Monday, April 23, 2007

live stuff: john chilton's feetwarmers at ray's jazz shop, 23/4/07

One of the great things about London is the amount of great music you can come across completely by accident, and not just buskers or up-and-coming musicians at the beginning of their careers, but also established artists who have a long history in the business. Passing by Foyle's bookshop on the way home from work, and going upstairs to the excellent Ray's Jazz shop and cafe, I stumbled into a Monday evening get-together of the (mainly) over-60s London jazz community. Jazz historian and trumpeter John Chilton was in the shop to sign copies of his new book ("Hot Jazz, Warm Feet") and he and his fellow Feetwarmers (that gravelly-voiced singer in the purple suit, yellow fedora and eye-patch can only be George Melly) were playing a few numbers beforehand. 81-year-old Melly's voice has probably seen better days but there was some fine playing from the band, particularly clarinettist Wally Fawkes (a.k.a. cartoonist Trog!). An unexpected pleasure...

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