A jazz show which has Elton on its mind! Django Bates' Human Chain in concert at The Vortex in aid of Elton John.
Live at The Vortex, Stoke Newington, London, July 9, 2001, BBC Radio 3, Jazz On 3. Here's a transcript of the introduction to the 40 minutes of jazz which followed:
Jez Nelson: "It serves as the epicentre of London's creative music scene and the obvious port of call for all visiting avante gardists from Tim Berne to Han Bennink and beyond.
"Now, following an abortive attempt to merge it with Hackney's new Ocean venue, The Vortex is in serious trouble. How serious? Well lets just say it needs to raise around £1m to survive. I tell you all this because the clubs plight forms the backdrop for Django's concert.
"And here's where it all goes a little strange because instead of playing a straight benefit for the club Django Bates decided to play a benefit for fellow keyboard star Elton John.
"It seems that certain tabloids had featured stories implying that our Elton was allegedly experiencing cash flow problems and as we all know every little bit helps.
"The irony is of course Django's middle name and his calculation was that by drawing the multi millionaires attention to the clubs dire circumstances, and appealing to his renowned sense of humour, something miraculous might just happen.
"There probably isn't another jazz musician who could hatch such a bizarre plot and the whole scheme seems strangely in tune with Django's unique, some might say twisted, music.
"Human Chain were first formed over 20 years ago and is Django's tightest and most technically impressive unit - these boys are all master musicians and what's more they know each others playing inside out.
"We understand that the gig raised around £1000 and that a cheque was immediately sent to Elton John's management.
"They asked that it be redirected to an AIDS charity and informed Django that although Elton thought he was a cheeky git he would consider matching any funding that the Save the Vortex campaign managed to raise. Which , if you think about it, is some result.
Django's vocal renditions of Elton's songs have been removed from the performance on grounds of taste."
Django Bates: keyboards, piano, E-flat horn
Iain Ballamy: saxophones
Mike Mondesir: bass
Martin France: drums
Weblinks (and in case you want to send a nasty email!):
Djangos' official site