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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Blaydon Delicacy - Roly Veitch/Jim Birkett Duo w. Mick Shoulder

Jim Birkett (gtr), Roly Veitch (gtr/vcl), Mick Shoulder (bs).
The intimate atmosphere of the club lounge is tailor made for Jim, Roly and Mick's gentle brand of jazz. Add a few friends and acquaintances that I hadn't seen for many years (Hi Brenda, Hi Derek C) plus jazz regulars George, Jim, Cathy and John and you have the recipe for a very enjoyable, well attended, evening with some gourmet guitar jazz the icing on the cake.
This was another feast of quality songbook material although Roly's vocal chords were only used sparingly, but effectively, tonight. When he did sing, I was pleased to hear the verse to such gems as "A Hundred Years From Today", "Honeysuckle Rose", "Take me to the Land of Jazz" and Ray Noble's "The Touch of Your Lips" all chanted in his cool relaxed style.
However, this was predominantly a guitar night with both Jim and Roly playing some great stuff.
The fugue-like interplay on the opening "I'll Remember April" set the mood. This was no cutting contest but two sympathetic players making good music together. Jim's choice of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square" served to remind us, as if we needed reminding, what a marvelous song it is. I love the way the middle eight bursts from the preceding sixteen bars adding a touch of majesty to what, until then, is just a very nice tune. "Meditation" - the vamp-like chord progression at the end has always made that tune special to me.
So many moments to savour - not least the contrasting timbre of the two guitars. Jim, the electric guitar sound associated with everyone from Charlie Christian onwards. Roly, more in the electro/accoustic vein of say George Barnes.
And who would have thought I'd hear "In Your Own Sweet Way" two nights running?
As well as the six-stringers, on four strings, double bassist Mick Shoulder played as good as I can recall hearing him - his solo on "Yesterdays" impressing both audience and band as the photo indicates. His inclusion, I think, gave tonight's session the edge on last month's gig.
Incidentally, tonight was a hasty replacement for the Bill Harper/Anne De Vere gig advertised. Bill and Anne hope to make Blaydon in September.
Lance.

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