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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.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Gabriele mit drei @ The Bridge Hotel. Sunday May 6

Gabriele Heller (vocals), Paul Beck (piano), Steve Glendinning (guitar) & Dave Parker (double bass).
(Review by Russell)
Gabriele Heller is a graduate of Lindsay Hannon’s jazz vocal class at The Sage. I first came across Gabi when she sat in at Dave Weisser’s jazz workshop at The Chillingham. 
First impressions were good; a presence, dark, low register vocal delivery, eager to play with the lyric. Since that first hearing Heller has gigged intermittently, picking up a band along the way. She combines an exploration of early or ‘classic’ jazz vocal styles, the blues, well-chosen standards and a smattering of original compositions. An invitation to perform at Splinter at The Bridge represented a significant development in her fledgling career as a jazz singer.
The set at The Bridge kicked-off with Darktown Strutters’ Ball (I’m sure I’ve heard Ms.Hannon do this one). Splinter audiences don’t get to hear material from the tumultuous twenties ‘jazz age’- the musicians studiously avoid it but I wonder…what if some of the north east’s superb young instrumentalists and vocalists took a look at this stuff? I’d be willing to bet there would be some interesting results! 
Guitarist Steve Glendinning featured on his own composition Broken Silence (lyrics Heller), pianist Paul Beck laid down a blues feel on Imagination and Heller scored top marks with her Weimar German/English lyrics on Falling in Love Again. The set drew to a close with Old Devil Moon. I love the tune and comparisons are said to be odious but, hey Gabi, this one belongs to Ruth Lambert! 
Second set. Lullaby of Birdland. Now you’re talking Gabi! This was the undoubted highlight of the evening. It swung, great vocal, piano and guitar. Inch Worm worked with Beck and Heller prominent and a Heller original – Don’t Mess Around with Me – was pure Berlin cabaret (more good guitar from Glendinning and sympathetic accompaniment from bassist Dave Parker). Heller has an obvious affinity with the vocal style of Billie Holiday and working without a drummer is a brave move (a good drummer can make anything swing). Heller’s approach is certainly different and how things will develop is anyone’s guess. Gabriele Heller is at The Jazz Café on Saturday 2 June (9:00 pm-ish).
Russell.          

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