Thoughts on Joanna Eden and The Chris Ingham Trio, 21 November 2023

When Joanna Eden and Chris Ingham appear together, they usually do a double act. Not this time. It was Joanna’s show, and what a wonderful show it was. She took us from the beginning of Ella Fitzgerald’s career to the end. She was backed by Chris on piano, Andres Lafone on bass and George Double on drums, a perfect trio to support the lady (“Ella’s fellas”).

Joanna had structured the programme beautifully. She opened with a blast, “Get Happy”, which Ella often opened with. She kept to the structure of Ella’s career. I did not know that she wrote the second verse to “Manhattan” to get her birthplace in (it’s Yonkers). Her early life was a mile less than a joy, so “Someone to Watch Over Me” was spot on with Joanna’s narrative.

And then “A-Tisket-A-Tasket”, a simple number based on an old nursery rhyme with a tune identical to that other children’s rhyme “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”. This was Ella’s audition piece that won her first prize with a song at a dance contest and went on to become her breakthrough hit with the Chick Webb Orchestra in 1938.

Joanna’s story-telling was illuminating throughout the gig. Her singing was all we expected of her. She is a musician to the core, with phrasing, timbre and her presentation integral to the song she is presenting. That is a real joy.

She had songs with pairs and individuals from the trio. Chris is a superb accompanist. Andres is new to us: he is a terrific bassist, and his work with Joanna was lovely. A song with just George? Amazing.

Joanna told us that Ella fell in love with bebop, and actually took lessons from Dizzy Gillespie. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for those lessons! “ A Night in Tunisia” and “How High the Moon” gave Joanna space to scat, and she was excellent. Famously, while performing in West Berlin in 1960, Ella launched into a cover of “Mack The Knife”. She didn’t know the lyrics too well and midway through the song, she completely forgot them. When in doubt, what does a jazz singer do? Scat! Ella’s version went on to become a big Grammy-winning performance from her live album, Ella in Berlin, proving what an expert improviser she was.

It was a pleasure to see how our large audience hung on every note as they watched Joanna and the band with love and admiration. Every number was enthusiastically received; the murmurs of warm appreciation were clearly audible as she launched into “The Man I Love” at the end of the first set, “The Very Thought of You” and “Miss Otis Regrets” in the second set. It would be difficult and an unnecessary diversion to pick a favourite moment as the whole performance was seamless and went far too quickly before the audience were calling for an encore. Our band, generous as ever, obliged with the tear-jerking “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” – a fitting end to a wonderful evening’s performance.

On Wednesday 13 December, we get to hear the power of award winning saxophonist Ed Jones. He is joined by Ross Stanley on piano, Riaan Vosloo on bass and Tim Giles on drums. Ed raises the temperature whenever he solos. Do come.

Take care,
Dave and Steve

1. Get Happy (Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler)
2. Someone To Watch Over Me (George & Ira Gershwin)
3. Manhattan (Rodgers & Hart)
4. A-Tisket-A-Tasket (Traditional nursery rhyme extended by Ella Fitzgerald & Al Feldman
5. Caravan (Juan Tizol & Duke Ellington)
6. (If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have To Swing It (Mr Paganini) (Sam Coslow)
7. Desafinado (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
8. Sweet Georgia Brown (Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard & Kenneth Casey)
9. Winter Weather/I’ve Got My Love To Keep You Warm mash-up (Connee Boswell)/Irving Berlin)
10. The Man I Love (George & Ira Gershwin)
*          *          *           *         *        *        *
11. The Very Thought of You (Ray Noble)
12. A Night in Tunisia (Dizzy Gillespie)
13. The Midnight Sun originally an instrumental composed by Lionel Hampton & Sonny Burke. Lyrics were later added by Johnny Mercer.
14. Miss Otis Regrets (Cole Porter)
15. You Turn The Tables On Me (Louis Alter & Sidney D. Mitchell)
16. How High The Moon (Nancy Hamilton & Morgan Lewis)
17. Embraceable You (George & Ira Gershwin)
18. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (Frank Loesser)
19. Mack The Knife (Kurt Weill/ Bertolt Brecht)
ENCORE: Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter)

Thoughts on The Trish Clowes Quartet – “My Iris”, 8 November 2023

Maybe it is something to do with the club. After the gig, Trish was radiant: she was happy with the performance, but she spoke about the club. She mentioned the setup, the help, the sound (thank you). Her music is not easy, and not to everybody’s taste. It requires some work and close listening, and some thought afterward. This is my favourite kind of music. 

The musicianship, of course, was splendid. The band was led by Trish Clowes on tenor sax, Ross Stanley on Hammond B3, Chris Montague on guitar, and drummer Joel Barford. 

The band’s music is about power, freedom and variety. The first thing we hear on “Brooke”, the first number of the gig, is Joel’s emphatic repeated riff, almost like a drum version of a baroque ground bass.Through most of the tunes, the mood and tempo varied, from almost frantic explosions of  sound to the soft, warm sounds of a ballad. All four of them produced an amazing range of sound. Note that this was not free jazz. They were reading the intros and heads. They did have considerable obligato freedom during other people’s solos.

Trish is an exceptional player. She seems to use her entire body to produce the sounds. There were growls, bright clear sounds and beautiful soft balladic sequences. Her up tempo solos found her playing at quite incredible speed, but it seemed to me that it always had meaning. She also announced the tunes with enough explanation, no extended anecdotes. 

Chris used his minimal stomp box set very well to provide colours appropriate to the music. He  is embedded in Trish’s writing, and if I understand correctly, was involved in the orchestration. He had some spectacular solos.

Joel also had some solos to remember. He is a very powerful drummer, but with the ability to switch to brushes and be almost lyrical in the balladic sections of some tunes. His position in the centre of the stage rather than the more usual position with us, to one side, emphasized his central drive  of the music.

And Ross. We have always anticipated with delight his arrival on organ especially, and on piano. He did not disappoint, but how he played was quite different from the standard jazz organ repertoire. I knew that the Hammond B3 was a versatile instrument, but for Trish’s music, Ross made it like a whole sound effects department. The sounds matched Trish, with howls, explosions, and most often lyrical improvisation. I just loved his work.

This all sounds very po-faced and serious. It was certainly not. Trish, Ross, Chris and Joel had a great time. So did we. So did Steve, who supplied the set list below.

The next gig will be very different: we will have Joanna Eden and the Chris Ingham Trio – “Embraceable Ella”.  Joanna is a stunning vocalist. I expect that between Joanna and Chris, the research will be immaculate  and often very funny. So come expecting the music of a great icon played and sung by wonderful musicians. 

Take care,




  1. Brooke (Trish Clowes)
  2. Uncle (Trish Clowes)
  3. Another One For Wayne (Trish Clowes) – a tribute to the late, great Wayne Shorter. Included eferences to ‘Nefertiti’ by Shorter (from the Miles Davis album of the same name).
  4. Ashford Days (Ross Stanley) – a tribute to the late British Jazz pianist John Taylor
  5. The Ness (Trish Clowes)
  6. Don’t Wait (Trish Clowes)

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. A View with a Room (Trish Clowes)
  2. Truth Teller (Trish Clowes)
  3. Into The Air (Trish Clowes)
  4. Amber (Trish Clowes)
  5. Not My Usual Type (Chris Montague)
  6. Free To Fall (Trish Clowes)

On Wednesday 14 February Blue Spirits – £20

John Etheridge's "Blue Spirits"

John Etheridge Guitars

Pete Whittaker Organ

George Double Drums

“Blue Spirits Trio”, featuring Pete Whittaker and George Double, came about through John’s love of the perennially attractive combination of Electric Guitar and Organ. Blue Spirits have a take on this well-known combination in a way that connects with the bluesier, intense side of John’s playing. There are plenty of typical swing elements, augmented by soulful ballads and fiery funk outings. The aim is to groove and move!

John’s history includes playing with Grapelli, heading Zapatistas, duos with John Williams, and his own bands. As well as  a world class player, he is a classy raconteur. 

Pete is a piano player who migrated to Hammond organ after hearing the classic 1950s &1960s Jimmy Smith records. He is a Hammond star.

George’s playing and recording credits include Dame Shirley Bassey, Grammy Award Winner Jack Jones, Marc Almond, Mica Paris, Ruthie Henshall and Kym Mazelle. His West End and touring theatre record includes stints on WickedGuys and DollsAvenue QSinatra and Anything Goes.

This band has been popular on the club circuit for many years and always delivers.