What do I like in a pint of bitter? Smooth and not too strong an after-taste usually, but I’m not that experienced a judge.
Anyway, the taste may have been missing, but there was an abundance of smoothness in a number called A Pint of Bitter, and others, as the Ronnie Scott Quintet brought the sounds of Soho to the St George’s Guildhall for the Ronnie Scott’s Story.
Now, I have to confess I don’t know a lot about jazz. Indeed, when I told one relative what I was seeing, he simply said: “Nice” in the style of the regular Jazz Club sketches that featured in a popular comedy show of our youth. I think we’re showing our ages.
But the beauty of music, perhaps more so than any other art form, is that you don’t have to be an avid fan of an artist or a particular genre in order to appreciate it. If you’re prepared to listen, then good music should come across to you no matter what it may be.
For many in the sell-out audience, the show was a trip down memory lane, hearing the music that they, and Scott himself, had begun listening to a long time ago. For me, it was a chance to hear things I’d not heard before and admire the skills of a group of musicians who have wowed audiences around the world.
If there is a critical note, then it would be that saxophonist Alex Garnett’s delivery of stories between numbers didn’t always flow that well and director and pianist James Pearson seemed more natural in that role. But, as a visual and audio feast, it wouldn’t have disappointed.