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Bebop Spoken There

Jennifer Wharton: "People forget that the trombone is so glorious. It can be like going to church, or getting ready for battle. It can be a lot of things....For a longtime I was the only female trombonist in New York," - (DownBeat May 2021)

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13,218 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 637 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 11).

2021 APPJAG (All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group)

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Coming soon ...

May 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (weather, unfortunately, not permitting). CANCELLED!

May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chicago meets Lanercost.

On the 5th April 2012, walking into Dacre Hall at Lanercost I didn’t know what to expect of the musician Greg Spero, having never heard his music before. However, if the atmosphere of the audience was anything to go off, then I was feeling positive anticipation. We arrived at Dacre Hall at 7:10pm so we had 20 minutes to wait until the show began. Dacre Hall itself is an old stone building with a spectacular wood panelled fire place and quite a small venue.
Soon enough the main lights were all turned off, and in the centre of the room where the band was set up, a spotlight shone. Greg Spero, a young man from Chicago, who is an exceptionally talented pianist, was putting on a performance and he was backed by Andy Champion (bass) and Adrian Tilbrook (drums).
They started off with the song ‘Hills’, a catchy tune that sounds even more beautiful live than it does on Spero’s album ‘Acoustic’. Greg spoke to us about his adventures in England, and his excitement about playing for us at a sold out show. The next 2 songs he played were ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘When I Fall in Love’, which are just a couple of examples of the musical talent that Spero possesses. He then proceeded to play the song ‘Universe’. ‘Universe’ is a beautiful piece of music that you find yourself getting lost in whilst listening to it, but not only do you get lost in its beauty but Greg seemed to completely immerse himself into the performance. 
 The first set ended with a cover of Miles Davis’ ‘Blue in Green’ which completely complements the original, and even that is an understatement. Local Saxophonist Roz Sluman sat in on some of the numbers. Simply saying that she’s brilliant doesn’t do her justice, the crowd loved seeing her perform and she honestly was amazing.
The second half was set into motion with a cover of The Beatles' ‘Blackbird’ which added a new twist to a classic song; whilst still complementing it with Spero’s musical grace. The second song was a cover of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ originally performed by Judy Garland and written by Harold Arlen, which, like the original, was very beautiful. After this came ‘Footprints’, which is a lovely little number that sounds absolutely great. Greg followed up with ‘Latin Fusion Blues’ which can also be found on the album ‘Acoustic’, it’s a more upbeat song but it’s catchy and performed brilliantly. A rendition of ‘Sly’ by Herbie Hancock followed and it was just as wonderful as the original, along with all the other songs, this shows off his obvious talent. The final piece Spero played was ‘Stella by Starlight’,  the perfect song to close with, it’s upbeat and you remember it once it’s finished.
Greg obviously puts his heart and soul into his performance, as they sound absolutely wonderful. He comes across as a very charismatic man who interacts well with the audience. He asked the audience what they wanted to hear and he fulfilled their requests. This in my eyes makes him a good performer. Obviously Spero isn’t the only person to thank for an evening of wonderful music, there’s also Andy Champion, Roz Sluman and Adrian Tilbrook who all performed splendidly. The evening was absolutely fantastic, and I completely recommend listening to Greg Spero as his music is truly beautiful and he needs to be heard.
Rebecca Henrys (aged 15 going on 25)
PS: Photo (by Alan Sawyer) shows Organiser David Gosling, Greg Spero, Adrian Tilbrook and Andy Champion after their final triumph at Carlisle Rugby Club.


Lance said...

Rebecca, if I could have wrote about music like you do when I was 15 I'd be writing for Down Beat, NME or maybe (God forbid) became a judge on the X Factor!
Love to hear more from you.

Liz said...

Wow, the girl has a bright future.

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