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Driving madness and jazzy gladness

Don Albert
12/15/2011 08:41:20

Artslink.co.za News
Jazzaholic by Don Albert: I have certain trepidations on my annual visit to Cape Town and I’m never “disappointed”’.

No doubt in my mind that all Cape Town drivers source their driver’s licences from the Jo’burg Taxi Drivers’ Academy. They make our Jozi taxi drivers look like highly trained skilled gentlemen!

Cyclists think they own the road and mostly ride two (or more) abreast and think nothing of holding up traffic from Sea Point to the V&A. We drove patiently behind one such youngster for some way assuming that when he passed a bus stop (where there was no bus) he would pull over and let us pass. Ha!

Capetonians ignore all traffic requirements, including stop streets and traffic lights. To them “red” means “go for it”! The Porsches and Ferraris are devoid of indicators or headlights so none are used… ever… by anyone, whatever they drive.

Tiny paper serviettes are ‘de rigueur’ in most Cape Town restaurants. Ask for a finger bowl, you’ll need it.

Of course there are lots of positives… one is usually the weather but alas, not this year.

The arts scene is as vibrant as ever with an ongoing International Film programme at the Labia, lots of live theatre and plenty of music of course. This city really hums with entertainment choices, something we really miss in Joburg.

Other things I can rely on is a great pizza at Posticino, but why have they stopped serving the blue cheese dressing for the salad? And why was Milady served a hot meal with the requested choice of a salad on the same plate?

And there is always excellent jazz at the Jazz at Nassau concerts.

Inevitably the “numero uno” spot goes to the Sunday Jazz Brunch at Winchester Mansions in Sea Point.

As always, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and the Sunday Times awaits.

As always the food is as important as the music and there can be no gripes about this banquet of a brunch to which excellent sushi and a pasta dish have now been added. As for the desserts… keep space!

The music is always swinging and filled with great standards. Drummer Maurice Gawronsky books different musicians and vocalists each week and he also sets a nice groove from behind his kit.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… soooo civilised sitting in the Winchester’s New Orleans-like courtyard sipping a glass of bubbly and listening to beautiful renditions of the “Great American Songbook“. The sense of contentment is palpable.

All in all it’s as solid as one of the fully deserved newly named seven wonders of nature, Table Mountain.

PS: Booking For Winchester Mansions Jazz Brunch is essential.

Don Albert’s Jazzaholic column will be posted on Artslink.co.za every Thursday. Don Albert is a saxophonist and jazz journalist. He spent 12 years with The Star Newspaper on the Tonight! Section writing about jazz. Currently he writes jazz CD and book reviews for Financial Mail and is the South African Correspondent for Downbeat (USA) and Jazz Journal International (UK). He has presented radio programmes on jazz and served as judge at prestigious competitions. He has also won numerous awards.


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