Bruce Adams, Brian Dee, Bill Coleman
This was the second at the new venue, the Berkeley and there was a better seating arrangement which may not seem that important for the music but I think it was. The three musicians had space to move. In fact they had the whole of the dance area to move. It was better both visually and also acoustically. But that didn’t mean that the audience were squashed at the other end of this rather large room. Certainly not. They had room to move and stretch as well.
The important part of the evening though was the music and we were not disappointed. If you enjoy the great American songbook, then you were in for a treat. Even if you didn’t enjoy that body of songs, there was plenty of music outside those confines. There was The Gal In Calico and Old Folks as well as then songbook music like Frank Loesser’s Slow Boat To China and Gershwin’s Lady Be Good.
Whatever your views on the music, it is important to enjoy the tunes and the people playing them but there’s also the entertainment of the linking repartee which was up to the usual standard. This was not a string of jokes that you’ve heard before, but stories that go with the music. Bruce explained how he came by the late Roy Castle’s cornet and how he worked with Scottish singer Carole Kidd. It all went into the mix.
Then there was the important part of the evening, the music. But what would you expect when you put together such brilliant musicians? Bruce had Brian Dee on piano. Now Brian was playing with the big boys in the late fifties, so he’s been around the music business for quite some time. He was good then and he is still good, very good. Bill Coleman was the bass player who confided in me that he was honoured to be playing with and as part of such talent. But Bill contributed just as much to the proceedings as the other two. He certainly wasn’t there just to make up the numbers so they could call it a trio!
In all, if the second night at the Berkeley is a portent for the future, then the future looks very bright indeed.