Refuting the title of his biggest hit, ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’, Macolm John Rebennack Jnr, aka Dr John, who died of a heart attack on 6 June, grew up at the centre of a seething music scene in New Orleans in the 1950s. His resourceful record store proprietor father used to fix PAs around town for such acts at Papa Celestin, Dave Bartholomew, the Basin Street Six and Professor Longhair and his young son insisted on tagging along, eager to befriend the musos, despite dad’s insistence to stay in the car. Rebennack came from a musical family with assorted aunts who would jam around the white baby grand that beguiled him in the front room of his grandparents’ house. Intimidated by established local pianists he admired like Salvador Ducette, Tuts Washington, Herbert Santina and Roy Byrd (‘Longhair’), however, Rebennack started on guitar, formative teachers being Fats Domino sideman Walter ‘Papoose’ Nelson and jazzman Roy Montrell. Partly ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’ probably accounts for the sixth grader’s habit of skipping 8am mass at Catholic school to catch the last set of the all night jams at the Brass Rail and other venues on Canal Street.

Regrettably Rebennack was inducted to the world of narcotics as a 12-year-old truant by a shady character and fellow musician known as Shank, who would send the boy on errands to score for him. Ultimately it was the unwittingly suggestive way he played guitar, according to testimony in his memoir Under a Hoodoo Moon (1994) that got Rebennack expelled from Jesuit High School. He’d already started writing songs and selling them to Specialty Records who’d deploy them with Little Richard and Art Neville, worked the “Holy Father circuit” with school band The Spades and hooked up with saxophonist Leonard James and eccentric piano prodigy James Booker, who would later teach Rebennack how to play organ, during lean times in the early 60s. Through his guitar mentors Mac wangled sideman work at Cosimo Matassa’s revered R’n’B studio, concurrently absorbing showbiz craft from drag-queen revues at the Dew Drop, a chitlin circuit mainstay. He also began, in 1956 or 57, producing for Johnny Vincent’s Ace Records. Meantime backing musician activity with such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Darin, gave Rebennack seminal experience contracting diverse sidemen. Soon he would challenge the colour barrier insisted on by two local musicians’ unions (on black, one white) backing Bo Diddley (though that gig was pulled mid set) and Jimmy Reed. 

Rebennack’s first release Boppin’ and Strollin’ (Decca 1957) was under Leonard James’ name but steadily the groundwork for his future metamorphosis as a leader was being laid - like his hero Allen Toussaint, Mac was first songwriter and house musician. One of his songs, renamed 'Lady Luck' was appropriated by Lloyd Price and became a hit in 1960, which infuriated Rebennack to the point of wanting to shoot Price (he would later be swindled by a duplicitous lawyer who, while ostensibly pursuing royalties for Rebennack, was tacitly in Price’s pocket). That same frustrating year an ugly shooting incident did occur, in Jacksonville, Florida, (not Jackson, Mississippi as stated in other obits). Mac intervened in a fight between a pistol packing motel manager and singer Ronnie Barron (Barron had had an ill-advised assignation with the motelier’s wife). As Rebennack wrestled for the gun a shot damaged his left fretting finger. Disconsolate but needing work, he played stand-up bass in a Dixie group for a while at New Orleans’ Famous Door, then had to switch to bass guitar and ultimately back to the piano. It had actually been Barron, incidentally, several years Rebennack’s junior at Jesuit school, who’s initial persona “the Reverend Ether” inspired him to hatch the voodoo root doctor moniker that would accelerate his fame. He’d originally had “Dr John” in mind as a new stage name for the blue-eyed Barron but Barron baulked at the prospect and ultimately, despite an impressive sideman resume, the younger man’s notoriety was eclipsed – he’s a backing singer on several Dr John releases.

Dr John 1501 5x7

In the early 1960s hypocritical NOLA DA Jim Garrison made a dramatic move to clean up the French Quarter. Overnight a startling number of the clubs on Bourbon Street were shuttered, as well as “Stalebread and Mickie’s whorehouse”, where Rebennack claims he saw Garrison before he turned into “Mr Jive-Ass Morality,” for political reasons, as he saw it. According to Mac, this sweeping sting operation had a devastating effect on the community, which had thrived 24/7 until then. Sharpening law enforcement caught up with Rebennack too: he was busted for heroin possession and ultimately landed at Fort Worth federal facility for “dope fiends”.

Rebennack’s already sleazy lifestyle bottomed out in jail but he picked up a “janitor’s diploma” and his high school certificate with help from a fellow inmate. After he re-emerged in 1965 he was forced to relocate to LA due to parole issues and the work slump in New Orleans and since Harold Battiste – who had founded the first black-owned label in the south (AFO) and was working with Sonny and Cher – offered him studio gigs there. Rebennack held minimal professional respect for Bono or even Frank Zappa, who he briefly worked for, and his time in LA was often squandered producing “lames” as he tagged feeble musicians. He missed the grit, groove and honesty of the New Orleans scene that reared him, and finally, using some left over session time from Sonny and Cher, waxed his debut as Dr John, The Night Tripper. The sobriquet was inspired by an eccentric Senegalese prince called John Montaigne, Bayou John or more commonly Dr John who had an historical connection with New Orleans (Rebennack listed himself as Dr John Creaux). 

Gris-Gris (1968) was released on Atlantic subsidiary ATCO, despite Ahmet Ertegun’s protestation “how can we market this boogaloo crap?” Indeed, the psychedelic haze of the debut, apposite to contemporary zeitgeist, initially bombed commercially, yet Gris-Gris was later hailed in Rolling Stone Magazine as an all-time great album, the conga laden adaptation of a voodoo church song ‘I Walk On Guilded Splinters” becoming a favourite with Paul Weller among others. Liner notes to Gris-Gris, worthy of Epicure Mammon from Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist, indicated Rebennack’s commitment to his mysterious alter-ego and a wild hoodoo-drenched stage show ensued. After Babylon (1969), Remedies (1970) and The Sun, Moon and Herbs (1971), the doctor really hit his stride with Dr John’s Gumbo (1972) and In The Right Place (1973), shifting his occult tripster act into that of a riotous celebrant of everything New Orleans, with a Mardi Gras-styled revue.

Dr John 1663 5x7

‘Right Place’ spoke volumes about Rebennack’s heroin-addled misadventures and Emerson Lake and Palmer would title their album Brain Salad Surgery (a slang term for fellatio) after a lyric from this nervy confessional, which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The other hit from the album, Such A Night, may have also held an autobiographical thread, as he once stole his bass player's girl Lydia, who eventually became his first wife.

The garbled make-believe but paradoxical authenticity of Rebennack’s re-invention as a solo act was revelatory to both himself and the public at large and he became as synonymous with the Big Easy as bluesman Buddy Guy is with Chicago. Despite his sojourn to LA, it was his homeboys Allen Toussaint (who produced) and rhythm aces the funky Meters who made killer tracks like the manifesto ‘Qualified’ quintessential. The same team waxed the follow up Desitively Bonnaroo (later inspiring a Tennessee music festival) but sales failed to impress beancounters at Atlantic and Dr John switcheroo-ed to United Artists for one recording, Hollywood Be Thy Name, a skeweringly sarcastic title about his days in la-la land. 

A jazzier turn involved Tommy LiPuma who produced the underrated City Lights (Horizon/A&M 1979) drafting in David Sanborn, Will Lee, Plas Johnson and Steve Gadd. The latter two had appeared on Steely Dan’s Aja a year or so earlier and the clean, layered production suggests the influence of Fagen and Becker’s scrupulous studio craft. Though Rebennack had long ago mastered the art of corralling parades of sidemen and arrangers, the softer touches here – pervading Fender Rhodes from Richard Tee and Claus Ogerman string arrangements – were a departure. Languorous big band arrangements tenderised further with In A Sentimental Mood (Warner Bros 1989) but the treacly crooning and cocktail piano won over the Grammy voters and permitted the Dr a mid-life mellow out after his final rehab via Narcotics Anonymous. Perhaps the Mission Impossible string riffs behind his instrumental refashioning of ‘Love For Sale’ were a subtle reminder of his unsuccessful side-hustle as a pimp, shades of that character surface at the track’s fade. 

After a musical trip back to New Orleans proper, 1992 yielded another Grammy with a record embracing the Neville Brothers and trad-jazzers Pete Fountain and Al Hirt plying latin grooves, Dr John took a more intimate jazz group on the road and recorded a tribute to Ellington at the turn of the millennium. Duke Elegant (2000, Blue Note) featured guitarist Bobby Broom and baritone saxist Ronnie Cuber and such Ellington obscurities as ‘On The Wrong Side of The Railroad Tracks’, ‘I’m Gonna Go Fishin’’ and ‘Flaming Sword’. As Broom, a member of the band for six years, recalls “His Duke Elegant record was a great representation of the singularity of his interpretive style and also of the supportive chemistry of his working band at the time - the Lower 911. What he was able to do with Ellington’s material is testament to his artistry, he reworked it all making it his own, without overly distorting or disguising it, but approaching from a fresh and unique perspective.”

Despite his scurrilous (yet far from entirely misspent) youth in the city of his birth, Dr John rose to the occasion post Katrina, initially releasing a suite under the heading Sippiana Hurricane (2005), all proceeds from which were divided between the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, The Jazz Foundation of America and the Voice of the Wetlands. The EP echoed his first recorded single ‘Storm Warning’ and defiantly urged ‘Wade in the Water/Comin' back like we oughta’ about the disaster, criticising political expediency in the aftermath on a recast ‘Sweet Home New Orleans’. John was similarly excoriating at protest rallies after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that contaminated the Louisiana shoreline in 2010.

Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 seemed to spell the kiss of career death but then came a remarkable renaissance with Locked Down (Nonesuch 2011). A grungy, reverberant soundscape devised by the brilliant Dan Auerbach, this Grammy winner (one of six) featured the doctor at his dirtiest on analogue keyboards. There seemed a startlingly urgent message here, harking back to part-buried nightmares of incarceration and Rebennack’s deep cynicism about the system, the manufactured braggadocio of ‘Big Shot’ thrown in for truculent measure. Even Rebennack’s apologias ‘My Children, My Angels’ (he has an unrecorded total of offspring) and ‘God’s Sure Good’ were not allowed to sink into bathos by Auerbach, who resolutely maintained the edge he saw at the heart of the exotically seasoned seventy year old.

Dr John’s star studded last studio album Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch (Concord 2014) paid tribute to a formative influence from his hometown, who also came through a colourful period in New Orleans history and perpetrated inaccuracy about his birthdate – Louis Armstrong. Rebennack was born on November 20th 1941 not 1940 as most sources quote (pretending to be older behoved him as a teenage hustler and musician).

Dr John 1446 5x7

Ill health was starting to take its toll latterly, including cirrhosis of the liver and bone spurs in the neck Mac attributed to years of methadone treatment, thus for the last eighteen months of his reign Dr John was seldom seen in public, despite high profile appearances prior alongside Bruce Springsteen, Don Was, Dave Grohl and with John Legend and Jon Batiste on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

In retracing his recorded legacy, his profound self-marination in the flavours of the bayou and beyond are always impossible to filter, despite wry affectations and Professor Longhair bequeathed patois. The trickstery and dark street tales his intimidating grandmother would tell at bedtime were influential from the get go but there was a beatific simplicity to his outlook also: notwithstanding unsavoury tastes and otherworldly debauchments, the arch underdog’s maverick humour and hard-earned humanity shine through. Formative career lessons as strawboss, producer and A&R man delayed his emergence as a star in his own right, but he made up for lost time when he “hit the bricks again”, on release from prison. Countless sessions with such great producers as Toussaint and Battiste and songwriter colleagues like Jesse Hill and Doc Pomus, belied his own canny, not so uncalculating, brilliance.

Dr John dates were thick with the ‘guilded splendor’ (sic) of astutely curated artistic talent, a gamey mix like the food he enjoyed. He’d worked within Phil Spector’s 'Wall of Sound' but thought Spector’s concept generally demanded toothless musicianship. He revelled in a rich, aromatic, home-cooked sonic gumbo, a clichéd metaphor he wouldn't refute. 

“Mac was the epitome and exemplar of an American musician,” summarises Broom, “in that he was comfortable in every major American music style – jazz, blues, R&B, rock and roll and all the offshoots and styles that would follow. He put his 'singularicle' stamp on the music. Thank you and Rest in Peace Dr John.”

Michael Jackson (Story and Photos)

 

For 40 amazing years, the singer Harriet Coleman has presented jazz sessions in and around the Shepperton area. First it was local pubs. Now she uses Bagster House, a capacious social club and has built a loyal audience there for the best of modern mainstream jazz. In earlier times, she ran her sessions weekly, this while holding down a top job in banking, but more recently the gigs were monthly featuring the likes of Jimmy Hastings, Derek Nash, Mark Nightingale et al. But here’s the rub – Harriet is calling a halt and this was her final club presentation.

So, a packed house, much sentiment, grateful words of thanks for her dedication, a tear or two, a sense that all good things must inevitably end. Well, maybe not, for guitarist Nigel Price, that rescuer of apparently lost causes, is to take over from Harriet and was on hand to say so. He’ll start in September when the club will revert to its earlier name of Shepperton Jazz Club. ‘Bravo, Nigel!’, was the cry.

And so to the evening’s musical treat with the presence of Italian-American pianist Rossano Sportiello, a sure-fire favourite with UK audiences ever since he first toured here in 2004. Classically trained , with a delicacy of touch and a gleaming keyboard command that allows him to go wherever his imagination takes him, Sportiello had his loyal confreres Dave Green and Steve Brown alongside. Style-wise, Sportiello offers a compendium of possibilities: he’ll include itemised Tatum runs, back them up with Waller stride, revert to Wilson-ian stateliness, add a hint of Garner’s behind-the beat phrasing and even launch into a spot of boogie. Here, he gauged his audience’s expectations well: sticking closely to the Great American Songbook, taking each song through a series of twists and turns, allowing space for Green and Brown to solo, and then segueing into another. Thus, ‘I Can’t Get Started’ morphed into ‘The Sheik of Araby’, an unlikely conjunction perhaps but it worked here.

There followed a solo ballad reading of another ‘old song’ ‘My Romance’, quietly deconstructed. I’ve heard Sportiello dig deeper than here, swing harder too, but this time it was filigree over ferocity, for sure. This audience loved every minute: a fitting way to say goodbye to Harriet, and hello to Nigel.

– Peter Vacher (Story and Photo)

Ronnie Scott’s, the iconic London jazz club, will mark its 60th anniversary in style this autumn, when artists associated with the venue line-up for a special charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 30 October.

The starry line-up includes revered Irish singer Van Morrison, popular Irish songstress Imelda May, renowned US singer Madeline Bell, Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling, celebrated Brit-jazz singer Georgie Fame and top UK-based saxophonists Pee Wee Ellis and Courtney Pine. Ronnie’s regulars also appearing include a trio of acclaimed singers – Natalie Williams, Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll – as well as leading trumpeter/arranger Guy Barker whose association with the venue goes back to his teenage years and an early encounter with Dizzy Gillespie, when he first played wth the jazz legend aged 17.

The club’s resident pianist and MD James Pearson will lead the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, while bandleader Pete Long will direct the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. The evening’s programme will tell the story of the club, which was founded by Ronnie Scott and Pete King in Gerrard Street in 1959, with proceeds from the gala concert going to the venue’s Charitable Foundation.

The club'c Managing Director, Simon Cooke, commented on the concert’s line-up: “We are transporting the club, for one night only, into the slightly larger Royal Albert Hall but have every intention of recreating the unique atmosphere we have here in Frith Street. It’s wonderful that so many artists have asked to appear at the show and is indicative of the affection and importance the club holds in London and across the world.’’

Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.royalalberthall.com

ELBJAZZ 19 Michael WollnyTrio 2 Christoph Eisenmenger copy

The first thing to notice were the queues, over 200 yards long and four abreast, at both ticket outlets. For a jazz festival? Fantastic. Apparently 30,000 people attended Elb Jazz 2019, spread between an open-air harbour site, a decommissioned cargo ship and Hamburg's stunning new Elbphilharmonie Hall. (Think the Albert Hall, reimagined by Gaudi, with perfect acoustics and balanced on top of a disused warehouse…). The programme’s strands reflected those venues, too, with the ship’s Stygian cargo hold hosting club-friendly acts including Belgium’s Glass Museum – tightly constructed dance-informed music, like Michael Nyman with ‘drops’ – and the uproariously funky Butcher Brown

ELBJAZZ 19 Michael WollnyTrio Christoph Eisenmenger copy

Across the harbour the three stages’ eclectic mix ranged from Randy Brecker with the NDR Bigband to vintage funk-soul legends Tower of Power via headliner Jamie Cullum. Clearly a festival favourite, pianist Michael Wollny (pictured top and above) stole the opening night show, blasting in with the Nirvana-esque 'Wasted & Wanted' before a bluesy reading of Scott Walker’s 'Big Louise' unleashed a phenomenal burst of improvised playing. His trio kept the balance between jazz and rock values, not least in Erik Schaefer’s remorseless drumming, and the climactically over-indulgent 'When The Sleeper Wakes' was perfectly judged for a roaring outdoor audience.

The British contingent did well, with Kamaal Williams and Jamie garnering big crowds, and it was gratifying to see Kokoroko packing out the enormous Schiffbauhalle to close the festival. Their accomplished Afro-beat brought fine solo playing to a highly danceable sound. In particular, Oscar Jerome’s guitar and Sheila Maurice-Grey’s trumpet caught the ear of the crowd inside the hall and outside, thanks to audio-video relays.

ELBJAZZ 19 Jason Moran photo Claudia Hoehne

Given Hamburg’s association with Steinway it was unsurprising that pianos loomed large, but surely Messrs Wollny and Cullum would both concede any accolades to Jason Moran (above). Playing solo on the wide empty stage of a sold-out Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall he began with economy, underscoring the spiritual melody of 'Wind' with rich harmony. It was a beguiling precursor to the intense 'Reanimation', its Bach-echoing counterpoint and phrasing a marvel of technical skill that culminated in an intricate right-hand motif repeated beyond the physically possible. More technique (and even more swing) drove stride classic 'Carolina Shout' through its ragtime structure to an exploration that included audacious Fats Waller-style variations. But the most impressive piece began with an extended 10-fingered battering of the lower octave. The lights dimmed and he continued in darkness, the roaring growl of the music throwing up unexpected harmonics and elusive bass phrases, swelling like a dangerously close jet engine. It was an intense and meditative piece that, absurdly, suddenly threw up a filigree of chirpy high-register blues and a rolling bassline that could have come from St Louis. Confounding expectations is another of his many skills.

ELBJAZZ 19 Kit Downes photo 2 Claudia Hoehne

To his own surprise Kit Downes (above) also pulled off a triumphant performance in the same hall, admitting: “This is the first time I’ve had to worry about an encore for a solo organ concert”. The instrument in question was the phenomenal beast with 4,000-plus pipes woven into the organic architecture of the hall and played by Downes sitting in a mid-stage pool of light. From the bubbling Terry Riley-influenced 'Obsidian' to the stately hymn tune of 'The Last Leviathan' it felt as though he was exploring the full potential of the instrument as much as the music, wafting from reedy solo clarity to massive orchestral sweeps. It was captivating stuff, ancient and modern, that fully merited the ovation.

If Swiss vocal gymnast Andreas Schaerer (below) felt disappointing it was only because his improvisational duel with Soweto Kinch at Cheltenham Jazz had been so phenomenal. Singing with regular band Novel of Anomaly diminished his chances for spontaneity, restraining his remarkable combination of scat, beatbox and vocalisation. Fast Finnish tango 'Aritmia' showed off accordionist Luciano Biondini’s quick-thinking skills, 'Stagione' gained a plausible faux-trumpet solo, and the set finished with a virtuoso solo display from the capering Schaerer that clearly disappointed no-one.

ELBJAZZ 19 Andreas Schaerer and A Novel Of Anomaly photo 2 Claudia Hoehne

For the seasoned jazz festival goer it would hard be to fault Elb Jazz. A satisfying programme blessed by brilliant weather, with shuttle buses and boats efficiently criss-crossing between venues that included one of Europe’s most spectacular concert halls. What’s not to like?

Tony Benjamin
– Photos by Christoph Eisenmenger (Michael Wollny) and Claudia Hoehne (Jason Moran, Kit Downes and Andreas Schaerer)

Stroud’s reputation as the alternative hippy hub of the Cotswolds is just fine with many of the locals, and naturally when they have a jazz festival it’s on their own terms. The posters offered ‘jazz influenced music’ and 2019’s eclectic four day programme ranged from electronica and dance-oriented grooves to classic acoustic jazz. Being Stroud, audiences might include tumbling toddlers, barking dogs, miscellaneous sketching artists and the occasional passerby from the town’s Steampunk weekend.

For opening night Polar Bear electronics doyen Leafcutter John found himself corralled by random sofas in the middle of the Goods Shed’s cavernous barn. The intimacy was enhanced by the need for near darkness in order to deploy his self-built light operated synth interface. Like some kind of cosmic conductor he waved and swooped torches and bike lights to release a soundtrack that shifted startlingly from cascading birdsong to throbbing analogue techno and gripping avant-dub. As a showcase for the specially installed d&b audiotechnik soundsystem PA it could hardly be rivaled.

jazz stroud vels 1

(Jazz)man of the match had to be livewire drummer Dougal Taylor, however, who featured at two of the weekend’s high points: behind trumpeter/producer Emma-Jean Thackray in the Goods Shed and keeping a packed SVA bar dancing with the Vels Trio (above). Barely 40 minutes separated these two gigs – a testament to his energy. Emma-Jean’s performance was an especial revelation, with Ben Kelly’s harmonised sousaphone bass adding grit to tunes like ‘Ley Lines’. Shorn of its high production vocals and with ramped-up drumming Thackray’s (below) sharp trumpet and easy singing gave the number real feeling.

Sam Rapley’s Sunday afternoon performance was an impressive surprise, too. With his regular Fabled quintet reduced to a saxophone trio he bore the melodic weight of his own compositions with impressive ease. That said, having Conor Chaplin’s bass and Will Glaser drumming meant the work was well shared and each tune nicely characterized. Trumpeter Paul Jordanous’ Ensemble also benefitted from imaginative rhythm contributions thanks to drummer Ted Carrasco and nimble-fingered bass man Kevin Glasgow. The latter’s 6-string solo on the Metheny-esque ‘Summation’ was a nicely-judged showstopper, as was Paul’s trumpet coolly coasting through Blue Note tribute ‘Latin Vase’. Even more adroit use of the six-string bass via a packed pedal board and laptop enabled Forrest’s Mike Flynn to create complex tapestries of layered loops for Matt Telfer to add lyrical saxophones. Their combination of low down grooves, rich sonics and upbeat melodic phrasing was the perfect pick-me-up for an attentive (if jaded) Sunday SVA lunchtime audience.

jazz stroud emma jane t 2

While not officially twinned with South London there was a definite linkage, with strong showing from smokily poised poet/singer Cil, vigorous modal grooving from Roella Oloro’s young quintet and a great Friday night party set from Deptford’s Steam Down (pictured top). With Ahnanse’s Ethio-sax and Wonky Logic’s grinding synth bass meshing like Sons of Kemet behind epic vocals from And Is Phi it was intelligent, evolutionary music with a big sense of fun. Bristol’s excellent Snazzback had earlier established a similar mood with their more cosmic ensemble sound. Embracing flamenco, rhumba, Blaxploitation and House styles yet smuggling in off-kilter time signatures, they deployed a rich percussion mix and unforced solo playing while the d&b PA system to whirl around the room. That effect was deployed the following night for Ishmael Ensemble’s more measured approach to spiritual jazz, with producer Pete Cunningham’s sinuous tenor sax an organic ghost in the machinery of cinematic mood pieces like 'The River' and 'Lapwing'.

Stroud being Stroud, for all the ear-catching visitors there was a fair showing of local talent, too, with renowned bass clarinet improviser Chris Cundy unveiling the lyrically neo-classical Triofolio in the atmospheric St Laurance’s Church, followed by the incongruously playful duo Mermaid Chunky’s willful (and skillful) blend of layered electronics and ridiculous noise-toys with sax and vocals. Equally upbeat, the nine-piece latin-swamp-blues outfit Albino Tarrantino rammed out the Ale House venue with impeccably precise grooves and a Tom Waits-recalling loucheness that nonetheless blew out the house PA.

It was a fitting climax to a successful weekend that had brought an entertaining cross-section of the current UK jazz scene to a very receptive slice of the local community. And their dogs.

– Tony Benjamin (Story and photos)

 

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