Magnificent jazz seven

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Sarah-Jane Hassell and Paul Zec

Thursday evening in January seemed like a good evening to turn out for jazz at the Mermaid. Before the music there was a light supper in the Tudor Room. The evening cost £25 for 2 course supper and music or £10 just for the music. Dave Silk had assembled a jazz ensemble to entertain us. The players were Sarah-Jane Hassell (vocals), Jacci Norris (vocals), Paul Zec (alto sax), Simon Goodwin (guitar), Roger Lewin (piano) and Dave Silk (contra cello).

The evening kicked off with an instrumental from Paul Zec  and Dave Silk. They were then joined by Simon Goodwin for another piece, Waves. Now our first singing as Jacci Norris joined the musicians for two pieces, “I thought about You” and “Beginning to see the Light”.

By now the audience were warmed up and the applause was very enthusiastic. This was followed by a solo from Simon Goodwin on guitar. Now it was the turn of Sarah-Jane Hassell to entertain us accompanied by Simon Goodwin and Paul Zec. Sarah-Jane sang “A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square” and “Honeysuckle Rose”. The first half closed with Simon Goodwin and Paul Zec playing “The Thing You are”.

The interval gave a chance to refresh our glasses and catch up with friends. You may have noticed that there were only six players in the first half, why did the by-line mention seven players? Dave Silk informed me that one of the audience had asked if they could sing a couple of numbers later in the evening.

The music restarted with two numbers by Sarah-Jane, “Perhaps” and “Old Devil Moon”. When introducing the second number Sarah-Jane told the audience that in the break she had met someone she had appeared with in the West End. It was our own Martin Wimbush in “City of Angels” in 1993. Next up Roger Lewin played one of his own compositions. This was followed by Jacci and Roger with “I can’t give You anything but Love” and “Everything happens to Me”. Now the surprise from the audience, Marca. She was accompanied in “Besame Mucho” and “My Way”. It was worth the wait and a great surprise. The evening finished with Sarah-Jane and the musicians in “Take 5” and “The boy from Ipanema”. A great finale to a wonderful evening at a venue that suits jazz well. Thanks to the Mermaid Inn for staging it.

At the end Dave Silk announced that it was hoped that jazz nights would be happening on a regular basis. The next evening would be on Thursday February 25 featuring Bob Mckay on sax and flute. Other guests performers will be added. To keep up with Dave’s future plans, visit his website.

Photos and slideshow by Ray Prewer

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