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Bebop Spoken There

Joey Calderazzo: "Playing the standard repertoire is a pretty good barometer of where one is as a jazz musician" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Graeme Wilson Quartet CD launch @ Jazz Café - Oct. 5

Graeme Wilson (tenor/baritone/flute/ bs. clarinet/compositions); Paul Edis (keys/flute); Andy Champion (bass/ bs. guitar, flute); Adam Sinclair (drums).
(Review by Lance/photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).
Graeme's a Scotsman. Even if he hadn't spoken a word, his music would have told you he wasn't born within the sound of Bow Bells or even south of the River Tweed. No, the intro to the opener well and truly marked his card.
Of course, most of us remembered Graeme for the near decade he spent in Newcastle playing at the Side Café, with the VOTNJO, and their offspring band Splinter and we knew that the skirl of the pipes would soon give way to the sheets of sound as purveyed by John, not Robbie, Coltrane.
A prodigious tenor player and an even more prodigious baritone saxophonist. We live in a world of gunslinging, fast on the draw, tenor players but there aren't many Billy the Kids who can shoot from the hip on baritone as fast as Graeme did last night. At one point, he produced a note on baritone that piccolo players could only dream of!
Most of the compositions were from his current CD - Abscondit - as was to be expected and interval trade on the album seemed to be good.
Deservedly so. They were more original than most 'originals' and benefited from well-rehearsed sections to moments of freedom where mayhem was released without injury.
Flute and bass clarinet was also part of his armoury and they were both used to great effect. On one number, After School, both Edis and Champion played flute alongside the leader - we were impressed. 
However, the times when these two really impressed were when they returned to the day job - in Paul's case by playing some dexterous keyboard capers and a simulated Hammond blast on Why Are You Staring at Me? which Graeme wrote around the time of the Scottish referendum. Meanwhile, Andy, a master of the double bass, proved he was equally adept on bass guitar (he switched between the two) and it was on this latter instrument that he brought the house down.
On drums, Sinclair drove like the devil. His outwardly calm demeanour in complete contrast to the rhythms and polyrhythms that were stirring the pot with each ambidextrous movement of foot and finger. At one point he produced marimba-like sounds from a piece of Roland wizardry that proved very effective.
The CD's now available. If you were at the gig you probably bought one. If you didn't get to the gig then put it on your jazz bucket list.
Photos.
Lance.
PS: As time and train wait for no one I had to leave before the end and I have the feeling I may have missed an extra special finale!

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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