Wednesday, September 19, 2007

London Tap Jam

Last night I went down to the basement of the Digress Bar in Soho for the second time to experience the joy which is the London Tap Jam. It happens down there every two months, and has a regular cast of amazing young dancers, led by the formidably talented (and very musical) Junior Laniyan. Here's a random snatch of what was going on, with live accompaniment by the Dave Silk trio, with Phil Parnell on piano and Guy Silk on drums.

I got there quite late (after a meeting with London CoHousing). I was invited to join in, first with a singer (Kelly, I think), who performed a powerful version of 'Over the Rainbow'. Then a dancer asked if I would do an improvised duet with her. This was the top spot of the evening for me - for very selfish reasons. Somehow (despite the fact that my G# key was stuck firmly shut, changing much of what I was trying to play) a strange melody emerged, a cross between something slightly arabic sounding, and a gentle swing. I have a feeling I played a bit too much and didn't really give the dancer enough gaps to stretch out in, but something seemed to work.

I first came across a Tap Jam in October 2003 at the Showmans Lounge in Harlem (just opposite the 125th Street Subway station, if I remember correctly) where every Thursday the Hammond trio is joined by tap dancers around the world. I was stunned back in July this year when I descended into a heaving crowd in Soho (London). It would be great for a jazz jam session to attract as good a crowd as this.

I was delighted to be booked officially to be part of the band for the next session (rather than just sitting in) - so I'll be there for the whole night for the next show on 13 November. Come on down...



At 11:27 am, Anonymous Melody Lander said...

Hi Andy

I'm really glad you enjoyed our jam. I was the person that danced with you. It's funny that you said a "strange melody emerged," as my name is actually Melody and I organise the tap jam, along with Junior and Dan. So, we are the people, who are responsible for booking you for the next one.

I had a fantastic time dancing with you. I think it was the most enjoyable piece of improvisation that I've been involved with so far.

Looking forward to see you again on the 13 November 07.



At 3:44 pm, Blogger Big Buzzard said...

Thanks Melody

I loved it too - looking forward to 13th - see you then.



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