Jam Session News: One out of the box

Before you know it, the daffodils will be out, the flannelled fools will be ironing a crease, and the ski bunnies will be bouncing off rocks again. In the meantime, where better to be on a cold winter’s day than sucking on social lubricant in the back bar of the Gold Street Lizard Lounge? Don’t answer that..

So, one out of the box? It was indeed. Arrived remarkably early, for me, as I was only ten minutes late; to be confronted by Captain Chaos proposing to open proceedings with a jaunt through Monk’s Round Midnight. Weird way to start the day, but it turns out that newcomer Paul (sax) had requested same, so away we went – no drummer, the Haircut on bass, and meself on keys. By the third chorus, the Captain had wisely dropped out to listen, and Paul was blowing up a storm. Young Michael waltzed in, so drums sorted for the second effort, Stella by Starlight. Even hotter, and on a tune we can normally completely bugger up without even trying. There followed 15 minutes or so of some of the most enjoyable jazz, setting the tone for an afternoon of strangely high standard. We can fix it, we can fix it…

Very few singers, all of them called Kevin, but a plethora of saxes – the Captain, of course, aforementioned Paul, Jason Chalmers and his oppo Stuart back from a gig, Peter Cole – all good, and at times exceptional. Peter took over on keys, then Lisette and John; Hurch then Alex on drums, and for once, bliss, no guitarists off the beat, just Ray Hood the original lounge lizard beating up the amp, then playing up a storm. Ivan took over from the Haircut, Peter had a dip on electric bass, and the rhythm section fair ripped through the arvo. Eventually I went missing, exhaustion having got the better of me, but the drive home gave me time to reflect on the day’s proceedings:

· No train wrecks: not one, not even close.

· Hardly any swing, plenty of bebop tunes: we only play these when Col T (retd) is awol. No one knows why…

· Some classy music: checked the address, must be some sort of misunderstanding.

Of course, next week, even the politicians will be back to normal, in honour of which we will undoubtedly be playing Autumn Leaves, and Summertime, before finishing off with Route 66.

Stay classy. And stick to the black notes, they’re cheaper…

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