Its time for another quick post celebrating the ‘make it happen’ people amongst us. First shout then to East Bristol Jazz Club whose Jam session has done another of its phoenix like re-appearances. I’ve detailed some of the history before, but this time after a hiatus at the Greenbank, its reappeared at The Old Stillage in Redfield and what a great move its turned out to be. Hats off to Simon Greening, Walt Dirks and host of ‘hands to the tiller’ helpers who sort the sound, promote and most importantly turn up. I’ve been down the last couple of months and the atmosphere has been warm, appreciative and supportive with nervous newbies and laid back old lags alike getting a run out. There have been some genuinely show stopping moments as well with a few of Bristol’s jazzerati stopping by. Sessions like these become part of wide circle of people’s lives and it’d be easy to miss the richness added by the unexpected and special moments, chance encounters and friendships forged. So a ‘shout out’ to EBJC’s make it happen people.
The same can be said of Play Jazz weekend an annual weekend Jazz workshop held at Wiltshire Music Centre. Rachel Kerry gradually conjures it into existence over the year. There are a plethora of other weekly, weekend and summer school courses (check out the surprisingly large number here) and this one like many others is an eclectic mix of young, old, confident players and just starting out (in jazz or on their instrument) rubbing shoulders with tutors who are pros but also have the commitment, wisdom and wit to take others on a ‘jazz journey’. I helped out on this one (largely making teas, taking sandwich orders and taking photos) so heard the fun (and challenge) going on. Jim Blomfield’s optional Latin Jazz session had a big proportion of the course beating, scraping and clapping up a storm and the final concert had some great moments – a standout for me was a group coached by Malcolm Earle Smith playing the themes of Monks Bright Mississippi and Sweet Georgia Brown simultaneously (the former is based on the chords of the latter), neat idea and it sounded great. Another shout out to Rachel then, loudly echoed by the punters who left happy (I think those tutors might have been going for a lie down though).