Last Monday was a fairly easy evening musically to put together. Play what the audience likes (always a good idea), based on knowledge gained from experience. And that experience was so evident with John Hallam who has done it, been there and I guess has a vast number of tee shirts to prove the point!
The same can be said for Rod Kelly who started off his musical life playing trumpet with some of the big names in the business and then in the nineties, changed instruments and became a pianist. He led a trio with Roger Powell on drums who has played with the great and the good for many years and he was quite at home with both music and surroundings. A last minute replacement for John Day on bass, Raph(ael) Mizraki who fitted in admirably and really excelled himself. A new find who comes with plaudits such as ‘widely regarded as one of the finest jazz bass players in the country.’
The programme had been put together by John Hallam and it was all music that the audience knew and in most cases loved. None of it was hackneyed and all of the musicians were enjoying themselves – it wasn’t just another job to them. The same goes for the audience. They loved it and they said so as they were leaving.
Of course, an evening of that standard must be supplemented by some anecdotal stories or jokes. Should we perhaps call them anecdotes with punch lines? John has a wealth of stories, many of them things that have happened to him. So first hand stories have that ring of credibility that certainly added to the evening.
Again an evening of excellent jazz played by musicians who know and enjoy the music and that enjoyment is then transmitted to the audience who also thoroughly enjoyed the evening’s entertainment.
Simple maybe, but isn’t making it look easy is surely the mark of true professionals.