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Bebop Spoken There

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11,755 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 895 of them this year alone and, so far, 32 this month (August 9).

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August

Monday 10: Happy Birthday Paul Edis.

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Simon Spillett Quartet @ Kings Head Crouch End.

Strolling leisurely by Kings Cross station, an unusual act in itself - strolling by Kings Cross - who should I bump into but Eugene, husband of Debra - the Budvivar Thrush. Nothing to do with Simon Spillett but I just thought it would add some colour. Eugene reminded me that I once sold him a viola so his secret is out.
Now to the gig itself selected in preference to Freddy Cole at Ronnie's and Tomorrow's Warriors at Peter Parker's new jazz venue on Denmark St.
Simon Spillett (ten/sop), John Critchinson (pno), Andy Cleyndert (bs), Martin Drew (dms).
The King's Head in Crouch End is reminiscent of my vision of a Parisien Jazz Cave. Low ceilinged, dimly lit and populated with a select coterie of fans.
Simon Spillett is surely the fastest tenor in town - any town - as he proved whizzing through the changes of In The Still of the Night, By Myself, Oleo and Lament. This is tenor playing that almost defies belief and yet, there were times when I wanted to cry 'slow down!' Not very often I hasten to add.
The second set saw more blistering blowing on What Is This Thing Called Love? but on Gentle Rain - a feature for Andy Cleyndert - Simon discarded the demi-semi-quavers for some meaningful, soulful playing as gentle as the rain being portrayed.
More heroics On Green Dolphin Street and a soprano blast on Clark Terry's The Simple Waltz before the final charge to the line on Coltrane's Some Other Blues.
Whew!
Of course it wasn't all saxophone - John Critchinson once again proved himself on a par with any of his contemporaries as did Martin and Andy. A quartet of this calibre should have been turning them away at the door.
Magnificent.
Lance.
PS: To continue on the small world theme, the MC at the King's Head is Tynemouth tenor player Martin Simon's brother-in-law! His sister chatted about the late bass player Malcolm Moyer.

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