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Remembering a friend who disappeared

John Taylor and Gwilym Simcock played at the Wigmore Hall in 2006 in the London Jazz Festival. It’s a particularly vivid memory.The gig had been overpriced and didn’t sell properly. For the talent level of these two it should have been rammed. With the (thoroughly deserved) rise in Simcock’s visibilty since then, maybe it would now attract more attention.

What I remember is that each of the pianists played a set with his regular trio, and only then were the two Steinways were interlocked. But the Wigmore Hall less than two-thirds full can feel low-key. The man in the row in front of me, a friend and an incredibly well-connected music suppporter left without hearing the best bit: Taylor and Simcock trading incredible stuff for over a quarter an hour in “Alice in Wonderland.” I was tempted to grab the tail of his jacket and implore him to stay. Not something one does to an expensive suit in the Wigmore….. We just nodded good night. Tragically, suddenly, he was to die in an accident about ten months later.
Taylor and Simcock are part of the Steinway festival at Pizza on the Park. There is nearly a forty year age difference between these two. But huge pianism from both, a common link/twang of Manchester in their pasts and massive mutual respect will combine to make the sparks fly. Not to be missed.

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