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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.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Zoe Gilby Trio@ The Black Horse, Monkseaton, Saturday 6th Nov

Zoe Gilby, vocals ; Mark Williams, guitar ; Andy Champion, double bass. This gig was the first in an experiment to swell the numbers in the Lounge of this great old pub, and swell them it did in more ways than one, as a lively rent-a-crowd of fans, friends, and family of the Zoe Gilby Trio, along with plenty of enthusiastic locals, responded gleefully to this tastiest of desserts to follow the main course of Zoe's quintet's recent Looking Glass album tour - sweet music indeed!
From the start you could sense this was real fine dining as Zoe opened with Comes Love - the counterpoint between Mark's guitar and Andy's bass so tastily empathetic I was tempted to turn to camera and make the 'peace' sign - "Nice!"
After the effervescent up-tempo medley of I'm Beginning to See the Light/When Lights are Low, we all snuggled down with our milk and cuddly Penguin biscuits as Andy's lovely song for his daughter Ellie, Eleanor, entranced us before its gently flickering flames: "...You're here with me, I can hear your heart beat..." - touching without being overly sentimental.
Zoe's scat singing was right on the ball tonight as, in the Rhumba rhythm of Ellington's Do Nothing til You Hear from Me, her voice dropped right down the register to be more on the bass ball, teasingly countering with Andy - naturally he got lower - sheer delight! If this were a high wire act there'd have been no need for a safety net - each pass, each catch timed to perfection as the three soared and spun through the Big Top of the Black Horse Lounge.
The whole performance was both tight and tirelessly entertaining as band banter spiralled during the song breaks, egged on by Zoe's wonderfully connecting introductions. So is 'tour' pronounced 'Tor' or 'Toowa' - the choice is yours! But one thing's for 'shoowa': the effect of the band's recent 'On the Road' experiences has been to hone them into a very close-knit whole. Not only by way of their spending more time in each other's company, but also by having to perform before a new audience each night; that sense of group reliance and friendship which can bind us all closer together.
Finally, still chewing on that culinary metaphor: I'd like to sum up this performance in the words of Greg Wallace during the recent final of Masterchef, "Mate, I could quite 'appily 'ave cleared the 'ole plate!"
Photos. George M

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