Review: Aaron Weinstein / Dave Newton at Crazy Coqs

Aaron Weinstein / Dave Newton 
(Crazy Coqs, 10th March 2014. Review by Dave Gelly)

As jazz grows increasingly serious, it needs a dollop of fun to prevent it from getting impossibly po-faced. One way of introducing this is by means of jazz cabaret, and for that you need the right place. The Crazy Coqs is the best we’ve had in London since the demise of of the much lamented Pizza On The Park, and Aaron Weinstein is exactly the person to supply the fun. It’s a dry Martini-type of fun, as opposed to pint-of-bitter fun, but it doesn’t half lighten the spirit for an hour and a bit.

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Weinstein plays terrific swing violin, containing some tricky stuff – key changes, rhythmic tricks (like Ain’t Misbehavin’ in waltz time) and so on – but it’s very accomplished and, well, fun. He also adds a few tunes on mandolin, just for variety. His little monologues, interspersed with the music, are wonders of damped-down irony. In one he pretends to take offence at having his performance described as ‘fun’. Jazz is serious, he insists, ‘like the death of a pet’, and hopes we will take his playing in an appropriately solemn spirit.

The right man in the right place, complete with bow tie, and the sublime Dave Newton providing piano accompaniment. Who could ask for anything more?

Aaron Weinstein is in residency at at Crazy Coqs till Saturday 15th March. TICKETS 

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