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Bebop Spoken There

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It’s A Cracker! Jo Harrop and Paul Edis Trio at the Cherry Tree – 13/12/2010

Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (bass) and John Hirst (drums). Q: What do you get if you cross a stereo with a refrigerator? A: Cool music. That was the gag in my cracker at the start of the evening, and the answer part of it was prophetic! Two sets of cool music – standards and seasonal standards, beautifully played and sung and, as ever, excellent and inventive food. The boys kicked off with Santa Claus is Coming to Town then Christmas was put on hold until nearer the end of the first set as Jo opened with a smoky, bluesy Mood Indigo.
An up-tempo Anything Goes contrasted mood and style just as the piquant home-made piccalilli set off the treacle-cured salmon starter. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (with the first of several bass solos from Mick) was followed by The Way You Look Tonight. Jo then, metaphorically, got her teeth into Billie Holliday’s God Bless the Child while I literally did the same with luscious flakes of cod, salty, chewy chorizo, razor-clam and haricots. If razor-clam was the answer in a cracker, the question would have been: What do you get if you cross a scallop with a squid? A wonderful union of taste and texture. And what a song – wonderfully textured too - my favourite of the evening!
Next up was You Took Advantage of Me followed by Santa Baby. This last was a request and had Jo protesting that she might not remember all the words, but she did, and it was great! Jingle Bells managed to sneak into Paul’s solo, too – Christmas was busking out all over! Merry Christmas, appropriately closed the set. Christmas was still present in the no-man’s-land between sets in the shape of chestnuts – not roasting on an open fire, but perched atop Chocolate & Alnwick rum cake. Marvellous! Set two steamed off with Night Train followed by My Favourite Things. I Can’t Give You Anything but Love came up only one song before You Don’t Know What Love Is, which, taken together, sounds like a divorce in the making! Too Close for Comfort was sandwiched between them.
A high-risk choice, after our Arctic turn, was Let it Snow….but the audience loved it: replete with fine food and with plenty of Black Sheep behind the bar, I think they’d have welcomed a lock-in! Rudolph sashayed into the piano solo this time – a case of "don’t bring Rudolph – he’ll come by himself"? At Last (Etta James?) was my second favourite of the night – so beautiful. Then we were whisked away to April in Paris and urged to C’mon Get Happy, but instead of Judgment Day we got "happy golden days" as Jo finished with Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. A nice balance of seasonal fare and spicier stuff – a bit like the food! A special mention for John Hirst, depping at short notice, who had few chances to showcase his skills but brushed his way through the evening helping Mick and Paul provide the platform for this talented singer.
Photos. Jerry.

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