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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, February 06, 2012

Anth Purdy @ The King’s Arms, Seaton Sluice. Sunday 5th February

Anth Purdy (gtr).
Arriving at a freezing, wind-swept Seaton Sluice – to the north Blyth’s off-shore wind turbines winking and waving through the gloom, the reassuring pristine-white St Mary’s lighthouse to the south – the King’s Arms was a welcoming sight from the main road. Would there be room at the inn? Just about – snug was the word. The beer ranged from session beer Deuchar’s IPA (3.9%) to the formidable Old Peculier (5.6). I opted for a pint of the formidable. 
A beautiful f-hole Gibson in repose, an as yet unoccupied stool, things were set fair. 
Guitarist Anthony Purdy cut a figure; youthful, chiseled looks, sharp suit, braces ‘n’ all. The publicity poster for the gig – ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ – extolled the genius of Charlie Christian and Les Paul. Perhaps we’d hear reference to Barney Kessel or our own James Birkett? Purdy, a personable character, name-checked a raft of jazz ‘n’ blues guitar greats - Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, T-Bone Walker, Les Paul and Hank Marvin. ‘Hank Marvin!’ I hear you say. Why not? This was a guitar gig by a rockabilly player digging into the history of the music. He assumed – rightly – that the audience wasn’t a bona fide jazz crowd and mixed it up to good effect. 
Almost all of the tunes were Purdy’s, drawing heavily on the styles of his guitar heroes. Furthermore, Purdy worked with his own rhythm guitar backing tracks throughout. ‘Backing tracks!’ I can hear the hoots of derision from here. Don’t knock it, I say. Each of the tunes was brief and to the point. Purdy thought this rather apt as the guitar masters of the 30’s and 40’s were restricted to little more than two minutes due to the limitations of the phonographic recording process of the era. 
Stompin’ at the Savoy opened the set followed by any number of albeit highly derivative original compositions – Swiss Miss, Jazzin’ with the 125, Paris 1939, Dustbowl and others. Another pint of the formidable in hand and a second set of more of the same went down well. The 6 O’clock Jive, Mockingbird Swing, Jitterbug Stomp and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Purdy presented an entertaining set of tunes, lovingly played with a distinct jump-jive feel and this made for a welcome change to the usual take on the period guitar styles. 
The King’s Arms’ publican is supportive of Purdy’s efforts and there is another chance to hear him on Sunday 4th March (check out Bebop Spoken Here nearer the time). Meanwhile visit Anthony Purdy’s Myspace page – www.myspace.com/swingjazzguitar.uk
Russell      

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