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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.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Grecian God of Tenor @ Blaydon - Vasilis Xenopoulos with the Paul Edis Trio.

Vasilis Xenopoulos (ten); Paul Edis (pno); Mick Shoulder (bs); Adam Sinclair (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Amazingly there were empty tables at the front of the stage! Every sax player within walking, biking, bus-ing, driving, swimming, parachuting, distance should have been here. Likewise, pianists, drummers and bassists. You guys think you can learn it all at college or by listening to downloads? Get out and around the gigs - tonight would have got you there in 15 minutes on the number 11 bus from outside of the Central Station. The sad thing is, you'll never know the pleasure your apathy caused you to miss and maybe you'll wonder why nobody comes to your gigs.
Rant over. The stalwarts, which included 2 JNE members as well those rain and shine Blaydon supporters, were treat to an evening of pure, unadulterated, modern swing by a tenor player who is surely Greece's greatest export.
A recent post in the Jazz Breakfast Blog regretted the lack of competitiveness in jazz these days, drawing a parallel with the Olympics and of the excitement stimulated by head to head combativity. Jazz, in days gone by, thrived on that combativity - big bands at the Savoy, JATP, The Chase with Dexter and Wardell and so many more.
Well Vasy is just such a player. He's a jammer, a Pier 6 brawler who floats like a butterfly and stings like a King Curtis cobra. Meet him on a dark night in a jam session and you'll get cut to pieces - unless your name is maybe John Coltrane.
Tonight was less violent and rather more beautiful as he sailed through I'll Close My Eyes, Freddie Greene's Corner Pocket, Nature Boy, an original dedicated to Lee Morgan titled Morganlee and A Time For Love
Vasy opted to blow unmiked on this one and the sound emitted from the Cannonball tenor  (with personalised reinforced crook) was one that gave me goose-bumps.
The supportive trio were in there too with  the star referring to Edis as the Local Hero. Well, local only in the sense that the world is his oyster and local could now mean anywhere! Shoulder and Sinclair, Mick and Adam too were singled out and played brilliantly.
Rollins' Oleo saw out the first set with some blistering Blue Note tenor reminiscent of Hank Mobley.
Said a few hellos during the interval, lost the raffle, then settled back down for the second set. No bus worries tonight thanks to the kindness of Norman.
Makin Whoopee' and did he not! At breakneck tempo "Whoopee" was most definitely made! Minor Chant - a Stanley Turrentine composition had that blood-curdling feel to it that minor key pieces always evoke with the bass/tenor (sans drums and keys) choruses being particularly effective.
More balladry with I Won't Send Roses from Mack and Mabel, Valse Hot, and a sumptuous My One and Only Love before the evening drew to a close with No More Blues featuring Adam Sinclair.
Truly a night to remember - just a shame some folk forgot!
Photos.
Lance.

3 comments :

john rowland said...

This event was advertised as a ciu in Garden Street, Blaydon. When I finally made it, a woman on the door told me "there's no jazz here".

The rest of Blaydon looked as if it was being dug up in late night road works.

Vasilis is a terrific player. Sorry to miss him.

Anonymous said...

Playing again with Vas and the trio tonight at the Travellers Rest, Cockerton if you want to try again?!

Sorry for the confusion,

Paul

Lance said...

John, I've spoken to Roly who runs Blaydon Jazz Club and he thinks you may have mistakenly went to the Railway Club at the other side of the roundabout. Still it's strange the lady on the door didn't direct you to the CIU club. I agree the roadworks are causing some confusion - our bus driver even got it wrong!

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