Take five at the Mermaid

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Wild Boar Week in Rye effectively got kick-started with a jazz event which formed part of a wider festival. Dave Still had assembled a group of five jazz players at the Mermaid Inn and, as we had our two course supper, we were entranced by the players – Sarah-Jane Hassell (vocals), Roger Lewin (piano), Dave Silk (contra cello), Phil Brown (flute) and Duncan Lamont (saxophone).

The evening started with a solo by Duncan, “My Romance” followed by such standards as “Blue Moon”, “Falling in love again” and “Lullaby of Broadway”. The group were now getting in the swing and they took it in turn to lead with some solos, some duets, and some with all five involved.

The music started at 8pm and suddenly it was 9:30 pm and time for their well-earned break. During the interval someone said to me that it was like being transported to the Lower East Side.

The second half began with “Autumn Leaves” with all five artists, followed by “On a clear day”, “Cry me a River” (Rother) and “Take Five”. By this time the requests were coming thick and fast including “The Boy from Ipanema”, sung by Sarah-Jane. Then the final tune was with us, “It’s a wonderful world” and truly it was a wonderful evening. Afterwards I googled the players and was amazed at what talent had been assembled.

Dave Silk had set up the event as part of Oktoberfest2015 with events across the South East but the pre-event advertising was limited as he had been ill. This could not detract from the evening however, so well done Dave and the team from The Mermaid. It is the first time I have listened to music at this venue, but I hope it is not the last. For a update on what Dave has planned for the future, have a look at the website www.jazznights.co.uk.

Photos: Ray Prewer

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