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12,127 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1267 of them this year alone and, so far, 109 this month (Nov. 25).

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY - PETER MORGAN & KATE O'NEILL

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mike Gilby - they did you proud! - Corner House, Newcastle.

Where do I begin? Tonight was a mixture of music - great music - and memories. What memories! Never have I been face to face with so many from what now seems another world. Scott Adair, Ray Chester, Bill Nicholson (ah those sessions down at Feather's!), Tommy Weatherley, Germaine Stanger (those times in San Sebastian) and a host of other faces I knew but couldn't put a name to.
All present to pay tribute to Mike Gilby.
Mike's daughter Zoe kicked off the proceedings with, appropriately enough, My Heart Belongs To Daddy. I may have heard her sing it better but I sure can't remember when! West Coast Blues, One Note Samba and One For My Baby were interspersed with lots of anecdotal stories about her dad who was Zoe's big inspiration.
Alongside her, Andy Champion and Mark Williams laid down bass and guitar lines that were the neo-perfect accompaniment whilst on the last number, the quirky, slightly risqué Dave Frishberg's Let's Forget About Living, Scott Adair joined on drums to make the ensemble complete.
Scott stayed on stage for the reincarnation of Mike's Jazz Spirit.
With him were Graham Hardy on trumpet and flugel, Graeme Wilson on tenor, Stu Collingwood on keys and Andy Champion on bass.
It was a solid set that Mike would have loved. Killer Joe, Filthy McNasty (Stu took the gold on this one), Nica's Dream (love this tune and the changing moods) Graham blew some emotive flugel.. Sister Sadie and Big P finished the set Scott having a drum explosion on the latter - the boy's still got it!.
Needless to say that Scott, a long time buddy of Mike's had plenty Mike stories to tell (there were also a few that didn't reach the mic.!)
The Customs House Big Band finished the show with the polished performance we have come to expect of them and, good as they sound at the Customs House, in a small room like this they are awesome!
I haven't got space to list names, tunes, solos, but, take it from me they were on fire!
Full marks going to the Gilby family and to Jazz North East for putting together a night to remember.
Lance.
PS: I wasn't in a position to take photos without being obtrusive but Mandy Lowther sent me the one above  of Customs House trombonist Mike Fletcher next to a portrait of Mike Gilby which seemed particularly suitable.
For more big band photos from the concert go to the band's website.

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