Twickenham, despite been surrounded by lush parks and rivers is still very much a suburb and like all sprawling conurbations simmers like a pressure cooker on these hot days. We are of course in the middle of a heat wave and we have our techniques for cooling down. Some dip their toes in paddling pools or frolic under garden hoses to take the edge of the rising temperatures. The last place you would think of going would be a Jazz Club, and to our organiser's, owner's and performer's credit, this is exactly where a packed crowd congregated on this evening.
As Liz Fletcher took to the stage, the sleek lines of her dress raised a few eyebrows as did her opening statement "I'm coming out of my top!" but it was her singing that enriched our evening. From toe to top, from beginning to end, her performance didn't pazazz us with vocal or gestural gymnastics but with a classic case of luring and exploiting her rapport with the audience. Even so it took us a few tunes to settle down and to let the cool breeze from far off Crane Park to waft past the ankles of the Twickenham Jazz Club minders Terry and Neil, who guarded The Bloomsbury's open doors.
|Jim Mullen - Guitar|
On a professional basis I was fully briefed on tonight's bassist, Ben Hazelton. Recently I have been working on the artwork for Bethany Jameson's Cabaret Verite and Hazelton is an essential ingredient of their joie de vivre. Maybe it is this that makes you think Hazelton has miraculously appeared from another era. I often imagine that he has just stepped forth from Edward Hopper's 1942 painting Nighthawks, with his hat and lean stubbled cheeks, he cuts quite a figure.
Both a pleasure to draw and listen too, especially on the afore mentioned Rogers and Hart tune.
|Ben Hazelton - Bass|
It goes without saying that Liz Fletcher represents the heat of the night rather than that of the day. On such a hot and memorable night we wondered how we could abate our boiling passions and excitement without it ending in either embarrassment or exhaustion. A brief thought of skinny-dipping in the Crane River passed through my mind on the way home but luckily sanity returned just in time.
Although that is the last in this summer's Twickenham Jazz Club reviews please keep an eye out for the FORCE open day in Kneller Gardens on the 15th September with a Jazz/Soul Band from Kingston University performing.