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Bebop Spoken There

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SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

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Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Greg Spero Trio - Splinter @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle.


Greg Spero (pno); Andy Champion (bs); Adrian Tilbrook (dms).
A truly magical evening by a charismatic young Chicagoan. Tell me another jazz musician who plays a gig in Cumbria then the following morning does a ten mile round trek to the top of Scafell - the highest peak in England? - Did Andy and Adrian go with him I wonder?
This was the the third gig of four for the trio and they have blended into an as one unit.
Mixing standards and originals from his latest CD, Acoustic, Spero mesmerised the room with his playing never more so than on the second number - Autumn Leaves.
The tune began with the leaves falling by my window but it developed logically to the point where the leaves weren't falling - the trees were being felled with a chainsaw! As the pianist's playing became more percussive drummer Tilbrook responded in kind and the tension became almost unbearable. "What a beast!" said Spero in praise of. Adrian's performance. Latin Fusion Blues saw more intensity as Greg explored the infinite permutations of the 12 bar form.
Alone Together - the melody splashed around until, once more, it built up into a fantastic Tilbrook driven climax. Amidst the magnificent musical mayhem Andy Champion stood tall cool and consistent providing the solidity and stability to the group.
There were so many highlights including Herbie Hancock's Sly with Andy switching to Bass Guitar that it's impossible to list them all. 
Zoe Gilby had a scat on one of the Kind of Blue tracks (Blue on Green)
This was an evening that will stay long in my memory. Just as ageing Canadians like saying "I heard Oscar at the Alberta Lounge in Montreal in 1947..." In years to come, after tonight, many will recall hearing Greg Spero at the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle in 2012 - "I was there" they will boast even if they weren't!
Autumn Leaves. Latin Fusion Blues.
Lance.
PS: I'd intended to review Greg Spero's CD Acoustic but find I can't add anything to David Gosling's earlier review except to say that I don't care how many stars you gave it David - I'll double it!

2 comments :

Greg (on Facebook) said...

Hey Lance, thank you for the wonderful review of last night's concert. Keep in touch, and I look forward to seeing you next time I'm in England!

Anonymous said...

Just caught the second set but glad I did. Phenomenal.
Roly

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