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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Of All The Gin Joints - Jazz Café Jam Session

There is an exotic ambience about Newcastle's Pink Lane. The narrow street with it's cobblestones and bars could be anywhere in the world. Pigalle, Tangiers or maybe Casablanca...
...Yes, Casablanca. The Jazz Café - Newcastle's version of Rick's Café Americain with proprieter Keith the world weary citizen of the world as portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the film. "Call me Humphrey No-Go Kart" says Keith when I make the comparision.
The Jazz Café has survived against the odds for 20 years and, As Time Goes By, has seen many famous names pass through the doors. You almost expect to hear Keith say "Play it again Sam" He didn't (and neither did Bogart in the film!) because "Sam" or to be more precise Pete (Gilligan) had fallen off a wall and is currently in the Royal Victoria Infirmary with broken ribs and wrist so the keyboard stood silent.
We wish Pete well.
A video of Harry Connick jnr (one of the Jazz Café's past visitors) was showing until eventually musicians began to appear and soon Fiona Littlewood was singing Sonny Rollins' Doxy. Chris Finch played piano, Stu Findon bass guitar, Doug Fielder, tenor, Tim Knowles, guitar.
Lester Leapt In and Fiona sang and played tenor. Some microphone problems meant that But Beautiful was anything but beautiful. However, by Autumn (Leaves) the balance was restored.
Lindsay Hannon took over for They Can't Take That Away From Me and a blistering Watermelon Man. Senor Blues had some paintstripping tenor from Stu (Lindsay was now on bass guitar).
The audience too was increasing and more players were drifting in. Soon Alan Law would be at the keys and Matthew Office at the frets. Gaby was preparing to sing.
Yes, of all the gin joints in Pink Lane the Jazz Café is the place - you must remember this...
Lance.

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