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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bill Harper Trio @ The Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.

Bill Harper (pno); Neil Harland (bs); Adam Sinclair (dms).
Bill Harper, once the linchpin of Jazz North East's house trio and now domiciled in France, made a welcome trip home reminding us, in the process, of his jazz chops.
This was ably demonstrated at Blaydon last Thursday and again tonight at the Cherry Tree.
In deference to our "Honorary Frenchman" I opted to start with the French Bistro Salad.
I'm not sure what was in this culinary delight 'cept it bore no resemblance to any English salad - Bistro or not - that I've ever tasted! I detected a suggestion of pear and there may have been some celeriac related components. I wasn't sure.
Meanwhile, up on stage Bill Harper was playing Autumn Leaves. The literal French translation, he informed us was Dead Leaves - Bingo! I'd found the missing ingredients.
They sounded good 'neath Bill's deft fingers and tasted good on the end of a fork.
Next up was Makin' Whoopee with a great descending passage in the left hand whilst playing the melody with the right hand.
I too was makin' lots of whoopee with my Soy Braised Duck Leg and Coconut Rice - man the flesh just fell away from the bone. I felt sad - she must have been a lovely duck.
We'll Be Together Again, Anthropology, Night and Day and Ain't Misbehavin' were right on the money although I was puzzled at Ain't Misbehavin' for a birthday request.
I misbehaved disgustingly as I wolfed down my Warm Chocolate Nemesis - I defy anyone to just nibble at this confectionery masterpiece.
The music, needless to say, was everything I expected. If anything, Bill had upped his game since Blaydon and that was a pretty high bar to raise. Neil and Adam slotted in as if they'd been playing together with Bill all of their lives when in fact tonight was the first time Bill had played with Adam.
Another good one with the Lewis Watson Quartet to follow next Monday.
Lance.

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