Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Lunchtime concert


I'm always pleased when I'm free on a Wednesday lunchtime. Last week I joined the enthusiastic audience in the Cramphorn for one of Jeffery Wilson's musical matinees, this time featuring the beguiling violin of Kay Usher.

Ellington was prominent amongst the composers, kicking off with I'm Beginning to See the Light, played with a fairly straight bat by Kay, with some austere piano riffs from Jeffery and bass perambulations from Eddie Johnson.

In Sentimental Mood – could have been the title of the concert – Don't Get Around Much Anymore were two other standards from the Duke. The Gershwins were there, too, with a lovely “lounge” reading of The Man I Love, and Lady Be Good, to send us out with a smile.

Exactly Like You, the old Dorothy Fields number, began with a teasing cadenza from the violin, and there was a witty piano contribution too. The Bill Evans trio was recalled by the bass player, before he played a neat jazz waltz as his party piece.

I pity the young,” Mr Wilson remarked. In particular, I think, since they will struggle to recall “our song” when they reach their twilight years. His, apparently, is Girl from Nicaragua [or something], which he played on sax during his honeymoon, and lovingly embellished on piano for us.

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