Friday, April 22, 2011

Zane in Malmesbury Abbey Gardens 2004

The day that Zane Died, I had a wonderful email from saxophonist Simon Spillett. I wanted to share what he wrote about Zane with the world via my blog, but I only got his permission to do so yesterday.

So, here it is, in full. I dont need to add anything else. I think it a very fitting tribute.

Dear Geoff,

Clive just phoned me to let me know the sad news. Please extend my sincere condolences to Margaret and all of Zane's family.

He was a remarkable man; talented, hugely intelligent and extremely funny. I have many fond memories of him, both musically and off-the-stand and I always enjoyed his company, perhaps never more so than when we shared a radio spot on Cookham Summer FM.

Whenever we'd talk there would be lots of laughter and I loved his readiness to try material that was sometimes daunting. We used to like playing Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life, as anyone will tell you, a tune with a sophisticated structure full of hidden doors. Sunday night in a half-deserted Fifield perhaps wasn't the right place for such an exhibition of musical erudition, but we did it anyway!

I also tremendously admired Zane's refusal to recognise generic pigeon-holes and his trio spots at Hedsor were enriched by this, whether playing songs by The Beatles, Billy Joel, Wayne Shorter or one of his impressionistic classical borrowings.

Above all, Zane was a fine musician, with one of the most harmonically agile minds I've ever encountered and his lengthy CV attests to his all-encompassing musical ability. I am deeply sorry at his passing but I am equally certain that Zane acheived what all musicians want to acheive; to bring some beauty into an otherwise perplexing world. For that, he will be fondly remembered.


I am so glad to have been able to call Zane my friend.

Geoff C

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