SE11 4RN, 020-7582 6800 The world loves competitions these days, and it seems people aren’t interested unless there are judges whirling round in big red chairs. But music really isn’t

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings

Playing Flat

A quick one for pianists – in particular, pianists who are fortunate enough to play on grands. Though not all grands are made equal… Okay, let’s admit it, we all read sometimes. Whether detailed arrangements, originals, things we “kinda know” or

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Posted in c) Musicianship, e) Rants & Ramblings

Hippies Didn’t Own the Sixties

We had a really enjoyable gig recently with trumpeter Quentin Collins and he brought some interesting tunes along. QC (appearing for the modern harmony, m’lud) was obviously in a sort of early-’60s Blue Note frame of mind. Got me thinking

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings

Lies, Damn Lies & Marketing Episode VI: That’s Lovely But…

Okay, I’m basically going to demonstrate by example here. I’ve noticed recently that a certain website has started billing my guest-with-house-trio residency as an “award-winning quartet”. It’s very flattering and no doubt rather good for business, but I do feel

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Posted in d) The Dark Art of Marketing, e) Rants & Ramblings

Crystal Metheny

The point of this week’s post isn’t confined to Metheny tunes – it’s just that there are a couple we’ve happened to play recently that illustrate it nicely. The two tunes I’ll reference are Song for Bilbao and Question &

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Posted in a) Soloing Scales & Modes, c) Musicianship, e) Rants & Ramblings
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Wednesday Gig/Jam


We play every Wednesday night, 9 to 12.30, at Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington, South London. It starts as a gig then becomes a jam. We welcome and accommodate all, but please do have a squizz at Thoughts from the Piano Chair of a Jam Session.
Illustration by Sue Harding

June guest soloists
7 Sara Dowling voc
14 Ed Riches gtr
21 Duncan Eagles tenor
28 Tom Ridout tenor

More info on guests here


For London-wide jazz llistings see