Monday 3 January 2011

2010/2011 - looking backwards, looking forwards

2010 was a year of change for me, with major events in the areas of listening, learning and playing live jazz. It was quite a feat posting to the blog more than occasionally and highlights included:
  • Playing with Joe Lee Wilson and, in particular, the first kineojazz gig sharing the stage with Martin France, Steve Watts and Terry Seabrook. Playing with Joe Lee inspired me and helped me play above myself.
  • The few days I spent in New York visiting jazz haunts (Smoke, The Village Vanguard, Arturo's) and art galleries and, in particular, hanging out and playing with Joshua Breakstone - another great inspiration.
  • Brad Mehldau playing solo piano at The Wigmore Hall was intimate and intense and the moment when he played Waterloo Sunset towards the end of the encores at sunset on a Friday night was magical.
  • The organ trio gig at The Snowdrop with Terry Seabrook and Dom O'Meehgan was the point in which I started applying some of the new compositional approach I have been working on in a live context.
  • All of the kineojazz gigs but the last one of the year in particular because it felt as though we knew what we were doing and there was a great atmosphere.
    I also really enjoyed the jam on my birthday the other day, Geoff Simkins' Saturday classes at Sussex Uni, listening to Brad's Highway Rider on CD and live, the Tuesday jams at The Brunswick, Martial Solal, LIam Noble . . .  The list goes on. Interestingly I did fewer gigs that in the previous eight years, but seemed to enjoy the ones I did more.

    Jam Session
    I hear that gigs are currently thin on the ground, although I have a new regular Sunday afternoon gig at The Master Mariner with Jeff Howlett. It's good to see that lack of gigs is not putting people off playing. Hopefully, The Brunswick and Bees Mouth sessions will continue to thrive and shortly will be joined by The Jazz Store on a Wednesday night.

    For 2011 I predict much more jamming and a rise in old-fashioned patronage to keep jazz musicians going during these austere times. And by the end of the year, I anticipate pub landlords, concert promoters and club owners falling over themselves to book jazz musicians to play to packed houses . . .

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