|Cab Kaye - An Artist, Musician & True Friend - by Cameron Japp
I was privileged to know Cab and Janette Kaye whilst living in Amsterdam in the mid 1980s. Their Jazz Piano ("no loud talking bar") was a haven for a cross section of people from commerce, entertainment, film and advertising and many other walks of life. The narrow, softly lit bar was adorned with black and white photographs of Cab's friends in the jazz world - including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Slide Hampton. On Fridays and Saturdays the audience was a bohemian mix of film directors, actors, artists, business people - as well as fortunate visitors who had stumbled across what was probably the most special jazz venue in Amsterdam in the 80s and 90s. Cab entertained his customers with his own special brand of jazz music which included early 20th century jazz standards as well as many of his own compositions - in addition to piano music, Cab also played percussion and guitar as backing to the songs he performed. Typically, Cab would played 3 or 4 sets between 10.00pm and 3.00am - however, any customer not observing the "no loud talking" rule of the house whilst Cab played would receive a firm stare and an embarrassing feeling of conspicuousness having caused Cab to curtail his playing!
At that time, I was an aspiring piano entertainer in need of guidance and constructive criticism. In 1985-86, Cab was a mentor and friend who afforded me the privilege of 30 plus guest appearances in his piano bar, as well as guidance on stage technique and how to create and deliver a winning "set". During this period, Cab introduced me to a number of "names" in the jazz world -including Slide Hampton who Cab invited me to meet for a canal side coffee in the autumn of 1985. Building on Cab's good advice in the mid 80s, I have gone on to play as a solo piano entertainer in over 12 countries and am now working on an album project. Cab's support and advice were invaluable. I know there are many other contemporary performers who benefited from Cab's selfless advice and coaching. I invite them to pay tribute, with me, to someone who was an unparalleled entertainer and true friend.