chronicle: Autumn 2013

There has been a lot more plotting than gigging in recent weeks, for trombone poetry, although new poems have emerged.

A couple of short-notice stints here and there: standing in for a desperate trombonist on a jazz gig that turned out to be a church event led to an invitation to read poetry too. As with the Union Chapel, a pulpit was not made available. Finding a suitable poem, to forestall a barrage of stale biscuits and other curses, was tricky, but after a brisk Brahmsian zig-zag from a violinist, the assembled mob was treated to that metaphysical incantation, The Meaning.

This went down bafflingly well, despite the satirical import, perhaps because, for the first time in the programme, someone chatted to the audience, or because the poetry was less unsettling than watching the choir bewilder the conductor.

At the firecracker re-booting of Williams Cumberbatch’s Latin jazz combo, Tumbaito, the Passing Clouds crowd was faced with a sudden squall of trombone poetry. This being a subcultural hotspot, people listened and appreciated or just drank more, but politely.

There was also an encounter with French cuisine and the treadmill of bebop at Toulouse Lautrec’s (near Elephant & Castle but no doubt clinging to Kennington). Good house band but the jam session flowed as jam will. Harumph: swing first, complicate later if really necessary.

The sea bass is recommended.

Finally, another window of opportunity creaked open in New Cross, where a less earnest jazz jam made room for the odd ode. Robert Juritz presides at The New Cross Inn on Sunday afternoons. Must arrange a re-match.

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