Monday 9 February 2015

Monday Hideaway Jazz Jam

Saint Duncan Eagles
This is just a short piece in recognition of Duncan Eagles and Max Luthert who have run the Jazz Jam at the Hideaway in Streatham since it opened in 2010. Before this they cranked the handle on the infamous Grey Horse Jam in Kingston-upon-Thames and it was here I first starting sketching jazz musicians. The rest is history as they say.

Max Luthert
The evening starts with a jazz workshop and this is where Eagles, Luthert, Eric Ford (drums) and Ralph Lewars (piano) share their knowledge of music and performance with a broad range of students. Many players have passed through their hands and most behave themselves but occasionally there are those who would test the patience of a saint. Despite some fraying times Eagles always keeps his cool and has earned many a musician's respect due to his cucumber cool demeanour.

Tom Marlow - piano

The workshop (7-8.30pm) is sponsored by the Dordogne Jazz Summer School and its main focus is learning how to play and phrase the melodies and how to tackle improvising over the changes. Vocalists are welcome and for tunes with lyrics please bring them with you. For tunes without lyrics, charts will be made for vocalists with vocal parts to sing along with. Time is spent at getting each song up to “gigging standard”. Eagles and Co show you how to perform the tunes, counting in the band, where and in what order solos are attempted and how to start/end the pieces.

Dave Storey - drums

After a light supper the Jam starts (9pm) and it's time for a bit more expression. Entry is free to this session and its a great way to experience jazz for both audience and players alike. It is informal and friendly, with the standard of playing unimpeachable. You couldn't find a better venue this side of the Thames for a night to ease yourself into the week ahead.

I visited the Jazz Jam last week (02/02/2015) so that I could be captured on camera by filmmaker Dan Redding for a documentary he's just made about the 'Art Jazzed Up' project. This features the talents of Duncan Eagles, Max Luthert and this night's drummer, Dave Storey. Watch the film for some atmospheric shots of the Hideaway as well as the musicians themselves.

It goes without saying you'll see some well known faces from London's Jazz circuit but they'll always be a few surprises too. I added pianist Tom Marlow and guitarist David Warren to my portfolio of sketches. I will be keeping an eye out for both in the months ahead.

David Warren - guitar

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