Our debut at the Teign Corinthian Yacht Club, on 5th August 2021, could not have gone better. Despite our having only a few weeks to organise it, our loyal audience came back and, along with many welcome new faces, helped us sell all available tickets. Every gig that we put on is a risk (particularly in these straitened times) and so we were really happy with the ticket sales, which helps us to plan the next event and to keep the quality music coming.

The music itself was exceptional from Matt Carter (piano), Tim Carter (drums) and Tom Drewett (double bass). Long term friends (and in one case brothers!), they had an obvious musical connection which expressed itself through a deep swinging groove, peaks and troughs of dynamics, intricate interplay, moments of real emotion, and plenty of humour. They eased each set in with a bluesy number (Larry Young’s Crawdaddy, and Herbie Hancock’s classic Driftin’), aided and abetted later by a cameo from local legendary vocalist Maggie Reeday, who gave us a very Stormy Monday. But we also got thoughtful standards, with nods to the versions of Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau, and a splendid and lesser known ballad from McCoy Tyner. As the audience got more relaxed and vocal, there was a consultation (largely by older brother Tim) which resulted in a salsa-inflected and very energetic version of Sonny Rollins’s St Thomas, which brought the house down.

The night went on 30 minutes more than planned and it felt as if a third set would have been welcomed, had time not caught up with us. There was a very warm feeling  in the room, from a combination of great music from a tight group of expert artists, a delighted and grateful audience, a perfect venue (the sea was synchronising with the drummer’s brushes through the well ventilated windows) and a general sense that, just maybe, normality may be creeping back.

It was lovely to see our Teignmouth audience back, last seen February 2020, but even more gratifying to welcome new listeners (and several new signed up members) who could see, as we can, that jazz is alive and well and that, with Matt Carter and his friends representing their generation, its future is in great hands.

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