|Ian Shaw at 2013 Canary Wharf Jazz Festival|
The first time the free admission Canary Wharf Jazz Festival was held in its current location of Canada Square was in 2009. I went, I saw, and I WROTE.
Four years later, it has evolved. More people know about it now, but it keeps the same friendly vibe of a festival in a pretty town square in, say Delft, or Vence. Compared to the early days it now gets much busier earlier in the day, but people are relaxed, there are pushchairs and Baby Bjorns a-plenty.
|Jason Rebello. Canary Wharf 2013. Photo credit: Aleatorus|
I missed far more than I heard: I caught the sets today, the final day, by Jason Rebello (plus vocalist Joy Rose, Keyboard/pecussion/ singer Xantone Blacq, bassist Alex Davis and drummer Jeremy Stacey.) I reviewed Jason Rebello a couple of weeks ago, and maintain the idea that his re-connection with jazz is clearly a happy one for him. Today he was letting a Mini Moog have the treatment, and got spontaneous and well-deserved applause for it. I'd go further about that re-connection: the feeling is mutual. A lot of jazz musicians and regular gig-goers had popped into Canary Wharf to listen today, and the reflection that it's great to welcome him back was palpable.
|Joy Rose. Canary Wharf 2013. Photo Credit Paul Wood|
Ian Shaw had a top class Frith Street All Stars-ish kind of a band: James Pearson energetic on piano and Fender Rhodes, Geoff Gascoyne the complete pro on electric bass, Dave Ohm ditto at the kit, with Polly Gibbons as popped-in guest vocalist. Ian Shaw was taking the spirits of Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison of the glass walls of the skyscrapers, and really connecting with the audience spread out on the lawn.
The whole vibe is friendly. Peter Conway and team have got this one right.