One of the first things I look out for when Jazz in London comes out, is Simon Carter’s free Sunday night gig at Boaters in Kingston.
Well, the February edition of Jazz in London is out. See the Jazz in London link on the right column.
Jazz in London is a listings pamphlet, produced – in York! – by Mary Greig aided and abetted by Mike Sexton, a true man of Acton. Quite why Jazz in London gets produced in York is a mystery which I will unravel in a future post.
But for now it’s down to the serious business of LondonJazz, which is identifying and talking about good gigs.
Boaters is a pub hidden away in the trees in Canbury Gardens, Kingston. Easy with a car. And not too bad with the 65 bus from Richmond or Kingston Stations. The 65 is worth placing your religious faith in, even on Sundays.
First let Simon Carter introduce himself with a Myspace biog which I have edited down a bit:
” I’m a keyboard player who lives and works in London. I studied jazz at the Guildhall School of Music although in recent years the bulk of my work has been on the pop and session scene. I’ve been lucky enough to play with many great artists including; Jamiroquai, Craig David, Leo Sayer, Deepest Blue, Rooster, The Divine Comedy, Atomic Kitten, Anastacia, Nik Kershaw, 10CC, Kim Wilde, Dina Carroll, Midge Ure, Elkie Brooks, Judie Tzuke, Hamish Stuart, Jimmy Ruffin and Leon Ware. “
What he doesn’t tell you is the energy level he communicates as a player. When I watch him, I wonder when Simon’s grungy forearm grinds and elbow slides get put into a keyboard syllabus. With extra marks for palm thumps.
and he might as well introduce his gig too:
“I still try and keep my jazz chops together and most Sundays you can see me playing at The Boaters Inn, in Kingston, South West London. Check out what gigs are coming up at
boaterslivemusic.com. It’s a great gig to see some of the best talent on the London jazz scene such as Jim Mullen, Laurence Cottle, Mornington Lockett, Dave O’Higgins, Derek Nash, Natalie Williams, Jacqui Hicks, Snake Davis, Ian Thomas, Chris Dagley and many more.
I even had the pleasure of playing with Branford Marsalis when he paid a surprise visit to the gig one night.”
I can’t guarantee you Branford for no admission charge(what a thought!) but the February schedule is all interesting and I am spoilt for choice.
What I’m going to recommend is the most “echt” Boaters gig. February 8th.It has two of the first three names Simon mentions. Mornington Lockett on tough beboppish tenor and Laurence Cottle on electric bass, with Ian Thomas on drums. This is quality, energy, the kind of buzz which will set you up for the week.
Bassist Cottle? Renaissance musician. Monosyllabic rockers, he’s worked with loads : Cher, Sting, Seal…. and Black Sabbath. And he runs his own (jazz) big band. For which he writes charts. Andandand.
Lockett/Carter/Cottle/Thomas. These are four top pros who know each other, all completely familiar with their (daily?/weekly?) commute from rock to jazz.
You won’t be short changed. But there again you won’t be paying either
The other Boaters gigs in Feb are :
1st : Strictly Come Dancing vocalist Tommy Blaize. I’ve not heard him in this context and could well be tempted to check him out.
15th : Mike Outram. There is no musician with such complete control of the sounds coming out of a guitar. Plus his melodic lines always hold my interest. Plus he’s got a sense of humour. And he will kick up a storm with the trio.
22nd: Julian Stringle on reeds and and Neil Angilley. I’ll be covering Julian in a future post- he’s an astounding player.
The only caveats for Boaters are that if you turn up once the band has started, you may have to crane from behind a pillar.
And, oh yes, when Simon gets a big drum name in, Boaters can turn into London’s meeting-place for industrial quantities of drummers. A very curious species of wildlife to watch when they mingle…..
Thanks for the insightful comments.