Poetry & All That Jazz, Edes House, Chichester Festivities

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I’ll admit I’m biased: I am a Poetry & All That Jazz veteran, returning annually for the eloquent verse, jubilant jazz and Delia-shaming homemade cakes, whose fame, based on the lengthy interval queue, apparently precedes them.

Now in its fourth year, P&ATJ presented an assured programme featuring award-winning poet Sam Willetts and the sinuous jazz of former Lyttleton band member Jo Fooks, set against a backdrop of inspiring work by local poets.

The Georgian splendour of Ede’s House lent the evening a certain air of decadence: from the poets’ rich word-pictures and Sam Willetts’ highly personal reflections on a life almost lost to heroin, to Jo Fooks’ smoky, sensual saxophone and Ted Beament’s thistledown-fingered piano. A barn-storming finale of Autumn Leaves with interval jazzers the Mo-Jo Trio sent the happily-humming audience into the twilight. Plans are underway for next year’s event: I shall be first in the queue, and not just for the cake...

Jo Adlam