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I never knew Jeff Healey could play jazz!!!!


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After playing a park concert in 2000 a washboard-player from the audience showed up backstage and whispered to me : Come to Tiny Jazz-Club monday night - You'll be surprised. I went there and found out the rumour was right. Jeff Healey was about to stand in as guest-performer for the local 15 men traditional jazz-band. I first saw him in the bar, sipping a beer, waiting for his clue. Then at some point he was guided through the crowd and as he stepped up on the stage a trumpet materialized out of thin air. His playing was splendid - the tone and feel sounded absolutely right. Don't recall if he sang a little, might have. Everybody was a bit beside themselves - something else was goin' on - this was special.

The story is that the washboard player (who's also a radio-guy), had interviewed Healey and by coincidence touched swing music. A spark lit fire and soon they were into exchanging records - the invitation to join the ensemble waited just around the corner. It unfolded the next time J.H. came to town, playing his own giant venue the one night and this small smoking cage the other. Almost an Alice in W-land situation : One moment you're huge - next you're mini, yet somehow larger.

I'm glad to have been there. . .

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