The Southbank was playing a fabulous jazz set last night, led by the impressive pianist Shahin Novrasli, who has an official website here but I prefer this one. He reminded me of Keith Jarrett, but Novrasli I think is quite some better. Or perhaps more interesting. Later in the evening, Novrasli was joined by two spectacular fellow Azeris playing Azeri string instruments, but I can’t for the life of me find out who these two men were. The audience fell for them above all the others, including Novrasli. But I liked Novrasli. Anyway, what I hated about the evening were members of the audience talking and chatting as if they were in a pub with the jukebox on and taking pictures with their phones and discussing their emails with their friends. What I loved about the evening, however, was the Azeri advertising that was being handed out as we left QEH. On glossy A5, white font against black background with some flames at the bottom, was printed:
LOVE OUR OIL
- YOU’LL LOVE
OUR ART TOO
Never was a truer word spoken. Bravo to the Azeris for saying it as it is. I laughed and laughed and laughed. Indeed, as the musicians had walked onto the stage at the beginning of the night, huge words appeared on the screen behind the set:
I am now waiting for the Angolans to host their own jazz festival at the Southbank. They’d do this so well. So very well.