This year two of the best nights marlbank experienced in any jazz club were spent at the Hampstead Jazz Club in leafiest north London. It wasn't just about the music although you can see that one of these gigs, featuring Jo Harrop and Alex Webb playing the music of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans recording for a Jazz FM broadcast, was among our top 10 of the year. The place is tiny, about the same size as Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston, with room for about 40-50 people. It's a basement, under the very fine gastropub the Duke of Hamilton, and the acoustics are very human. The house piano is pretty decent and the lighting sufficiently subdued enough to banish the day.
You get a certain atmosphere overall that leads to thoughts of the Parisian mood in the Bertrand Tavernier fim Round Midnight. The club, which is on New End, does not operate every night. Hopefully it can become far more regular. On Friday Webb City playing Art Tatum appear and then after a Christmas and New Year break the very fine mainstream singer Elaine Delmar plays the Hampstead with pianist Jamie Safir (22 January) followed by the Paul Edis trio and trumpeter Freddie Gavita on 27 Jan and the Power of 3 on 3 February. The club website is accessible here
Tags: Club, scenes, focus