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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Geoff Simkins & Dave Cliff @ Blaydon Jazz Club.

Geoff Simkins (alt), Dave Cliff (gtr), Neil Harland (bs), David Carnegie (dms).
When I woke up this morning, as one (hopefully) does, I had no idea I was going to write a poem about a doorman in a jazz club. But I did - see a previous post. When I arrived at Blaydon tonight I had no idea I was to be the doorman in a jazz club that night but I was!
Isn't life just one big coincidence?
However, what isn't a coincidence is that there was some excellent music played in the club tonight - I've come to expect it and have yet to be let down.
Brighton based Geoff Simkins is that rare bird - an alto player who has managed to almost totally evade the Charlie Parker Syndrome. I say almost as there were occasional birdlike flourishes and the unison theme statement between guitar and alto on "Hot House" was pure 52nd St. but, on the whole, he played more in an Art Pepper/Lee Konitz vein which was quite delightful - Roly thought him the most lyrical player to have played Blaydon and, after hearing his solo and final cadenza on "Darn That Dream," he could be right.
Dave Cliff is a nice easy player. Sensitive and laid back his long linear solos at times harked back to Billy Bauer and Lennie Tristrano.
A piece by tenor saxist Ted Brown, "Smog Eyes", did indeed show a strong Tristrano influence and the guitar/alto interplay could have come straight out of one of Lennie's Capital sessions with Konitz and Bauer.
It was a good mix of standards "How Deep is the Ocean", "Body and Soul", "Au Privave", "Gone With The Wind" - "Its You or No One" a real gem.
David Carnegie and Neil Harland were, as ever, the perfect bass and drums with Neil outstanding on a waltz that was new to me - "Some Time Ago". Not many bass players can swing in waltztime but Neil did.
This is about as modern as it gets at Blaydon. Photos from Eddie Jessop. Lance.

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