Tony Coe, Frances Knight, Ian East
secret woodland location near Canterbury
Another wonderful evening in the woods. I got to host local saxophone legend Tony Coe (now 82), accompanied by Frances Knight, one of my favourite pianists from anywhere (and she happens to live in Canterbury!). Tony played soprano, Frances got into some beautifully spaced out places and dear Miriam was invited up to sing "Black Coffee" and "Autumn Leaves" (her deceased father, Sal Nistico, used to play in a big band with Tony years ago). Tony arrived saying he wasn't feeling great and wasn't likely to play for long, but the set ended up being more than an hour. He was exteremely well received by the audience and cheered when he left the venue.
This was followed by Ian East, the sax/flute player in Gong since 2012 and Herne Bay resident, playing a mostly solo set involving looping devices, playing saxophone and bass clarinet. Some extraordinary percussive playing at one point (just using the tuned percussion of the clarinet keys). His friend Richard Rozzi joined on electric guitar towards the end of the set (supremely fluid, trippy playing). Ian was promoting his new album Inner Paths which he plays everything on. For live gigs, the percussion has to be prerecorded, which he apologised for in advance, but no one seemed to mind. And some of the later set with Richard was loop free, they were just jamming. And we were so lucky!
Also that evening I heard that our friend Leonie Evans, no stranger to these woods, was going to be in session on Cerys Matthews' Sunday morning programme on BBC6. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person...