Remembering Jake Hanna

May 31, 2014 at 9:32 pm (gigs, good people, jazz, Jim D, music)

Photo: The Macallan jog no longer hangs over the bar at the Nellie Dean Pub as it did when Jake and Dave Green posed there with Brian Lemon and Tony Shoppee. But last night Brien Peerless, Dave, and Jim Denham hung out there and raised a glass to Jake's memory. Then we told stories and laughed together for the next 3 hours. What a great evening, but then it's always a great evening when FOJs get together.

Brian Peerless, Dave Green, Maria Judge and yours truly met up at the ‘Nellie Dean’ pub in Dean Street, London, last Tuesday. Maria is the niece of Jake Hanna (April 4, 1931 – February 12, 2010), and author of the book Jake Hanna: The Rhythm and Wit of A Swinging Jazz Drummer. Brian is a promoter who brought Jake (and Kenny Davern, Yank Lawson, Scott Hamilton and many other US jazz stars) to Britain, while Dave is, of course, Britain’s most accomplished and versatile jazz bassist.

We had a great evening of laughter and reminiscence ending with a meal and a couple of bottles of wine over the road at the Pizza Express, scene of many memorable gigs involving Jake and Dave.

Maria describes her uncle, who was a man of words as well as music, as a latter-day shanachie – an Irish storyteller, travelling from one community to another, exchanging his creativity for food and temporary shelter. Following the London visit, Maria went over to County Sligo to investigate the family’s Celtic roots

Brian told me that he once knocked Jake out by playing him this 1940 record with the amazing Davey Tough on drums:

Dave and I agreed that the most extraordinary (“frightening” was the word we settled upon) film of Jake we’d ever seen is this 1964 version of ‘Caldonia'(below) with Woody Herman:

4 Comments

  1. Remembering Jake Hanna | OzHouse said,

    […] May 31 2014 by admin […]

  2. Mike Killingworth said,

    Do you know what Woody and his band we on?

    Two amazing clips; thank you very much, lovely jubbly…

  3. Mike Killingworth said,

    That should have been “were on” of course…

    • Jim Denham said,

      Glad you enjoyed those clips, Mike.

      Unlike some of Woody’s earlier bands (notably the late-40s ‘Four Brothers’ Band) this Herman outfit was pretty much ‘clean’ as far as drugs were concerned: the guys were “on” adrenaline (an maybe a little Moxie mixed with vodka). But what a tempo!

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