(Review by Russell/photo from BSH archives)
Summer holidays made no difference, the audience turned up as usual for the monthly Lit & Phil lunchtime jazz concert. Solo piano today, Paul Edis the performer. Nine selections of which four were composed by Edis. Indeed the first two tunes were Edis’. Pulse then a Murmuration (ask an ornithologist). First class piano playing and our pianist rightly made reference to the Lit & Phil’s fine Kawai piano.
Throughout jazz history popular song has been a vehicle for improvisers to do their thing. When You’re Smiling is one such song and Edis played with it to great effect. Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me received a respectful reading, preceded by Just Like Me, one of Edis’ compositions (the eponymous track of the pianist’s double solo piano CD).
Mercy Mercy Mercy had Joe Zawinul dancing in the Jazz Club in the Sky. Come to think of it, the Austrian’s Weather Report band mate Jaco Pastorious would have been digging it up there with Joe. A percussive, hammers-dampened intro evolved into a joyous hymn, expansive, a highlight of the set. Edis’ Vignette is an earworm. It’s…Welles’ Rosebud or, perhaps, it’s the soundtrack to the pastoral French New Wave, it’s…
More Gershwin – It Ain’t Necessarily So – and, to end the hour long set, Young at Heart (Johnny Richards/Carolyn Leigh) from the film of the same name, starring Frank Sinatra and Doris Day (directed by Gordon Douglas, 1955). The Lit & Phil’s audience showed its appreciation having thoroughly enjoyed this final concert of the season. An autumn series begins on the last day of September, Friday 30 with a concert by the James Harrison Trio.