|Piano lid, Bull's Head, Barnes 28 February 2004|
When I was a teenager I would happily spend hours at the weekends listening to Annie Nightingale on BBC Radio 1. On occasion I would drive my parents mad by playing the same track on the record player over and over again. These days, given the choice, I am very happy to spend entire days in silence. The albums I bought in my twenties remain ignored and closeted in an old green, plastic record case although we do have a record deck I could easily go and switch on.
Union Chapel and saw the Penguin Café Orchestra and I enjoyed stomping on the floor along with everyone else.
I have fond memories of the time my husband took me to my first Stan Tracey concert at The Bull's Head in Barnes in 2004 which is where I made these sketches. We saw him more than once in Barnes, in a big band concert at the Barbican and the Vortex Jazz club in Dalston. Each time we thought it might be our last opportunity because he was getting on a bit even 10 years ago.
I recall when we were at the Vortex waiting for Stan to take his seat at the piano. The excitement in the audience slowly built in anticipation of being transported by one of the grand old men of jazz. Stan, who appeared to be a very modest bloke, was looking quite frail by this time and his son Clark, who plays drums, looked after him very carefully. Stan sat at the piano in his ordinary, workmen-like clothes and then launched into an astonishing performance which could have launched the Vortex into orbit. If I want to listen to Stan's piano playing again I will have to listen to a recording but at least I can have the pleasure of remembering seeing him perform live.