23 June 2015: Today we received the very sad news that our dear friend, Gertrude Goode – wife of my mentor and legendary bassist, Coleridge Goode – passed away. Cancer, and an impressive long innings, eventually took her away.
Gertrude was a beautiful woman – elegant, refined, and in possession of a keen intellect. She was a wonderful wife and mother, and the perfect party host. Bright as a button, age and illness never seemed to dull her great sense of humour.
Gertrude was always about fairness and honesty, and had some insights into music and musicians that only comes with age, experience, knowledge and genuine interest in jazz people. She was a great supporter of Tomorrow’s Warriors, attending concerts with Coleridge whenever possible, and was always eager to hear about the young musicians coming through our programme, especially those who had performed at her delightful get-togethers at the Goode house. It was at these get-togethers that she would introduce me to several elders from the jazz community, giving me the chance to receive so much first hand information about jazz in Britain. Such occasions gave the ‘Lords Of The Lower Frequencies’ (Coleridge, Peter Ind, Dave Green and myself) an opportunity to meet and gave me the chance to play Coleridge’s fabulous bass. In fact, it was at one of Gertrude’s soirées that we ‘Lords’ hatched the plan for our debut concert in the 2013 London Jazz Festival.
One can only imagine the deep sadness Coleridge and their children, Sandy and Jim must feel at this time. We send our love and condolences to the family and to all friends of the family. Even though we all knew of course that age and illness would eventually get the better of her (though few things did in reality!), the news of her passing is still shocking and upsetting for all who knew and loved her. But what a fine innings she had, huh! I’m so glad for that.
Janine and I, and all of the young Warriors who had the pleasure and privilege of meeting, being around, talking and having fun with Gertrude, will miss this very Sophisticated Lady very much indeed. For those who didn’t, have a listen to the snippet below of Gertrude speaking about her first years in London and her marriage to Coleridge to get a sense of her warm and wonderful personality (see below).
Rest in beautiful peace, Miss Gertrude.
(Photos of Gertrude Goode © 2014 Janine Irons; photo of Coleridge and Gertrude Goode courtesy of Metal Dog Media).