I was turning 60 on Monday 18 February and so it seemed totally appropriate to mark the moment with live music. By happy chance, there was to be a Just East of Jazz promotion at the Chandos Arms in Colindale, north London, featuring the legendary sax player Derek Nash from the Jools Holland Band.
Leading light of Just East of Jazz is my long-term friend and MU activist, drummer Rick Finlay and we therefore arranged for a large table and invited a group of friends who we thought would enjoy the evening. These included Julie, Lisa and Ben, my nephew Steve, Roger, Brenda and Amelia Farley, Mark Batchelor, Elaine Bodimeade and her partner Mark, my MU colleagues Dave Webster – with his son Oliver – plus Maddy Radcliff and Autumn Sharkey.
The fine band supporting Derek consisted of Rick, Neil Angilley (keyboards), Jeremy Shoham (saxophone) and Phil Scragg (bass) and they played an entertaining set, perfect for a Sunday night out.
My special thanks to Rick and Derek for making the evening so enjoyable.
An award-winning saxophonist, Derek Nash is perhaps best known as one of the featured saxophonists with the Jools Holland Band, leader of the enormously successful Sax Appeal and co-leader of the funk/groove outfit Protect the Beat. His playing has been recognised with numerous awards, including ‘Best Jazz Ensemble’ and ‘Best Jazz CD’ as well as being voted one of the top 5 saxophonists in the country. He is a member of the Ronnie Scotts Blues Explosion, resident at the world-famous club since 2009, and performed with the Jack Bruce Big Blues Band for six years. His own solo/quartet CDs have twice won CD of the Year in the British Jazz Awards in 2002 and 2012.