Our Friday columnist Jack Davies writes about pianist Tom Taylor’s initiative to ask jazz musicians for their THREE WISHES
Between 1961 and 1966 the wonderfully named Pannonica de Koenigswarter (more commonly known as “Nica” of ‘Nica’s Dream’) compiled what was to be come the book “Three Wishes”, later edited by her great-niece and published in France in 2006.
Pannonica had a disarmingly naïve premise: to ask jazz musicians what their “three wishes” would be. The result is insightful and intimate, and a revealing document of the US jazz scene of the early 1960s.
Inspired by this concept, pianist Tom Taylor has embarked on a 21st-century version, focussed initially on the London jazz scene. Fittingly for this modern update, Tom is using a blog format – updating it each time he gets a response from one of his wish-makers.
Tom is one of the most broadly grounded musicians I know, and one of my favourite young UK pianists. He was originally classically trained, before later studying with Liam Noble, and this has given his playing a constant sense of structure and shape. His playing is always interesting, engaging and unpredictable.
Tom states his aim in starting the blog: “I thought that it would be interesting to do a modern version, in blog form, for our generation of jazz musicians. To see how different or similar the wishes of a 21st century jazz musician are, as well as to capture some element of the personality of what is such an exciting scene.”
So far, Tom has had responses from saxophonist Martin Speake, pianist Liam Noble and trumpeter Nick Smart (whose wishes include that more Pandas would fancy each other!). He has also opened the floor, inviting responses from jazz musicians of all ages. Tom’s adoption of Pannonica’s innocent approach has already coaxed out touchingly honest answers. It will be very interesting to watch this project unfold.