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12,399 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 118 of them this year alone and, so far, 118 this month (Jan. 25).

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Spero sets the pace - Greg Spero Trio @ Dacre Hall, Lanercost. Thursday April 5.

Greg Spero (el-pno); Andy Champion (bs); Adrian Tilbrook (dms) + Roz Sluman (alt).
After the marathon 25th Anniversary Memorial Concert with the Buddy Rich Big Band at the London Palladium on Monday Greg Spero began his mini tour of Cumbria and Newcastle with a quick rehearsal followed by a sell out performance at Lanercost’s Dacre Hall.
The expectations in the audience were high, given the extensive local media coverage for the event, and from the first bars it was clear they would be surpassed.
The trio began with Hills, the opening number from Greg’s new CD Acoustic, and the pace continued through a first set encompassing self-penned numbers and standards.
Local saxophonist Roz Sluman took the stand to deliver a stunning solo on another track from Acoustic Universe.
Lennon and McCartney’s Blackbird began the second set and was followed by a spellbinding version of Over the Rainbow with Greg Spero’s piano ingeniously scattering the melody throughout the tune just when the audience weren’t expecting it.
Roz Sluman excelled again on Footprints and the trio behind her were clearly enjoying themselves. None more so than when they stepped into a hip-hop, funk laced version of Herbie Hancock’s Sly.
This was magical stuff and those attending the remaining three gigs are in for a real treat.
David Gosling.

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