Zog Blog - Boaters Inn Kingston & Kings Head, Bexley / by Elaine Crouch


Zog Blog - Gig 12

Kings Head Bexley Village

This is a gig that’s become an institution for the jazz loving senior citizens of Bexley. We had a full house. I put 5 standards into the repertoire for fear of alienating the audience with originals, but I needn’t have worried. The only complaint about the material was a suggestion that “Embraceable You” is a happy song that shouldn’t be played as a ballad. I’ll think on that! Bheki Mseleku's fearsome (especially at our tempo!) “Timelessness” went down a storm, and promoter Jan Mudele pronounced it one of the best gigs they’d ever had.

A mic had been set up in front of the sax and was turned up loud. I muted it before we began and we played acoustic. Do people really use the mic in these small rooms??

Zog Blog - Gig 11

The Boaters Inn, Kingston Upon Thames

This is a big pub, usually very busy. Tonight, however, was surprisingly poorly attended. Maybe since it’s the first day of wintertime with the dark evenings and also synchronistically 5 degrees colder….

To reinforce the time warp we played “It’s Always 9:30 in Zog”, “Timelessness” and “Summertime” next to each other. The latter appeased a nice gentleman in the audience who was craving something he knew, even if our Coltrane inspired rendition of this overplayed classic was by a long way the out-est sonic onslaught of the evening. There’s a note in the melody that Geoff Gascoyne hates, where it is chromatically altered to fit the wholetone dominant reharm (“whalebone dominant rearm” was what my computer originally changed that to! I really have to give it some jazz theory training)

It was nice to play acoustic again and be in control. We played 'All the Way', a ballad I learnt from Eric Alexander when we toured together, and I chanced Coltrane’s 'Harmonique - a quirky 3/4 blues with saxophone multiphonics in the theme (a bit risky - on the original record Trane blobs quite a few).

It was Sebastiaan de Krom back on drums from Tommy Smith - Saxophonist's latest run of gigs, Geoff on bass and Rob Barron on piano.