I played for more than five years with Willy Vande Walle's 'Jazz Express'. Willy was a great guy but a lot of the time was overwhelmed by the complications of a life that included three former wives and a partiality for Genevieve - a type of Gin that is a speciality of Belgium - so much so that in the small musical instrument shop he owned in the commune of Saint Josse, he had a small refrigerator installed to keep the bottles cool and ready.

willyOne particular Saturday afternoon We arrived at a small chateau somewhere near to Brussels to play at a wedding. When we got there - the wedding party had not yet appeared - so we donned our Smoking (the French word for Dinner Suit, Evening Dress) and waited on a first-floor balcony.

The cars drew up and parking in front of the impressive portico and discharged the wedding party. Willy immediately leaned over the balcony and pointing his soprano sax at the rapidly filling reception area kicked us of in to a loud and boisterous Dixieland tune. The newly married couple looked upward with startled and puzzled expressions on their faces. Willy uncharacteristically picked up the vibe.

We watched from above whilst a somewhat heated discussion took place between Willy and the bride and groom. A few minutes later he came back up the stairs and explained. We shed out Smoking and eased our way out of the building.

The problem was we were two weeks early for this specific booking and should have in fact been playing elsewhere at another wedding.

 

 

 

Willy Vande Walle Quartet. Days of Wine and Roses. BSHARP cds 074