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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Triptych @ The Fox, Hexham – Sept. 11

Paul Susans ( bass); Rob Walker (drums); Paul Edis (piano/clarinet). (Review/photos by Jerry E)

On the one hand, you never know what to expect form Triptych: self-proclaimed “genre-busters”, you may be cosy with Bacharach and David one minute (arranged for jazz, of course) and on the 12th Moon of Venus the next. On the other hand, you know exactly what to expect from Triptych: three top musicians, each capable of scintillating solos and composers in their own right, who visibly enjoy gigging live together and will always deliver a show where you may not know where it is going, but you know it will be great!

Before I go into more detail, a few words about the venue. I had never been to The Fox for a jazz gig before and, on entering, wondered how it could work. It’s basically open-plan, with a pool-table round the corner and, on the night, an England match on the TV. Seemed like a lot of competition for live jazz! In the event, the TV’s were switched off, the pool-players left and all was well. The pub has friendly staff, a nice atmosphere, 3 ales on in the front bar and (my missus loved this) fresh flowers in the bar and in the ladies loo (she informed me)! Comfortable!
After Mike (the organiser) introduced the band we were into Montage – an Edis original which I am familiar with from his second solo piano CD. A beautiful piece either way but, to be honest, I prefer the clean sound of solo piano. The same applies to tunes like Vignette which I first heard as a solo piece and later by the sextet. Perhaps I’m a piano man at heart?

Moonlight in Vermont followed, with Edis on clarinet and then, “back-to-back,” Paul Susans’ original, 12th Moon of Venus. Apparently there is no 12th moon, so I’m not sure what is going on there! The tune shone, anyway!

We then had the 73 Suite which featured at the Gosforth Civic Theatre gig in May. The set-list then was broadly the same as here, but (you never know what to expect) every number still took me by surprise! Here, returning to my comments about solo piano pieces, I really enjoyed hearing Cerebral in the mix with what I think of as the melody being played on bass guitar! The “suite” concept made for even more variety of pace, volume and style – down to solo piano at one point then moving through growly, distorted bass (lots going on with Paul Susans’ multi-pedal board here, and elsewhere on the evening) to (my notes) “rock mode, very loud, big build-up, crescendo, STOP!” The snappiest of snap endings to a great first set.

The second set began with Fragmented Suite (as played at GIJF 2018) consisting of three originals: Murmuration (Edis), Dr. Gonzo (Susans) and Dark Ages (Walker). “Original” often indicates a piece of music composed by someone who is not famous yet. I prefer the following definition for these guys: not dependent on other people's ideas; inventive or novel.

Individually, none of the above pieces can be assigned to a genre and labelled; collectively they amaze, delight and (possibly) disturb! Dark Ages is (for me again) the stand-out piece of the evening: unbelievably dark and atmospheric with Walker’s percussion (sadly no udu drum this time!), Edis’ clarinet and Susans’ bowed bass (with a loop and possibly other effects from the magic pedal-board) building up an incantatory magic which haunts long after the event.

How to follow that? With, “back-to-back,” The Wall (or was that The Waal?) and Mr Blister – that’s how. The former, at Gosforth, was badged A69, or some such, and is a driving, melodic (at times, dare I say, quite poppy) number from Susans. The latter is raucous, loud, infectiously funky and encapsulates an almost classical piano solo midway (you never know what to expect!).

The encore – a perfect antidote to Dark Ages – was another original, the optimistic belter entitled Half Full, where Edis, and the audience, really had a ball.

For Triptych, and for The Fox, keep your eyes on Bebop listings then “view halloo and tally-ho!” Both are worth hunting down.

Jerry.

1 comment :

Steve T said...

Seen this band a couple of times and, despite being a self-confessed piano trio philistine, I've always enjoyed them, but never this much.
Great to have bands that don't just think in terms of verse/chorus/solo or head, solo, solo, solo, solo, head. It's jazz reader, but not as we know it: prog-rock (albeit the jazz end), jazz-rock, jazz-funk, Susans getting lots of Bootsy style noise from his bass, and Lord Paul reminding me, for the first time, of Crusader Joe Smple and even maybe Ramsey Lewis, his clarinet - an instrument I never cared for before I heard Django and Edis - bringing relief, texture and variety.
Totally agree with Paul in his praise of the venue and the organiser for putting this on every month.

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