On Thursday evening we enjoyed the Mark Toomey Quartet at the newly opened “Hoochie Coochie” in
It has the potential, I believe, to bring jazz to a wider audience than is found at many of the gigs we attend. At 8.00 p.m. there were plenty of people in and, although groups of drinkers came and went, there was always a good crowd.
Most of the people there were probably NOT there for the jazz – they were just making one stop as they toured the city-centre bars. The applause at the end of each number was evidence that they liked what they heard. One couple who came near the end (definitely not for the jazz) were deep in conversation and gazing into each other’s eyes when a particularly good solo stopped them in their tracks and they turned to watch in rapt attention! A venue which gets people in and then gets them to engage with jazz (however briefly) can only be a good thing, surely?