You often come across someone who gives a band-leader a 'request' and then walks away, gets into a conversation and doesn't bother to listen when the band plays the tune.
I'm also surprised that some people who claim to be 'jazzers' or 'jazz buffs' are unable to recognise even the most common tunes from the traditional jazz repertoire.
But I noticed that very few people in the restaurant - even among our own party - were paying attention to the music. There came a point when Clive launched into West End Blues and gave us the full Armstrong version - effortlessly (it seemed) playing that amazing opening cadenza and then even playing beautifully all the high-note stuff in the later choruses. It is no exaggeration to say it was sensationally good. Yet, at the end, nobody took any notice. I was the only person in the entire restaurant who applauded.
It is a measure of how much the incident disappointed me that I still remember it so well.
Henry - a banjo and keyboard player in Princeton, New Jersey, has emailed me to say his band (The Hot Taters) does its best to hold the audience's attention by marching in at the start (and out at the end) and by wearing flamboyant capes, masks and hats. He says the audience responds to this and the musicians consequently play better; and everybody enjoys themselves more: