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Charing Cross Hospital Bar


A new gig on Wednesdays at the Charing Cross Hospital bar in the Fulham Palace Road. It starts on April 8th with saxophonist Jonny Spall , (above) ex-Guildhall, and son of the actor -Mike Leigh regular- Timothy Spall.

The second gig on April 15th features a quartet led by Iranian-Armenian guitarist/composer Ernest Alishan, a wonderfully calm and fluent musician.

The venue is a very friendly bar where the drinks are cheap. It’s in the hospital’s sports centre. The pictures on the wall are of high achievers in sport such as Ukrainian pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka. Softly-spoken pianist Hugh Mitchell has led a jam session there, staring out from his piano at the picture of Bubka, for a couple of years. Mitchell is a renowned cancer specialist, in a very particular area. His team has world-beating achievements in the treatment of the choriocarcinoma which follows molar pregnancies.

So a man who has a distinguished record curing cancer has decided to promote. He will be creful, but he will do it well.

The breadth of interests of people involved in jazz never ceases to amaze me. It can often draw people who have achieved a lot elsewhere. One of London’s most successful jazz promoters used to run her own highly profiable ballooning events company…

Mitchell’s senstive piano laying, and his quiet manner , attract sitters-in to his jam sessions of the class of tenor player/composer Duncan Lamont. The bar is also populated by Scuba divers who invade the hospital’s pool, but in my experience scuba divers tend to be gentle folk, and good listeners.

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