Chris Cooper Trio

DAVID WAKEFIELD Zaks at The Swan, Poringland


Zaks at The Swan, Poringland

Restaurants have a long and successful history linking with jazz - who would thought that Pizza Express, in London's Soho, could have become one of the capital's premier venues, closely followed by Pizza On The Park?

If Thursday's inaugural session is anything to go by, this newly refurbished eaterie will become another top-notch centre for good music.

Sessions will run fortnightly, and promoter Chris Bailey has a tempting list of attractions for the coming months, including pianist Geoff Eales, saxophonist and humorist Pete Long, and a couple of singers.

This was a chance for what will be the house trio to shine, and for more people to hear the remarkable young Norwich pianist Chris Cooper, whose skill and technique at the keyboard is matched only by his laconic sense of humour (frequently a prerequisite for being a jazzman!).

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Chris showed a willingness to explore fully the intricacies of standards such as All The Things You Are and Autumn Leaves, and swung mightily on Freddie The Freeloader and Blue Monk.

He received unobtrusive but solid backing from Dave Pullin (double bass) and Neil Kane (drums) and the room (separate from the main restaurant) proved to have a decent acoustic, too.

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