As you may know; for the past year I’ve been running guest sessions every last Thursday of the month with my Quartet for ‘Southend’s own Ronnie Scotts’; the ‘Sands by the Sea’ venue next door to Southend Pier on Southend Sea Front! It’s a fantastic room, over looking the beautiful Thames; the food is delicious – and the jazz is FREE! Over the year we’ve welcomed star guests including Alan Barnes, Julian Marc Stringle, Dominic Ashworth, Val Wiseman and others – with more to come in 2023 including Derek Nash (featured tenor with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra) and the phenomenal Simon Spillett. Well, this month our guest is the incomparable jazz force of nature PETE LONG! Pete has run his ‘Echoes of Ellington’ orchestra for many years – as well as directing Ronnie Scott’s youth band – and his newest album ‘Jazz Planets’, a recreation of Gustav Holst’s ‘Planets Suite’, could indeed be by the Duke himself and has been heralded by rave reviews in all the most important jazz publications. For me it’s the greatest British jazz album in well over a decade! Pete can play almost every instrument there is – but this night he’ll be bringing his saxophone and clarinet for a gig called ‘FROM DIXIELAND TO BEBOP’. With him – as usual – will be what we affectionately call our ‘Rat Pack Rhythm Section’ (well, we are at ‘The Sands'(!): the great TIM HUSKISSON (piano) ROGER CURPHEY (bass) and ALAN CLARKE (drums) – and it would be great to see you there. The address is ‘Sands by the Sea’ Icon Building, Adventure Island, Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1EE; there’s dining from 7.15, the music starts at 8.30pm and there’s lots of parking all along the seafront from 6pm. Suggest you book a table in advance (as the room gets full!) and the number is (01702) 468123. See you there.