One of the very few disappointments about being here in the Burnhams, has been that I arrived just too late for The Balcony. By the end of 2007, the focus for Jazz here had moved to The Hoste. Not knowing much about what had gone before, I couldn't believe my luck that, under the direction of Reg, each summer was punctuated by cool concerts in the Moroccan Garden featuring musicians like Ian Shaw and Sarah Jane Morris. However - people kept talking about The Balcony.
Finally, last Saturday, jazz returned to The Balcony and this time I was there. Two fabulous musicians - KIT DOWNES and LEWIS WRIGHT. The two of them have been playing together, Kit on piano and Lewis on vibes, for over 10 years having met as members of the Norwich Students Jazz Orchestra. Since then they have moved onwards and upwards developing their musical relationship playing in Clark (son of the great Stan) Tracey's Sextet and other groups. The current duo project is their latest collaboration with new music written by both Lewis and Kit - and on the basis of Saturday's showing this looks likely to run. What great music! The understanding and synchronicity (is that a real word?) seemed seamless. Improvised or scripted? Difficult to tell - but just great. And on the doorstep, too.
If you want to get a flavour of Kit's jazz piano their are two albums readily available from Amazon and the like - 'Golden' from 2009 and 'Quiet Tiger' released earlier this year.