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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mark Williams Trio w. Gary Turner @ The Cherry Tree

Gary Turner (ten), Mark Williams (gtr), Paul Susans(bs), Mark Robertson (dms)
I must confess I had my reservations. Gary Turner, I knew, was/is a brilliant tenor player - albeit with a leaning towards the outré. With contemporary jazz/rock band Extreme Measures Gary threatens to extend the already fragile boundaries of convention on to a world as yet undiscovered.
In full flight he is excitement personified. Great stuff for a downtown jazz bar but in classy Jesmond? I had visions of the diners choking on their Pan Fried Coley with Stewed Peppers and Olive Oil Mash.
However, my fears were groundless - Gary had been well primed and the angry young man was replaced by a man of taste as mature as the Roquefort Cheese that accompanied my Endive and Apricot Salad starter.
The set began with Mark exploring the vital ingredients of Blame it on my Youth.
I just love that tune.
Gary augmented the trio at this point and, from the opening bars of All The Things You Are, my fears vanished. This was the lyricism of Stan Getz, the dry tone of Warne Marsh, the promised breath of springtime ... an undulating ride through the changes.
Mark kept the momentum going with some of those incredible runs and phrases he never fails to deliver before Gary returned to take it round the block once more.
This was the general pattern for the evening. You Don't Know What Love Is, a Bossa Nova version of Night and Day that worked and a fine Bavette Steak done medium rare and served with Frites and Peppercorn Butter.
The second set kicked off with Someday My Prince Will Come. The gloves came off a little at this point and I could sense the caged tiger longing to escape but although it made a few menacing gestures in the upper register it remained under lock and key.
Nevertheless, restraint or not, it was a good set with both Mark and Gary going for it and catching it.
On bass, Paul kept it steady adding a chorus or two here and there whilst drumbo Mark ensured the wheels kept a-turning.
For the record, Night in Tunisia, Misty and Billie's Bounce completed the music and Plum Fool (Roasted plums and Kirsch) provided my culinary climax.
Nice to meet vocalist Brenda Sokell enjoying the meal and the music. Strange that more musos don't turn out it's an unbeatable combination that should be experienced by all.
Lance.

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