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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Remembering Keith Crombie Five years on.

As was pointed out at the last Jazz Café jam session of 2017 today, December 29, marks the 5th anniversary of the death of Keith Crombie, the former majordomo of the Jazz Café. 
Crombie, hardly anyone called him Keith, was one of the last true characters that I've ever met. His reputation had long gone before him and I was not a little nervous when I did eventually meet him. 
Surprisingly, he was nothing like what I'd expected and we hit it off immediately and, although he could lose me off on many subjects - the wartime defence system on the River Tyne being one of them - we had common ground when it came to music and jazz in particular.
We discovered we'd even had the same girlfriend at different times!
The old Jazz Café, somehow or other, with its piles of dusty books, LPs, CDs and other less definable items (not forgetting the oil-fuelled stoves and the piano that he must have bought from an army surplus store after The Blitz) amazingly kept the Fire Department, the Sanitation Department and the public health officials at bay whilst still presenting jazz on a regular basis. Strangers passing through en route to Central Station or the airport would tell him that they'd never been in anywhere else like it in the world! They were probably right.
Not everyone loved him. He told it as it was, or rather as how it was as he saw it, which sometimes upset folks. However, once you penetrated that outward facade and got to know him you discovered a person with a vast knowledge of many things, of shoes and ships, of sealing wax of cabbages and kings and, of course, jazz and films and the local council who were continually, he said, doing him wrong.
The march through Newcastle Town Centre to the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr and the service that followed was one of the most emotional moments of my life.
CROMBIE LIVES!
Lance.

1 comment :

Hoochie Coochie said...

Great little tribute to a great character & friend Lance.

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