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Monday, April 02, 2012

Djangologie - Jazz in the (Boston) Spa. Saturday March 31.

Jim Birkett (gtr), Emma Fisk (vln), Giles Strong (rhythm gtr) and Mick Shoulder (bs)
The weekly Saturday evening enticement that is Jazz in the Spa cast its spell on us again, the thought of swinging gypsy jazz was just too good to turn down .........
Pooling our petrol rations to avoid the good old british tradition of queueing, this time for petrol, we headed off down the A1 in expectant mood .........as always, a decent crowd in the hall, the candlelit tables adding to the ambiance of downtown Paris as we awaited the evenings Quartet du Hot Club de France.
With Jim ably taking the role of Django Reinhardt and Emma providing glamour as well as the skills of Stephane Grappelli, ably supported by the excellent rhythms of Giles and Mick, we were soon transported back to the smokey cafes of wartime France..........mon dieu, I could feel the tanks rolling by ....
Coquet led into Belleville, Django's Stomp, Nuage (Django's best seller from '43), then their own Les Feuilles d'autumn (Autumn Leaves!). Django's Heavy Artillery (a celebration of the wars end) led us to the pre-break Stompin' at Decca /Xmas swing.
After half an hour's break for Mick to brush up on his parlez francais skills, we were back, with Minor Swing, J'Attendrai, Troublant Bolero, then another of their own with Beautiful Till three.
The raffle failed to provide the prize I sought, the wonderful sketch of Django .........still, life goes on ...
And the music too went on ....Lady Be Good, then their own Sinister Drag before a rousing Sheik of Araby featuring solo's by Jim & Emma, and finally the gypsy anthem LesYeux Noir (dark eyes)......
We were not letting them go so easy ....an encore of In my Quiet Place before rousing applause showed our apprciation of a wonderful evening ....thanks to four very talented musicians.
Ray Robson

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