|Photo credit:James Whitaker|
At LondonJazz we’re trying as hard as we can to bring readers closer to the music. So Friday night was a happy accident waiting to happen.
Frank Griffith (above) went to the Pizza Express Dean Street on Friday to review Jay Azzolina, dutifully took notes on the gig all evening. And was called up to the stand for a guest appearance on clarinet. The review will be up tomorrow.
Verr nice portrait James Whitaker!
This gig was a particular pleasure for me because it was a first time meeting of some long time friends! I studied at Berklee with Jay in 1975 and have worked with Laurence, Gary and Frank for the last 30 years in many jazz and pop contexts! When I planned to get Jay to play here I knew that Laurence and Gary would be the ideal guys to match Jay's mercurial inventiveness and breathtaking technique. As Jay said to me, “These guys know exactly how to react to everything I do. They are incredible and I can't wait to play with them again!” Frank Griffith just happened to have his clarinet with him and Jay and I said, “Whip it out, big boy!” His playing on the two songs was, like his writing, full of unerring taste and flawless technique.
This was one of those gigs when you remember why you love music. A video of the night's performance will be featured on the Pizza Express website, my Facebook and YouTube pages, and maybe on the fab LondonJazz Blog!