Jazz, like surgery, requires attentive precision. It’s unsurprising, then, that the legendary Art Themen has led a half-century career as a sharp-minded orthopaedic surgeon and a smooth-souled saxophonist!
I had the enormous pleasure of capturing Art performing his art — how poetic! — when he took to the Coastguard Studio stage in Southsea in November 2019.
He was joined by the RhythmEarth Electric Trio, who laid down their own funky sounds as the evening’s support act.
One of my favourite anecdotes about Art is that, when he was young, he started out as a clarinet player — but the page in his self-tutoring book that demonstrated how to position the reed between your lips was missing, so he spent quite some time playing with the mouthpiece upside-down!
Art’s passion for the saxophone was ignited when, at 16, he went to a Dankworth Seven gig accompanied by a female cousin. The dashing Danny Moss winked at Art’s cousin, and the effect this had on her convinced him jazz music must be his true calling!
Coastguard Studio is one of my favourite intimate venues to shoot in Portsmouth, and one you’ll see pop up time and time again in the Music section of my blog!