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Bebop Spoken There

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Today

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.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gateshead International Jazz Festival - Friday March 23.

Peter King (alt); Steve Melling (pno); Geoff Gascoigne (bs); Mark Fletcher (dms).
It had been a long time since many of us had heard  Peter King live which was possibly why the Foundation Hall was sold out.
Make no mistake about it, Peter is a world class player. Art Pepper is the name that invariably crosses my mind when I hear Peter. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say and it's true. But, although Peter has absorbed the legacy of Pepper and Parker, he is also very much his own man as tonight's session proved.
The first set was okay, "coasting" was how someone described it. but that simplifies matters. To me he wasn't coasting, he was feeling things out, checking the rhythm section, his chops, how he felt before starting to fly.
In the second set he did fly - and how!
The World of Trane saw him soar through the changes on many of Coltrane's familiar pieces. culminating in the inevitable Giant Steps and My Favourite Things.
Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life was announced as Flashback (I think!) and it was an absolutely beautiful unaccompanied solo. Wave, Feldman's Joshua were other delights.
However, the biggest cheer of the night went to the rhythm section who were right on the money with Steve Melling's piano outstanding - Gascoigne and Fletcher were right up there with him..
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A pint of Farne Island then over to Hall 2 for Pork Chop augmented, on this occasion, by American tenor player Pee Wee Ellis and "jazz/soul diva" Mary Pearce
Pork Chop's MySpace describes the band thus..."Its mission; to eliminate the introspective and self indulgent elements that some "jazz" music can often adhere to. We intend to bring the music back to the people." 
I'll drink to that!
It was fun.
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The day had started on The Concourse with "The A to Zee of it" or, to be more precise Andy Champion and Zoe Gilby (Champion) doing Love Me or Leave Me. The voice was as clear as crystal, the bass round and fully toned. I've heard Zoe many times but, on this opening number, never quite as perfect  as she was tonight.
Cohen's Dance Me To The End of Love kept the momentum going and it was with a tinge of regret that I had to leave for the Press Reception up in "The Gods". Photo of Zoe and Andy courtesy of Mark Savage.
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The evening concluded in the Central Bar with the late night Jam Session which, when I arrived had Andy Lee, on alto, doing some nice things to There Will Never Be Another You along with Alan Law (pno), John Pope (bs) and Mark Robertson (dms). 
Lindsay Hannon took to the stand for Nature Boy and the song she has truly made her own - Why Try to Change Me Now? Why indeed?.
A violinist from the Neil Cowley Trio gig had a blast on St. Thomas - was this Julian Farraretto? He swung.! Also a drummer sat in who was no mug - name anyone?
Chatted with John Cumming of promoters Serious before leaving for the local taxi office. Day One - ten out of ten.
Anyone for Aspirin?
Central Bar photos.
Lance.

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