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Friday, April 06, 2012

Paul Edis Sextet, Queen’s Hall, Hexham. Thursday April 5.

Paul Edis (pno), Mick Shoulder (bass), Adam Sinclair (drums), Graeme (B) Wilson (tenor), Chris Hibbard (tbn) and Graham Hardy (tpt/ flug).
Hexham, dusk, “the evening spread out against the sky”, the Abbey squats above burgeoning trees, the café smells of coffee and flapjacks, the trombonist warms up amidst a buzz of chatter: the Sextet are in town for their latest happy return to this lovely venue.
Eight o’clock. Lights dim and Adam “administers” the drums and drives us through the opening number. Then Paul cues in “Monk” with quirky piano intro and catchy head followed by sax notes swirling like the jackdaws round the Abbey tower (jazz van Gogh could paint!) and the high ceilings echo to trombone, robust and round, before feet tap again to the quirky ending.
It was time then for mellifluous Echoes then Sharp 9/8 – honeyed flugelhorn followed by disturbing rhythms and trumpet, evoking film noir, 50’s cops. “Dragnet” in Hexham! Equally filmic and evocative, in a calmer way, Elegy is played out as jackdaws give way to bats in the darkening sky.
The first set gets an Angular finish with the front-men soloing impressively while the rhythm section keep a spiky groove going through to the end. The secret is in the timing - a full café applauds!
Ten past nine, full-dark, Guinness-black and looking frosty but inside a warm Canadian “Hey there…” gets the second-half underway .I’ll omit “hosers”, having Googled it and found that Graeme’s equivocation here may well be justified: no-one here took offence, anyway! Then, for something “completely different” we had Evans-like “moody jazz” with Re-vamp followed (helter-skelter) by Being With You – all raspberry trombone and Mack Sennett piano. Sennett was Canadian: would he have been a “hoser”?
Sanity was restored and “toast and tea” promised (or quoted, at least) as Mick stepped up to usher in the brass long-notes of the CD title (did I mention there’s a CD?): There Will Be Time. This piece is a real slow-burner which grows on you by “visions and revisions” until it fixes in your head just as firmly as the more upbeat stuff.
Time then ticked on – seconds out! - and the sax was unleashed again on Ravelations: it flew, then, with Blues for Dad (I must declare an interest here!) before finally running out, kamikaze-style, with us hosers’ (?) reluctant acceptance that Out Late must surely be followed (after well-earned applause) by the A69 and home.
Get to Crook if you can on April 26 (set off early – there will be time)!
Jerry.
Photos by J.Edis.

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