Mike and friends’ music for all

Jazz Breakfast: Mike Hatchard and Chris Dean with George Trebar at St Mary-in-the-Castle, January 27. Review by Marrion Wells.

Mike always arranges his programmes so that whatever is one’s taste in music is catered for.

So the melodies which filled the auditorium of St Mary’s on Sunday came from the pens of such diverse composers as Gounod and Manning Sherwin. (Manning Who?)

Not that the audience cared. The music-lovers who filled the ground floor and spilled over into the balcony would happily have spent the morning listening to Mike’s Thirty-Two Preludes and Fugues on the theme of Three Blind Mice.

This was in fact not necessary.

With a first half ranging from Gershwin to Flanders & Swann we were treated to the Ave Maria, (the Gounod bit) and that perennial Nightingale in Berkeley Square.

How apposite that a show tune from 1939 so evocative of London and probably more popular now than ever should be written by American Manning Shewin.

Mike and his players proved their versatility, Chris as well as being hot stuff on the trombone proved that he doubles as a very worthwhile vocalist.

Flanders and Swann got the benefit of the Hatchard team in the somewhat less well-known Ill Wind and the familiar with the cautionary tale of Have some Madeira, M’dear.

George’s bass was heard to effect in Chris’s version of I Thought About You, with the audience showing its appreciation in the accepted manner for jazz.

During the intermission Dennis Veness gave as usual his most welcome diversion on the piano, showing that you don’t have to be young and lovely (sorry, Dennis!) to produce sweet music.

Memories of Bing with Pennies from Heaven contrasted with an early Sinatra hit, All of Me.

Johnny Mantel’s The Shadow of your Smile sequenced into reminiscences of Coward and Hutch, the Cafe de Paris, and the cream of London society with Mike’s variations on Cole Porter’s Let’s Do It.

A request for Gershwin’s Summertime from his opera Porgy and Bess (definitely in A minor) and I’ve Got You Under my Skin, made us realise how fortunate we are to have such distinguished musicians right here if not exactly under the skin of it, but definitely within our appreciation zone.

Please Mike come with your comrades again ... and soon.