Summer school worked its magic again. Listening in a ‘feedback session’ to a fifty something’ man saying “I’ve never done this before, but I’ve achieved things this week I neve ought possible” means that this is a formula that still works – coaching/ tutoring in small groups, opportunities to perform, and enough spaces in the day to jam, hang out (or have well earned naps) and socialise in the bar and club in the evening. Still the undercurrents are there, so the tweaking of the offer and the timetable will go on: Worrying about everyone’s experience by course leaders Dave Wickens and Buster Birch is what makes it all work.
My personal jazz heaven moments came not in the club, but one morning when a rehearsal of a tune was just ‘so’, with everyone listening and completely absorbed in the moment. Making the music was enough; another playing a different tune, one of my favourite Brit-Jazz tunes ‘All Men Amen’ and being sheparded through it by Steve Watts who played on the original album; another having a two piano jam (so many rooms had two fab pianos in them) great fun and probably learning/ hearing more by doing than a million lectures – thanks Niki.
Waiting for the random inspiration seems to have worked, because my jazz heaven moments have re-charged the batteries for sure.