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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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Star is Born - Harley Johnson and Take It To The Bridge @ the Chilli

Harley Johnson (pno), Jim Crinson (bs), Eric Stutt (dms), Paul Gowland (ten), Dave Weisser (tpt/vcl). + Barry Ashcroft (pno), Nicola Weaver (alt), Solly Bashiri (dms).
It was billed as the Harley Johnson Trio but in fact it was a quintet and a very good one too!
Hearing Harley, not quite 18, going through the Monk 'songbook' brought to mind the youthful emergence of the late Peter Jacobson back in the 1960s. Both appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and both combined technique with a disregard for convention. I'm not saying that Harley has reached the Jacobson milestone yet but I feel he is getting closer and closer with each chorus.
Whether he's doing the right thing in being so Monk centred remains to be seen - what is certain is that nobody does it better - at least not in Heaton, Eton or Nuneaton on a Wednesday night.
Eric Stutt and Harley seem to have developed a rapport that makes for some scintillating counterpoint between piano and drums whilst Jim Crinson on bass was the perfect harmonic anchor.
After an exploratory solo version of "Monk's Mood" the band kicked in on "I Mean You", "Evidence", "Ask Me Now", "In Walked Bud", "Blue Monk" & "Well You Needn't".
Out front, Paul Gowland played breathtaking solos hurdling over the changes with ease - he really is an amazing player and not averse to extending the range of the tenor with some extraordinary harmonics.
By contrast, Dave's muted horn stayed within the bounds of convention, his gentle flow of expression blending nicely with the aura of 52nd Street that engulfed the bandstand -- he blew good. "Ask Me Now" wavered at times - it really is a bitch of a tune to play - but Dave's vocal came through okay.
Earlier, Dave had vocalised effectively on "I'll Never Be The Same".
The final jam saw Solly on drums and Nicola - two posts in a row - on alto joining Paul and Dave for "All The Things" and "Stella".
Quite a night - I can't wait for Harley's 19th birthday bash!
Lance.
Next week: Scotty Adair & Steve Whitfield + mystery vocalist(s).

1 comment :

shepherdlass said...

What a great night for all; Harley's amazing. - Had a chat with Russell and showed him pix of the jazz vinyl I'll soon have up for sale on E-bay. He said he knew of an alternative site for album sales, and I asked him to write it down. By the end of the night in all the excitement I forgot to get the e-mail address from him, and I wonder if he'll read this and add a comment with the info I need. from Dave The Rave

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