This is a real STOP PRESS: Ra Hendricks has just been in touch with us about a very special night indeed tonight at Club 414 in Coldharbour Lane. If it is anything like it sounds, it could be one of the great, defining events of the LJF:
Ray Carless, veteran saxophonist, founder member of the Jazz Warriors with Courtney Pine and Gary Crosby – was taken ill with a fever just a few weeks ago. He has been diagnosed with cancer, has been treated and is now out of hospital.
Ra Hendricks has put together a special night, the purpose of which, he described to us, is to give a “spiritual uplift” for Ray Carless. Because Ray is consigned to bed, he is unlikely to make the gig… but any number of musicians who have been associated with the Warriors down the years are promising to turn up for a jam session from 11pm, after a gig by singer/ songwriter Sirael who goes on at 9pm.
Ra Hendricks writes: “Sirael will be centre stage for Bar 414’s London Jazz Festival showcase with the superb backing band comprising Cameron Pierre, guitar, Chris Jerome, keyboards, Colin McNeish, bass, and Cheryl Alleyne, drums. She is one of a crop of brilliant, young UK chanteuses who are diligently learning their stage performance craft. She deserves an appreciative audience.
The ‘Copasetic (Late) Jam of Jazz Warriors Re-united for Ray Carless’ will be exactly what is says. I’ve asked the Jazz Warriors alumni to descend on Coldharbour Lane, our version of Basin Street when you discover what will be happening here from this weekend of the London Jazz Festival and continuing to the end of next month, after they’ve finished whatever they’ll be doing elsewhere.