Venues for jazz music come and go, generally because the owner of the venue gets tired of scrambling for enough audience to make money, or the old owner moves on and the new owner would rather build a block of flats on the site. The Fox Inn, at Ballymadun just outside Ashbourne, County Meath was one such venue, and I am put in minded to recount this particular Unreliable Memory by the death, in New York on November 22, of the singer and lyric writer extraordinaire, Jon Hendricks, at the fine old age of 96.
Jon had two week-long residencies at The Fox Inn in the late 1960’s, at a time when he was living, for about 5 years, in Britain. He was a veritable fount of jazz wisdom, extremely funny on and off stage, and he exuded an enthusiasm for life that was very infectious. That’s another way of saying that The Fox Inn was riotous when Jon was in town. Read on for a while and I will get around to further eulogising Mr Hendricks but first…..