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

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Day 13 of the Zog Tour

Kings Head Bexley Villag

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??

Day 12 of the Zog Tour

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.