The following  statements were handed to the audience at The Wardrobe, Leeds on the 6th June 2001.

 BJ was booked into Wakefield (not a million miles from Leeds) two days later on the 8th - .  To appease both promotors and to keep things fresh Billy had to uphold a strange contractual obligation.....

"The relationship that exists between Leeds Jazz and Billy Jenkins is a very special one. Billy first appeared for us with The Voice of God Collective in November 1987 and since that date we at Leeds Jazz have given our utmost support to everything he does and employed him on virtually an annual basis to come to Leeds and paid him handsomely to do so. By my reckoning, tonight marks Billy's 12th appearance for Leeds Jazz.

On a personal level, my own dedication to Billy's music has taken me to such exotic locations as Wakefield Jazz (of which more later), Sheffield Jazz, Thwaites Mill here in Leeds,  Marsden Jazz Festival, Crawley Outside In Festival, Blackheath Concert Halls, Pizza Express in Soho, The Vortex in Stoke Newington and most recently the Barbican Centre in London.

I say all this just to emphasise the personal sense of betrayal I feel over the circumstances of tonight's concert. This concert was booked almost a year ago. It wasn't until very recently that I learned that Billy and Alec Sykes of Wakefield Jazz had cooked up a rival concert in 2 days time on Friday at Wakefield Jazz. Sneaky or what?

Contractual obligations have obliged us to go ahead with tonight's concert but a last minute amendment (if adhered to) could work to all our benefits.

Tonight will see Sets 1 and 2 of a four set gig here in Leeds to be continued with sets 3 and 4 at Wakefield on Friday. A penalty clause inserted in the contract obliges "Mr Jenkins (the party in the first part) to repay Leeds Jazz (the party in the second part) £10 for any number played in Leeds also repeated at Wakefield Jazz (the party in the third part)".

However I can only assume that all manner of attempts will be made to avoid the conditions of that part of the contract. We therefore invite everyone in this room to attend all four sets of this gig and act as independent adjudicators in this matter. Please beware particularly of dirty tricks such as segways, endless medleys, alternate versions, songs which abrupty change in the middle, etc.

I trust you will all take this responsibility as seriously as it deserves and give a cautious welcome to Billy Jenkins' Blues Collective"

Dave Hatfield

"Fitting that tonight's performance is my 12th for Leeds Jazz. I feel Leeds and its environs has always been my spiritual performing home from when we first worked here in the mid 1970's with Burlesque.

 Because I care and because I believe that 'jazz' is not now 'what I was bought up to perceive it as', I now play Blues.

 Which seems fitting when one of the Uk's premier jazz promoters has to come cap in hand to the musician to help bolster their diminishing finances.

 And for that (and let me make it quite clear I salute those reading this missive) I blame the so called 'jazz musician'. 

I am only a MUSICIAN. 

Sometimes things I play go 'jazzy'.

 How can you say 'I am a jazz musician'? That means you start  'wonky'. Therefore to 'jazz it up' one can only play 'straight'.

 Yes, Kenny G.

 And have YOU ever been invited to Leeds Jazz!!? Eh!? Eh!?

 The key to 'proper jazz' lies not in the 'study of the genre', but usage of third dimensional assets - the line up of musicians, instruments, room acoustics, the type of audience (average age/sitting?/standing?bar in room?), geographical location, time of day, day of the week, the season and so on. But most importantly - the thrill of partaking in and witnessing aural and visual kineticism.

   Too many so called 'jazzers' are so preoccupied with the disciplines of music making, they don't even realise they are sitting upon a stage. What is a stage FOR? To PERFORM  on, of course.

 I personally find greater tunefulness and excitement in motorsports that any 'jazz concert'. No wonder audiences have been diminishing and no wonder Leeds Jazz need YOUR continued support.

 Therefore, to add a bit of spice, it really does make sense to put my musician's wages on the line (err, I haven't told 'em yet....) and try and keep things fresh. I think it's called 'a bit of a gamble'.

   Finally, just to give you some statistical background, consider the following figures: 

 The are 12 bars in a blues
12 notes in a chromatic scale
3 chords in a twelve bar

But add the 15 passing chords Richard Bolton will probably  throw in
6 tunes per set (give or take)
2 sets a gig
2 gigs
12 x 12 x 3 x15 x 6 x 2 x 2   = 155,520

take that away from the number of flams and paradiddles Mike Pickering usual does per gig which is 
77,757  (yes - he IS a noisy bastard) multiply that by the two gigs = 155, 514
Subtract 155,514 from 155,520 
Which leave us with six tunes.
One for each musician and er, ONE FOR YOU - the audience.


My 12th performance at Leeds Jazz.
Could this be the last bar of the blues......?" 

Billy J. 

 For the record, BJ ended up paying out just £10 (so he says) as he insisted on doing the Charles Brown tune 'A Virus Called The Blues' twice.  The Most Eminent Mr Paul Connor was appointed Judge of Fact, but as Jenkins was overheard after both gigs filling him in on the 'names of numbers I didn't quite catch....' we're not sure whether obligations were upheld. 
Any witnesses?

  He's dodgy, that Jenkins. He played 'Caravan' really fast and midget-like but called it 'Caravanette'.  Then he did 'One Note Samba' with three part counterpoint but called it 'Three Note Samba' . He's a con man and he knows it. No wonder he's got the blues. He ain't got the bottle(neck) when the (micro)chips are down.
Lucky he's got brilliant musicians in his band to cover his dodgyness.
Give Richard Bolton all the guitar solos!

Pete Mullins

Did you know there was a rumour that BJ was in the running for a cabinet seat in the 2001 General Election?
But the proof doesn't seem to be in the pudding at

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