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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jazz Action @ The Stockton Weekender. August 7. Part three.

A day of highlights, the following, oh so contrasting set, was, as Ornette Coleman once said, Something Else!!!!
A very rare outing for Spelk is an occasion, an experience and not for the faint-hearted. Messrs. Sharkey, Champion and Tilbrook took to the stage and without discussion, without a safety net and with only a fire extinguisher at hand, let fly. Wow! So powerful, so loud, so intense. Chris Sharkey, an extraordinary guitar player, Andy Champion (the hardest working bloke in Stockton) and drummer Adian Tilbrook tore the place apart. There is nothing left to say except, if they ever get together again, to quote John Zorn...Check 'Em Out!
Two trios followed. Mark Williams with Richard Brown (drums) and yes, you've guessed it, Andy Champion on electric bass. Williams, himself a first rate player, provided the perfect antidote to Spelk. Dazzling fret work, tune after tune including Cow Pat (an homage to Metheny) and Minor Detail were major highlights.
Legohead (great name) is a vehicle for guitarist Lloyd Wright to dazzle (dazzling guitarists were everywhere) in the company of the versatile David Francis (drums) and Jon Proud (five string electric bass). Clocks (perhaps owing a debt to St.Thomas), Avon, Standby and others have become readily identifiable tunes; excellent construction and great hooks. The band will soon record a CD. Upon its release buy it.
The closing set, by now a tradition, featured the one and only Funk Regulators. This year it was a scaled down version - a septet - from the orchestra-like numbers of previous years. Fear not, this remains one funkin' good band. Driven along by Richard Brown's impressive drumming and fronted by brother Steven on guitar and vocals this was Soul with a Capital S.
The Stockton Weekender was an unqualified success. Thanks go to Noel Dennis, Adrian Tilbrook (Jazz Action), Tees Music Alliance and many others for making it all happen.
Russell.
THE END
(Or at least until next year).

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