Neal Richardson Band @ Ronnie Scott’s reviewed by Brian O’Connor

Neal Richardson Band

Ronnie Scott’s, London

Sunday 5th June 2016

 

    This was my first proper visit to Ronnie’s since the change of ownership way back when. Yes, inevitably things have changed, but it was nice to see that the club has retained a feeling of the original, and of course unlike Pete and Ronnie’s day it can not afford to be run as a charity.  Long may it survive.    

    You are based in Eastbourne, a musician, producer, record company and jazz club owner, plus, according to him anyway,  the purveyor of excellent jokes, and fast approaching your dotage. Also, Splashpoint Records is just celebrating its first successful year of operation (I think that coincides, fortunately, with only being in existence for one year). So just how do you celebrate your 50th birthday? For people who say it’s middle aged, just think of how many centenarians you know. 

    Neal Richardson nailed it in one by having a gig at Ronnie’s. Hugely enjoyable with a first rate line-up, a full house was treated to just over 2 hours of excellent musicianship. Playing songs from his album, Better Than The Blues, plus standards from the Great American Songbook, Neal has the engaging personality that manages to involve the audience in his enjoyment, whilst never letting musical standards slip. His son, Oscar, was in the audience, celebrating his 8th birthday. He must be very proud of mum and dad. Roll on Neal’s 100th birthday.

 

Neal Richardson – piano, vocals and excellent jokes (his words not mine); 

Sue Richardson, trumpet flugel, vocals; Helen Sherrrah-Davies, 5 string violin; Mark White, trumpet; Deny Baptiste, tenor sax; Mark Nightingale, trombone; Andy Drudy, guitar; Nigel Thomas, double bass; Alex Eberhard, drums.

Guests: Mark Cherrie, steel pan; Paul Cavaciuti, drums

 

Brian O’Connor

Photo: Brian O’Connor, www.imagesofjazz.com