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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Jazz Action @ The Stockton Weekender, August 7 - Part two.

The centre piece of the day presented four of the region's very best singers. Ruth Lambert, well known to regular readers of Bebop Spoken Here, gave a polished performance supported by a hard-working rhythm section comprising Stuart Collingwood (keyboards), the indefatigable Andy Champion (double bass) and drummer David Francis together with the supreme tenor saxophonist, Graeme Wilson.
Bonnie Raitt's Love Me Like a Man proved to be perfect material for Lambert. Suzanne Vega's Caramel was given a lazy, bossa treatment and the GAS Book wasn't forgotten with a classy version of No Moon at All.
The rhythm section's services were retained as Lindsay Hannon stepped up to sing a wide-ranging programme. Stompin' at the Savoy was bold, sung with verve, Tom Waits was in the pad and I Can't Escape From You was a highlight.
Claire Kelly is a real find. The Tyneside based singer has emerged as a serious voice and backed by the same top class house band she delivered an interesting set list. Rhode Island Is Famous For You and John Dankworth's Let's Slip Away were but two numbers to impress. West Coast Blues, a number recorded by Lambert and Zoe Gilby, no less, stood comparison and that was no mean feat. Perhaps the highlight of Kelly's set was Mad About the Boy. Stuart Collingwood offered excellent support on this one. Hey, Dinah, watch out!
The singers' session concluded with an appearance by the wonderful Zoe Gilby. If anyone could follow Ms. Lambert, Ms.Hannon and Ms. Kelly it had to be Gilby and she didn't disappoint. Waters of March, Jobim's lyrics tongue-twister, was word perfect with perfect diction. The Gilby-Champion duet has become a firm favourite and a Kate Bush number and Monk's classic Well You Needn't were a great success. Gilby, with Graeme Wilson on tenor, went out with Dave Brubeck's Travelin' Blues. Great stuff.
Great set.
Russell.
To be continued...

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