THE THOUGHTS OF CHAIRMAN BRUCE
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Full marks to the faithful few who turned out to hear Café Society on an unpleasant night which closely followed the worst weather event experienced in Kendal for very many decades. There was a definite argument for cancellation, but we decided that, on balance, it was better to go ahead and not risk disappointing fans of the band - and the band itself, who (let's not forget) travelled from as far afield as Leeds and Manchester.
Travel-weary they may have been, but it didn't show as they launched full-bore into 'Too Busy', with an absolutely characteristic mix of tight arrangement and period vocalizing at a tempo just short of tearaway (I almost typed a different set of 3 letters at the end of that word). The first half continued in the same vein, with jazz standards alternating with 20's rarities, most of them sung by Anthony Mason in his individual and appealing style. Contrast was provided by Willy Entwistle's gentler vocal on 'That Certain Party', and while Willy is in the spotlight it's worth complimenting him on the tricky arrangements he provides for the quartet. And from someone who owns an alto sax but almost never plays it (one of the definitions of a gentleman), congratulations on some great work on 'Crazy Rhythm', in particular.
The second half continued in the same vein, kicking off with 'Animal Crackers' (probably the first time that tune has been aired in the River Bar) until towards the end, when Willy's penny-whistle version of 'Whistling Rufus' provided a change of sound. Then it was back to a well-judged final three offerings: 'Tiger Rag' (with a host of key changes),' Chili-Bom-Bom' and the closing George Formby medley featuring Anthony's considerable expertise on banjo. A fun night, and it would be wrong not to mention the other two members of the quartet: Andy Henderson on trumpet, who coped splendidly with the aforementioned tricky arrangements as well as offering some interesting solos and vocals, and the essential underpinning of Colin Turner's bass saxophone - also featured in several fine solos. Overall, Twenties nostalgia ruled OK.
We spring forward three decades on Tuesday 12th January when Paul Palmer returns with his straight-ahead, swinging Quintet. The line-up is as before, except that drummer Jamie has left the area and is replaced by youngster Jack Davies. Paul tells me that there will be no diminution in propulsion - and I believe him. Anyone who has heard the band before will know what to expect: well-loved standards, touches of bossa, and several little-heard numbers selected by Paul from the huge recorded output of the era, all played with panache and feeling.
About ten seconds after the Paul Palmer Quintet opened up with Sonny Stitt's 'Blues After Dark', I knew we were in for a good night of jazz. That was swiftly confirmed by their version of 'Bernie's Tune', which featured, on the penultimate chorus, a beautifully worked Chet Baker/ Gerry Mulligan simulation. And then they really turned up the wick (and set the tone for the whole session) with 'Love Me or Leave Me', where my notes read 'Nice riff on second chorus' - which Paul back-announced as being Mulligan's 'Apple Core.' I'd never heard that track before, but what a wizard idea to put them together! This first set carried on with a very interesting bunch of rarely-heard tunes, culminating in a Charlie Parker 12-bar blues with a Caribbean feel called 'Bird Feathers'. Paul confessed that he had kicked this one in a little too quickly, but it certainly led to an exciting end to the set, with a front-line-only section reminding me of Jimmy Guiffre's 'The Train and The River', followed by two blistering out choruses on which the band reached Birdland standard.
The second set contained a greater quantity of better-known tunes, with the high points coming towards the end in a very moving ballad called 'Spiritual' which contained gorgeous tenor sax and double bass solos, followed by another Charlie Parker number, 'My Little Suede Shoes'. This again seemed to me to have a Caribbean tinge - or does that just reveal my uncertain grasp of time signatures? I have trouble with anything but 4/4. Anyway, that good night of jazz I mentioned at the start could easily qualify as a great night: the major soloists were on fine form, with Paul taking cues from Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond (neither known for their tenor playing, but they might have sounded like this) and Geoff Bartholomew playing fine period trumpet which would not have caused Clifford Brown to frown - or Freddie Hubbard to come out of his cupboard. And let's not forget the many fine and tightly-played arrangements, and of course the flexible and swinging rhythm section which underpinned the whole shebang. A very good band on very good form.
I can only pray to be blessed with the same sort of form when I take the stage on February 9th as part of 'Hope Swings Eternal', a band which had its genesis in a Django Reinhardt-style quartet. It has now morphed into a quintet plus vocalist playing 20s to 40s material, retaining its drumless Django-type rhythm section, but including very little Hot Club material - well, except for the American tunes which Django and Stephane were wont to play. Anyway, the band has its own distinct character, and all the musicians except myself are making their first appearance at Staveley - I was going to use the phrase 'fresh faces', but I don't wish to mislead anyone. I hope you'll enjoy the sounds we make.
It was a great night…for buying raffle tickets. So few of us there were- a ' happy few' - that the chances of scooping up a major prize were rarely better. And if Luck wasn't a lady- or a gentleman or what you will- there was salve for chagrin in a splendid evening's jazz.Many of the members of ' Hope Swings Eternal' were making their KJC debuts. Not of course, The Dear Leader- B. Carnaffin, Esq. - who tillered proceedings with his customary, genial authority. And there was, I think, at least one other newcomer: Mr. -or Ms or what you will- Mellophonium. Not as Mesozoic as you might think, this instrument was developed in the late 50's from the mellophone- a cross breeding of trumpet and horn- and popularised by Stan Kenton.
No Kenton sounds here, of course. But plenty of unusual sonorities and harmonies (in an Ellingtonesque ' Mood Indigo' for example) from the front line of Bruce -doubling on bass clarinet- and Alan Beecham who switched with impressive embouchure and fingering between trumpet and the aforementioned mello what's it .Bruce belied the effects of a heavy cold with a fine version of ' Memories of You'. And there was much to savour from his fellows: Alan's trumpet in ' I Can't Believe That…' and ' I Got Rhythm'; Mo Whitham's outstanding guitar on a less than decorous ' Lover Come Back' and a soulful 'Solitude.' Even Roger Middleton (rhythm guitar) and bassist, Dave Hillman, had a chance to shine in Honeysuckle Rose', swung until the petals hung on for dear life .Joanne Clayton-Brown’s vocals were characterized by fine diction and phrasing in both rhythm numbers and ballads, complemented by especially sympathetic backings in 'Billie's Blues' and Solitude And Alan's lung bursting, tongue twisting ' Blues My Naught Sweetie Gives to Me' left even us listeners spluttering for breath.
In sum, this was a varied, well-paced programme of jazz standards which deserved a bigger audience. Perhaps, next time…Hope Swings Eternal!
One of our most accomplished and versatile vocalists, Sue Parish hasn't graced the Beer Hall for a few years but her return on
March 8th- with a trio of fine musicians- will surely prove to have been worth the wait. After all, if you don't buy a ticket you can't win the raffle…
Our 2016 AGM will take place at Burgundys, Kendal at 7pm on Tuesday 22nd March All are welcome!
Sue Parish was overdue a visit to us, and this time, along with regular accompanists Frank Grime on bass and Phil Bennett on drums, she introduced Liverpool guitarist Tony Ormesher, replacing the unavailable pianist Andrzej Baranek. One or two people had expressed slight apprehension about this substitution, but personally I had not a single qualm, having been stunned in my formative years by the Julie London/Barney Kessel version of 'Cry Me A River', which demonstrated for all time that the female voice and a sensitive guitarist make a superb combination. What's more, Tony turned out to be not only sensitive but also technically gifted, so right from the opening bars of 'Secret Love' I knew we were in for a good night. Interestingly, that proved to be the first of only 5 or 6 well-known standards spread across Sue's two sets.The remaining fifteen or so numbers were little-heard gems from composers of the 30s to 70s, from which I'll only mention my personal favourites: the sad bar-room song ' I Keep Going Back to Joe's', Hoagy's lovely 'Memphis in June', and, best of all, 'Harlem Nocturne', usually heard as a big-band instrumental. Full marks for originality, Sue.
And the jazz content was very high, with the leader in good voice, bending notes and reshaping melodies like a good-un. In support, Tony Ormesher accompanied Sue with rich and well-timed chordwork ,then launched into dazzling single-string solo runs, all performed with a mellow tone (with apologies to Duke) - really great jazz guitar. The ever-improving Frank Grime on bass was the perfect match for Tony, delivering some of the most melodic and swinging bass we've heard in the club. In the engine room, drummer Phil Bennett pushed things along nicely - his cymbals may have been a little prominent for some on the up-tempos, but on the ballads, and on brushes, he was a model of thought and restraint. So was there any downside? No, not really. Maybe a little more information about the composer and provenance of the songs would have been good, and a couple of the up-tempos were just too up, but that's only a quibble. We certainly won't leave it so long before asking Sue and the trio back.
Next up is Djangologie in April. They wowed us on their first visit with their original programme and fiery performance, and, although we have just heard an outstanding guitarist, they will be serving up a double helping of the same, with James Birkett and Giles Strong vying for honours. Emma Fisk will be carrying the melody on violin, while Mick Shoulder's fine double bass, plus his quirky arrangements and tuneful originals round everything out. It'll be a treat - try not to miss it.
Our 2016 AGM will take place at Burgundys, Kendal at 7pm on Tuesday 22nd March All are welcome!
It was good to welcome Djangologie back in April and be reminded of their fascinating and wide-ranging repertoire. Compared to their first visit, there seemed to be fewer of bassist and leader Mick Shoulder's own compositions, although the ones he did choose to include, especially the two waltzes 'Feuilles d'Automne' (nice pizzicato work) and 'Beautiful Till 3' ( wonder what happened to her looks after 3 o'clock?) were delightful, completely belying his self-confessed and bewildering predilection for punk.
Every member of this quartet brings individual brilliance to their performance: Emma Fisk with fine theme statements and soaring violin solos, James Birkett with blistering guitar solos, Giles Strong with great rhythm guitar and reflective solos ( nice coda on 'Nuit Solitaire'), and Mick underpinning everything - and providing a huge solo on 'Stomping at Decca'. Equally importantly, they all lock together beautifully, making them one of the UK's best exponents of gypsy jazz.
I'm pretty sure from the audience reaction that there's not much disagreement with that statement, and we'll certainly be looking to bring them back next year.
May the 10th sees the return to Staveley of trumpeter Enrico Tomasso, this time reverting to the format of his first appearance at the club when he appeared with the Swing City Trio, led by reedman Steve Andrews. Enrico and Steve make up a formidable front line with an in-depth command of all aspects of the great middle ground of jazz, and Roly Veitch's gentle but swinging guitar will blend with double bass to propel them along. There will also be a high entertainment factor - serious jazz played in a light-hearted manner, if that makes any sense. Try not to miss this one.
It's been a year or two (or three) since Enrico Tomasso and the Swing City Trio last met at Staveley, and consequently there was a sense of all concerned feeling their way on the first couple of numbers, but Enrico's relaxed vocal on 'My Walking Stick' settled things down, prior to a blazing 'China Boy'. Then Steve Andrews produced a simply beautiful theme statement on clarinet at the start of 'These Foolish Things', followed by a fine trumpet solo, and the group was really starting to mesh together. Steve took the theme again, this time on tenor, on 'This Year's Kisses', and did I detect much more than just a nod to Lester Young from a man who is normally in the Hawkins/Webster mould? Roly Veitch impressed with one of his gentle vocals on this tune, too. But in the second set Enrico (who had not exactly been shy and retiring in the first) really stamped his authority on the music: he echoed the Louis of 1947 on 'Rocking Chair' (with Steve doing the Teagarden responses on the vocal), and then took the set to a climactic end with a majestic 'I Can't Get Started', followed by the best version I've ever heard of 'The Song is Ended' - a natural closer, if ever there was one. The power and invention of his trumpet playing is remarkable, and it says a lot for the quality of his accompanying semi-pro musicians that they were able to raise their game to the extent they did. And that remark certainly includes bassist Steve Simpson, who I suspect was playing some of these tunes for the first time. Quality jazz all round, and a very enjoyable night.
June 14th sees our first ever double bill. The club is pleased to be able to give some performance time to a keen and very youthful new band called Muskrat Ramble, who belie their name by including numbers made famous by various masters of middle-period jazz. I hope lots of you will turn out to support these intrepid youngsters, and of course stay on to listen to rather more mature local musicians in the form of the Sun Street Stompers, a traditional jazz outfit making their first visit to the River Bar.
To begin at the beginning-several beginnings, in fact. A first KJC double feature opened with a debut for a teenaged quintet playing to what must have seemed –and in part, possibly was- an audience of their grandparents. Surely no more surreal than a chunk of the first ‘Star Wars’ movie score- the tradish ‘Mos Eisley Cantina’- which started Muskrat Ramble’s nicely judged set, drawn mostly from Sixties’ repertoire. Some exceptions were ‘A Train’ and the old standard, ‘Broadway’ briskly propelled, here as elsewhere, by Sam Nicholls’ percussion. Ensemble work was splendid throughout and swung as required in ‘Roarin’ Rora’- with the ‘duelling trombones’ of Charlotte Burrows and Edward Hodgson- and a Soul-Jazzy ‘The Sidewinder.’ But they proved lyrical as well: Errol Garner’s ‘Misty’- with one of many fine keyboard spots from Alasdair Burrows- and ‘Song for My Father’, featuring Tom Burrows’ expressive trumpet. The presentation was slick and let the music do the talking. And talk it did with a cunning counter pointed medley of ‘Midnight in Moscow’ and ‘Hit the Road, Jack’ topped off by a roistering take on ‘The Monkey Song’, warmly greeted by an enthusiastic audience and inviting an encore which these modest youngsters clearly had not anticipated…
In contrast, the more senior KJC debutantes-The Sun Street Stompers-offered a ‘sepia jazz’ anthology expertly fashioned by time-honed musicians clearly comfortable in each other’s company as ‘Faraway Blues’ and the other numbers proved. An electric guitarist in such material might once have elevated an eyebrow or two but in addition to his rhythm duties-shared with Gerry Duckles’ banjo and Adrian Morris (bass)-Steve Lister soothed any gainsayers in ‘Cake Walking Babies’ and ‘Stevedore Stomp.’ The distinctive tones of Barrie Marshall’s clarinet graced ‘Hiawatha’ and ‘Lonesome Hometown Blues’, the latter one of several equally distinctive Alan Duckles’ vocals. There was fine work from Alan, the cornetist, in ‘Wang Wang Blues’ and ‘Muskrat Ramble’, included as an eponymous and generous tribute to the young musicians of the first set.It’s not unknown for bands to feature’ Please Don’t Talk About Me...’ as a closer but there was no resisting this fulsome reading with a vocal duo and a backing chorus. Nor arguing either with a very high clapometer register at the end….
July 12th sees the return of Janet Seidel and her Trio as part of their current UK visit from Australia. Those who know and care about such things regard her as one of the best purveyors of classic popular songs around these days. And she plays mean jazz piano to boot, amply supported by Chuck Morgan (guitar/ukulele) and David Seidel (bass).
KJC is offering 3 ‘premium events’ this autumn
featuring the likes of Jeff Barnhart/ ‘Spats’ Langham, Tim Kliphuis, Harry Allen/Tom Kincaid.
Members are therefore eligible for even bigger admission discounts than usual.
Join now-via the website or at a Club gig-and recoup the £12 subscription in less than three months!
The fortunate fifty-nine who attended the Janet Seidel gig were treated to a master-class in popular singing from a lady who must surely be in the very top echelon of female vocalists in any style. It's hard to think of anyone who can even challenge her: and sit down, the legion of Adele fans, that even includes her, although they are so far apart in approach that comparisons are invalid. Certainly, I'm not aware of anyone who can interpret the splendid works of the great American songsmiths with such clarity, understanding and technique. And to cap it all, Janet plays more-than-respectable jazz piano, which is such a help in rounding out the sound of the small group with which she tours. However, when it comes to jazz improvisation she has a hard act to follow in the form of her partner and guitarist Chuck Morgan, who excelled throughout on both that instrument and ukulele. Brother David Seidel was as solid as ever on double bass, and inventive in his occasional solo spots, while drummer Cyril Bevan, added for certain dates, was an absolute model of taste and precision So this was an evening of music of the highest quality, perfectly matched by Janet's selection of songs. She paid tribute to two of her predecessors with a gorgeous 'Folks Who Live on the Hill' (Peggy Lee, of course) and a few Blossom Dearie songs - 'Hey John' and 'I'm Shadowing You', plus lots of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. They even coped admirably with a sitter-in who they insisted (honest) on including, and said sitter-in - a bundle of nerves - really appreciated the honour. A terrific night overall, and one we're sure to repeat if Janet tours the UK again in a couple of years' time.
August 9th will also be a very good evening of middle-of-the-road jazz, with trumpeter Mike Daly coming down from Ayr to join reedman John Hallam in the front line. They have worked together several times before with great success, but never with the local-ish rhythm section led by guitarist Mo Witham - however, I know they're going to be in safe (and swinging) hands, and I'm personally looking forward to the gig being another roaring success.
If you're not already a member, please do consider joining very soon so you can take advantage of the members' discount on the September/October/November gigs, when we are presenting some of the very best international artists: respectively Jeff Barnhart (keys) with Spats Langham, Tim Kliphuis, and top American tenor-saxist Harry Allen with Tom Kincaid For these major attractions we have had to increase the entry price a little to £12.50, but members are still only charged £8.
Despite a rather disappointing turn-out (was everybody saving up for our magnificent Autumn programme?), we were treated to yet another evening of very classy mainstream jazz, fronted by regular visitor John Hallam and first-timer Mike Daly, with a hand-picked
local-ish rhythm section. John and Mike had played together before (and are doing so again in Ambleside soon), but they had never met the other members of the quintet, who in turn had never met each other! People often remark to me that it's one of the wonders of jazz that strangers can get together, choose a tune, and within a short space of time sound like a well-established band, and so it proved to be last Tuesday. By the time they got to their fourth number, an up-tempo ' See-See Rider', they were generating huge amounts of swing, which carried over into 'Bernie's Tune', the high point of this being an expert front-line only chorus. A little later they displayed their ballad chops on a soulful 'Moonlight in Vermont', which included a very fine trumpet solo by Mike Daly. But the blowing instruments didn't have it all to themselves - Mo Witham's guitar had been prominent from the start, and in 'Deed I Do' (the opener in the second set) he produced a gem of a solo, garnering respectful nods from John and Mike.And Steve Simpson on bass was also given plenty of space on most numbers, providing melodic and swinging solos, while Jack Davies on drums gave us some very crisp four and eight bar breaks, and excellent brushwork on the slow numbers.Speaking of slow numbers, the band excelled themselves on a beautiful 'Stars Fell on Alabama', on which John played a solo which I can only describe as very touching, although everyone did their part, before the evening finished with two hard-swinging quicker tunes. Overall, the combination of John Hallam's classy reed sounds with one of Britain's most fluent trumpeters, in the form of Mike Daly, was a musical feast.
And now we come to the start of our aforementioned and magnificent Autumn programme, which starts with the first visit by the acclaimed American pianist Jeff Barnhart. This would be something to shout about by itself, but on September 13th he is teamed with the ineffable Spats Langham, a man whose vocals and guitar/banjo playing have proved a huge hit on previous visits. What's more, they strike sparks off each other as a comedy duo - and to cap it all they are featuring Jeff's wife Anne, who plays flute. This really is one not to be missed!
Artists of this calibre do not come cheap, so for this and the October and November gigs (Tim Kliphuis and Harry Allen/Tom Kincaid respectively) we are raising the admission price to £12.50. Members, however, will still only be charged £8.00, so we are rewarding the faithful - but if through some oversight you haven't joined the Club yet, you can always join on the night (£12 for a year) and reap the benefit. See you on the 13th September.
The dream pairing of Jeff Barnhart and Spats Langham really hit the ground running at the River Bar this month. Tom Langham is now a familiar and much-loved figure at Staveley, but Jeff was making his first visit to the club, and he lost no time in asserting his musical personality, with that busy and propulsive left hand literally rocking Pete Major's loaned piano (thanks, Pete). Tom's well-amplified guitar and banjo did not play second fiddle (to confuse two different families of stringed instruments), and it was immediately obvious that this was a meeting of equals. And what's more, equals who had done massive amounts of burrowing around in the undergrowth of earlier twentieth-century popular music, to the extent that, of the 22 songs they played, only 4 qualified as standards (in my book, anyway).
The other 18 less familiar numbers were very well chosen and really deserve to be better known, from the opening 'Everywhere You Go' and its stomping follow-up 'Shake It Down', through classic rags like 'Creole Belles' and 'King Chanticleer', to tender ballads like 'Say When'. I haven't mentioned Anne Barnhart's flute playing yet, but it showed up to good effect on those standards, and really stirred the emotions on 'Blue Water', providing a nice contrast to the ebullience of the main performers. Overall, it was a terrific night for lovers of stride piano, ragtime picking, period vocals and general bonhomie. We're already planning a return visit.
October 11th sees the return of the amazing violinist Tim Kliphuis with his long-term Scottish sidemen Nigel Clark and Roy Percy. I have trouble assembling enough superlatives to describe the talents of this trio, and judging by the attendance last year there are many who agree with me. You know what to expect: virtuoso gypsy and classical violin, coupled with sensitivity and copious swing from guitar and bass. It'll be just great.
There must have been a number of people who thought that Tim Kliphuis would have a very difficult job on his hands in improving on his 2015 performance at Staveley, and I confess that I (but only in my more pessimistic moments) might even have agreed with them. O! we of little faith! Tim, Nigel and Roy always give their audiences a programme of clinical precision and great musicality, but on this particular Tuesday Tim, in particular, added just a touch of extra attack and emotional commitment (plus more pizzicato than usual), which elevated the evening to the roaring success it proved to be. A lesser group might have responded to his lead by upping their volume and trying to compete, but in fact they went the other way, with both guitar and double-bass starting their solos at almost subliminal sound levels - a very effective ploy, because you can always build from that point, which they most certainly did. And they certainly didn't hold back behind Tim in the ensembles, swinging very hard when required. The material was their normal unique mix of Grappelli tunes, classical themes, and French melodies, coupled with standards of varying obscurity - 'You Look Good To Me'? Sometimes these elements merge seamlessly: I can never understand how 'The Nearness of You' transmogrifies into Vivaldi's 'Winter' from 'The Four Seasons'. If you were there, you will have your own favourite, but personally I never tire of hearing them do 'Hoe-down for the Common Man'. A marvellous night, and we're already in negotiations to bring them back next year.
November 8th sees our first visit from American tenor-sax supremo Harry Allen, who I caught in Ulverston some years ago, accompanied by my boyhood friend Bill Harper with his trio. Bill is now an expat in France, but his place will be taken by none other than Tom Kincaid, a man who is now firmly established as possibly the best swing pianist in the UK. Tom has been a frequent visitor to Staveley, as have Frank Grime (bass) and Gaz Hughes (drums), and they will be the perfect accompanists for Harry Allen, the most lyrical tenor-man currently playing. I know he's not the household name he deserves to be, but please take my recommendation and seize the opportunity to hear him on this rare visit to the UK.
The third in our record run of featured international jazzmen didn't attract quite as huge a crowd as the previous two, but nevertheless Harry Allen did pretty well when you consider that his profile in the UK is nowhere near that of his equal (and rival) Scott Hamilton. However, the mini-tour, courtesy of Blackpool promoter Tom Barron ,of which we were part can have done his reputation no harm at all.
Despite a late and flurried start caused by pianist Tom Kincaid and bassist Frank Grime being held up by an M6 accident, the quartet, after easing themselves in with ' 'SWonderful', began to display their capabilities on Harry Edison's medium-tempo blues 'Centerpiece'. Harry's huge tone and attack were reminiscent at first of Gene Ammons, but as the number progressed it became apparent that he has all of Gene's feeling for the blues, but with an extra helping of imagination and technique. Stunning, as was Tom's stop-time keyboard solo, but Harry is feted more for his ballad playing than anything else, as he demonstrated on 'My Romance', which culminated in a remarkable coda. Ben Webster himself would have been proud. I must say that I would have been very happy to luxuriate in a complete evening of ballads like that, but variety, they say, is the spice of life, so we were also treated to a couple of bossas and several very hard-swinging up-tempo tunes, all liberally sprinkled with fine solos from Tom Kincaid and Frank Grime, while drummer Gaz Hughes showed just how hard he can drive a band, although his volume was occasionally too high.
But it was, fittingly, a ballad which wrapped up the evening, when Harry invited Liam Byrne to join him on tenor sax in what proved to be an outstanding version of 'Body and Soul', with the contrast between Harry's tough-but-lyrical sound and Liam's gentler approach being particularly marked. An utterly delightful end to a great concert.
December 13th sees the return of Boogie Bill Robert's Billionaires. If you were there 24 months ago you'll remember a stimulating evening of R&B tinged jazz, featuring an excellent lady singer and booting tenor sax - plus, of course, Bill's propulsive piano. It will all add up to a very jolly way to finish off our jazz year and put us in party mood, ready for Christmas.
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