previous review next review

 Angela: Nigel Kennedy's BIG JAM

Click on a photo to open a new window.
Window closes automatically after 10 seconds or by clicking the image.

©Angela: The Programme 
©Angela: The violins and the drums 
©Angela: The Drums 
©Angela: The venue 
©Angela: We are playing fast: the amplifier is in focus and still! 
©Angela: Nigel's new hair cut!

1-The Programme. 2-The violins and the drums. 3-The drums. 4-The venue. 5-We are playing fast: the amplifier is in focus and still! 6-Nigel's new hair cut!

The gig was advertised to start at 8:00pm, but my jazz/football expert friend knew about the Fulham home game and the timekeeping of jazz musicians and knew it would start at about nine-ish.  This gave me plenty of time to attend a Carol Service in the City, to have a drink and smoked salmon sandwiches followed by mince pies and to travel to the 606 Club, and still be on time!

As we approached the club there was a group of people discussing with the bouncer: "yes we are fully booked, but if somebody does not turn up…"

I pressed the bell, the gate lock opened and we ventured downstairs.  “Wait by the piano and you will be shown to your table", we were told.

I note a copy of the programme by the piano:



606 VLNS

Followed by two horizontal lines which I understood to be the interval.

Just like “U”


3rd Stone

Well, there are going to be six pieces only!


©Angela: Alec and Krzystof 
©Angela: We need a drink! 
©Angela: Krzystof's drum stick looks like a fan! 
©Angela: We are pleased! 
©Angela: The only photo of Nikki, hiding behind the piano, and she is the prettiest musician.

7-Alec and Kzrystof. 8-We need a drink! 9-Kzrystof's drum stick looks like a fan! 10-We are pleased! 11-The only photo of Nikki, hiding behind the piano, and she is the prettiest musician.

Our table is right next to the stage, well, most tables are right next to the stage! We order our food and our drinks. My friend had chicken and I had lamb: a most tender piece of lamb and well cooked: beautifully red in the middle and coated with cracked peppercorns. There is something magical about listening to jazz whilst eating one’s meal! It gives one a real sense of decadent enjoyment!!!

The gig did start at about nine, my friend was right! The manager tells us the rules: they are like those in Ronnie Scott’s, no talking whilst the musicians are playing! As if we could over the din!

Nigel explains the late start to the gig: it is all due Fulham Broadway station being chocker block due to the football game being played nearby... (Nigel is a football fan, in case you did not know!)

Nigel introduces his fellow musicians: Nikki Yeoh at the piano: I remember her form Margate. She was wonderful and some of her songs I heard in Margate when she played with Nigel earlier in the year were wonderful. We have Omar Puente, all the way from Cuba at the violin, and then Chris Garrick at the violin as well: the three violinists! Alex Dankworth, our bassist and finally our drummer who was born at a young age and who displayed improper tendencies at the age of four, that is why his parents encouraged him to play the drums (or so Nigel says!) Krzystof Dziedzic! A lone survivor from the Nigel Quintet!

©Angela: I am concentrating 
©Angela: I am concentrating 
©Angela: I am concentrating 
©Angela: I am concentrating 
©Angela: I am resting

12-I am concentrating. 13-I am concentrating. 14-I am concentrating. 15-I am concentrating. 16-I am resting.

The first piece is “Bear”, a composition by Nikki, played in Margate as well (it was a really great gig Margate!), and Nikki explains that it is the story of two bears, one trying to woe the other…

Next Nigel explains about his own piece: “Saturn”. Nigel seems to be fond of this piece: my mind wonders back to the Royal Albert Hall and last year’s Proms when Nigel played this piece with Jeff Beck and my jazz expert friend patiently explaining me who Jeff Beck was!

I watch and listen while savouring my tender lamb!

©Angela: A better view of Nigel's new haircut 
©Angela: I need a drink 
©Angela: The three violinists

17-A better view of Nigel's new haircut. 18-I need a drink. 19-The three violinists.

The next piece, “606 violins”, is written for, you have guessed it, six hundred and six violins by Chris Garrick. Nigel explained that he has managed to get only three violinists. The music that follows is beautifully performed by the three ably accompanied by Alec and Krzystf!

…and that is it! Nigel tells that a ten minute interval will follow, but we know best and do not believe him! Half an hour is more like it, but we do not mind: it is a great opportunity for the fans to chat up Nigel and get their picture taken with him. Back they come, but then, they never went away as we saw them all the time!
“Just like you” has been written by Omar Puente. I thought that it is a really exciting gig as each musician is a musician in his own right, each has composed a piece, some have their own CDs being sold at the venue.

©Angela: I am at it again 
©Angela: I am at it again 
©Angela: I am at it again 
©Angela: I am at it again 
©Angela: I am at it again

20-I am at it again. 21-I am at it again. 22-I am at it again. 23-I am at it again. 24-I am at it again.

The music now merges from one song into the next: “ssssshhh” and then I recognize “Earth”, sorry, “Third stone from the Sun”: I am back in the Festival Hall where I first heard this piece. The musicians jam and play with each other, musically that is, the basic tune coming back to haunt us and remind us of the song that we thought the musicians had musically run away from…
…and all good things come to an end, it is shortly after eleven. But all has not ended yet: Nigel announces that they are off for another short break: they will come back for session three and he will be joined on stage by an internationally famous guest! I can’t wait! …but in the meantime I wonder around the venue chatting to old friends.

©Angela: Is it music or electronics? 
©Angela: THE SCORE! 
©Angela: Hitting the violin. (Ouch!) 
©Angela: I am at all it again: the amplifiers is in focus! 
©Angela: Look at ME

25-Footwork. 26-Is it music or electronics? 27-THE SCORE! 28-Hitting the violin. (Ouch!) 29-I am at all it again: the amplifiers is in focus! 30-Look at ME.

We start again and after the first jamming session, it is all jamming now as the programme listed only pieces for the first two sessions, our guest arrives: IAN SMITH. My jazz expert friend explains to me who IAN SMITH is. He has an excellent pair of lungs and he does a very good “take the piss out of Nigel” impression.

The band is joined by Steve Rose who starts jamming with them! A real BIG JAM! My jazz expert friend explains to me that Steve Rose is instrumental in organizing the Jazz Festival at the Abbey Fest. I think back to Margate when Nigel conveyed his thanks to a particular gentleman, whose name escapes me, who went to great length to organize the gig in Margate with Nigel and friends!

We leave, not before a final chat with another old friend, promising each other that we shall meet again! Soon! Hopefully! but then Nigel does not play very often in his home land!

©Angela: This piece is very difficult 
©Angela: This piece is very very difficult 
©Angela: Still difficult! 
©Angela: The three fiddlers, again. 
©Angela: Still concentrating... 
©Angela: That was it! I am done with it!

31-This piece is very difficult. 32-This piece is very very difficult 33-Still difficult! 34-The three fiddlers, again. 35-Still concentrating... 36-That was it! I am done with it!