Last week my husband and I saw Dave Holland play at the Blue Note. I’m still having a hard time getting to grips with that sentence, it’s not one I ever thought I’d be able to say, but it turns out that getting a reservation at the Blue Note is as easy as giving them your details online (no need to pay in advance), choosing “bar” or “table” and turning up at your allotted time. As for the Dave Holland part? A pure stroke of luck. On the plane to New York my husband happened to be reading the newest issue of The New Yorker and there, tucked away on the “what’s showing” pages was mention of Dave Holland’s band Prism and their brief residency while we were visiting. We just assumed that we’d no hope of seeing them, and so didn’t even try for tickets straight away. Then on a whim we checked the website and suddenly we were going.
It was a wonderful evening, and a privilege to see a jazz legend in such a renowned venue. It wasn’t without it’s hilarity however, partly thanks to “Jeff” of the table next to us, who arrived late, insisted on talking to everyone around his table, including the German couple who clearly wanted neither their dinner or jazz interrupted by a crazed American salesman, and refused to pull his chair into the table therefore almost crippling my poor husband who was suffering in the little space behind him.
And yet, the most striking moment of the evening was one I actually missed by a poorly timed trip to the bathroom. After the set we dashed upstairs to the shop to buy the CD, having been blown away by what we’d heard. I thought this would be ideal time to dash to the loo before the walk home. I returned from my sojourn to see a smug and slightly dazed Mr L awaiting me. When I questioned his state he told me that while I’d been away Dave Holland had popped upstairs to the kitchen (opposite the shop) and poked his head through the pass and said; “hi, my name’s Dave, I’m with the band, I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. I just wondered if you got that order? We’re between sets and I just wanted to get something to eat quickly if that would be okay?” The stunned chef couldn’t believe his eyes and muttered “Yes, Mr Holland we’ll have that for you right away.”
Can you believe that? No name drop, no demanding, just politely asking for his sandwich. He’s not just in the band, he is the band! We spent the rest of the trip, whilst waiting for food or drinks grinning at each other and muttering “hi, my name’s Dave, I’m with the band.” I shall forever remember, when being a bit too big for my boots, that if even Mr Dave Holland, doesn’t feel like he needs to drop names, then neither do I.