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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spelk at The Side Café Feb 9.

The North East Jazz Collective offered Newcastle jazz fans their first opportunity to hear Spelk, the recently formed trio of Chris Sharkey (guitar), Andy Champion (electric bass) and Adrian Tilbrook (drums). Where shall I begin ? With a question. When is the CD coming out ?
Andy Champion's amp, pedalboard and Rickenbacker bass promised a burn-up and that's exactly what we got - a high octane performance from start to finish.
''Rickenbacker'' Champion laid-down a killer bass line and just when you thought you were in your comfort zone he would shift it to another groove. Adrian Tilbrook responded with ease and in turn took-off in other directions. Chris Sharkey, a hooded, Grim Reaper figure, was steadfast. A left-hander, he developed rich textures both with and without a plectrum.
Blistering fretwork was matched by Tilbrook's lightning reactions and immense power, at times recalling the power-house style of Dennis Chambers. Indeed such was the effort of Mr.T. that at times he writhed-up out of his drum chair straining every sinew, so much so that at one point the kit wasn't enough and the edge of the fire place came in for some treatment (move over Hans Bennink). Newcastle jazz fans will be familiar with regular vistors from New York band The Hub. The bass and drums team of Tim Dahl and Sean Noonan would have been run out of town by Champion and Tilbrook. The north east trio alluded to and evoked (to these ears at least) the sounds of Zorn, Pastorius, Scofield, Jack Bruce, late-period Miles (Marcus Miller, Darryl Jones), Bill Frisell and a myriad of others. Guitar players should check-out Sharkey. Those who know Champion and Tilbrook should check-out this trio. Mr.C. & Mr.T. are imperious in their playing of standards, that we know;hear them play this material and be amazed.
Russell.

7 comments :

Lance said...

You only missed out one thing in an otherwise excellent report, Russell.
You failed to mention the finery the three Emperors were wearing!

Anonymous said...

Yes another excellent gig at The Side. What variety we get there!
It's already become something of an institution - all credit to Paul Edis for his unselfish hard work in the cause of these sessions. Chris Sharkey is a unique player - I've never heard anyone play quite like this. Fragmented angular phrasing, powerhouse riffs, delicate ambiguous chord voicings and sound pads, weird arpeggios and lots more. In an age when it seems like it's all been done and very difficult to be substantially different he has somehow managed to achieve just that. In similar style to Boeren's Quartet last Friday each trio member listens, reacts, initiates - that's the name of the game these days. All credit.
Roly

Anonymous said...

Chris , Andy and Adrian would like to thank Russell for his very flattering comments regarding Monday nights gig at the side. We would also like to mention to Lance that next time out the trio will be wearing their new band uniforms modelled on the ones used at the Oxford Galleries in the 60's & 70’s (yes I do remember them!). Anyway we still love you.

SPELK (Chris, Andy, Adrian)

cptfinch said...

I quite agree with the above. I particularly enjoyed the high tempo grooves - at one point i thought I was at a high-octane drum n bass night! great interplay

Hil said...

"You failed to mention the finery the three Emperors were wearing!"

This comment is lost on me Lance. Can you please explain what your on about?

Confused of Cullercoats.

Anonymous said...

Just me being too clever Hil(if only!) An oblique reference to Hans Christian Anderson's story - "The Emperor's New Clothes".
In retrospect, I think I enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lance

Just to let Hil know,I got the reference and chose to ignore it!

Russell

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