INCOMING

INCOMING

Bob's your uncle

Even at a wallet busting £75 a pop the gigs not on until peak office party season time descends on Soho the two nighter Bob James jazz club dates in London this December have already been snapped up by eager gig goers. A coup for the Pizza Express …

Published: 11 Nov 2019. Updated: 8 months.

Even at a wallet busting £75 a pop the gigs not on until peak office party season time descends on Soho the two nighter Bob James jazz club dates in London this December have already been snapped up by eager gig goers. A coup for the Pizza Express Jazz Club: the tiny basement club has often pulled a rabbit from its hat for some magical nights down below Dean Street. Recall, for instance, a riotously splendid Melody Gardot appearance a few years ago.

Fans of Bob, who turns 80 on Christmas Day, whether from the early obscure surprising Bold Conceptions days when he was certainly not a smooth jazzer, ‘Nautilus’ hugely sampled in hip-hop, or the poignant ‘Angela’ from brilliant 1970s and 80s TV comedy Taxi, were quick off the mark. Not sure if the club does returns, worth asking if you missed out. Begging is worth considering. Details: 1-2 December. Venue.

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Jon Regen, The Crazy Coqs, London

2016 review. Opening with ‘Stop Time’ on the final night of his Piccadilly club residency Jon Regen managed to “crack this code like a scientist,” to draw on the lyrics from the title track of his latest album. A persuasive Billy Joel and Randy …

Published: 11 Nov 2019. Updated: 8 months.

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2016 review. Opening with ‘Stop Time’ on the final night of his Piccadilly club residency Jon Regen managed to “crack this code like a scientist,” to draw on the lyrics from the title track of his latest album.

A persuasive Billy Joel and Randy Newman-inspired singer, as a jazz pianist he made his name accompanying Jimmy Scott and played this club gig ostensibly as a duo, the American at the piano facing bass guitarist PJ Phillips, a rocker whose stellar credits include gigging with Rod Stewart.

Concentrating on Stop Time material in the first set, Lydia Baylis, joining the duo, blended well in the harmonies of stuck-in-the-middle song ‘Borderline.’

In a switch of emphasis later in the second set there was more of a Doc Pomus and Elton John-inspired direction, a version of Rodgers and Hart standard ‘My Funny Valentine’ sung meltingly by another guest, Judith Owen, altering the mood – Regen returning tantalisingly to his jazz roots. (Review: Stephen Graham)