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Bebop Spoken There

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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, April 07, 2012

Zoe Gilby Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club. Thursday April 5

Zoe Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), Neil Harland (double bass); Richard Brown (drums)
The Blaydon regulars turned-up – eventually – to ensure there was a decent crowd in to hear the Zoe Gilby Quartet. Gilby’s pre-eminence in the jazz vocal stakes has been so well documented in these here Bebop Spoken Here pages there seems little more to add. The plan had been to bring in altoist Caroline Bagley on this gig but the Teesside star (catch her playing sometime and I think you’ll agree she is a star) was indisposed. Such is the strength in depth of the band that it simply offered more space to guitar virtuoso Mark Williams. 
The man from Northern Ireland is in demand in a number of bands ranging from the super-charged ACV to Voice of the North to take the money and run function bands to the role of accompanist supreme. It was the latter category in which Williams excelled at this Blaydon gig. 
Ballad, latin, rumba, Gilby put together a varied set of tunes so that there was light and shade, something for everyone. Drummer Richard Brown did what drummers should do on this kind of gig – just enough. His featured number – Caravan – exemplified his understated, tasteful style and bassist Neil Harland – a Man for All Seasons – was the perfect dep. Describing Harland as a ‘dep’ is an insult as he is the most reliable of musicians whatever he is asked to play – never a bum note from Harland. 
The highlight of the evening (for this reviewer) was Gilby accompanied by Williams (Brown and Harland took time out) on ‘Round Midnight. This was Gilby at her vocal best with Williams at his most sensitive, brilliant best. 
Blaydon Jazz Club’s next session is on Thursday 3 May (8:30 pm) featuring the Mark Toomey Quartet ( Toomey is another fine alto player from Teesside) with Blaydon’s house pianist Jeremy McMurray (another Teessider!).
Russell.

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