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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Simon Spillett Quartet @ The Corner House

Simon Spillett (ten); Paul Edis (pno); Mick Shoulder (bs); Adam Sinclair (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Wonderful! Wonderful! - an apt opener for this is what this evening surely was. Spillett soared through the changes of the old Johnny Mathis number at Tempo de Lick. It was a performance that was truly formidable. My heart was pounding and this was only the first number! Not that this was a one man show. The Edis Trio more than held their own impressing both audience and star. All four were on a roll tonight. 
This was like a gig by the old Jazz Couriers - Tubby Hayes inspired tenor and Ronnie Scott inspired jokes!
Jimmy Deuchars' Bass House featured Mick Shoulder, the little known ballad, Yesterday I Heard the Rain, brought out the rhapsodic side of Spillett, and Edis' solo too exuded emotively.
Oleo took no prisoners. This was one of the many go for broke moments that culminated in exchanges of eights and fours between drums and tenor. Adam, if you can cut it in this company you can cut it anywhere!
The set concluded with Night in Tunisia - another pot-boiler - and a feature for drums that left us, the audience, gasping.
A brief chat with Simon Spillett during the break reminded me that, not only is he a super fast fingerer, but he also has a deep interest in the history of modern jazz and has written many articles for the major British jazz magazines as well as sleeve notes for over 40 albums. We both shared a deep regret at the loss of Crescendo magazine.
Back on stage it was Walkin' 'cept it was anything but walking - if Mo Farah played the saxophone it would be at this speed!
Tubby Hayes' beautiful ballad, Saria - dedicated to, I quote, "One of his wives"  - was sumptuous and sensuous but what about, A Pint of Bitter?
Written for Tubbs by Clark Terry this, for me was possibly the tenor man's best solo of the evening. This is working on the assumption that it is possible to rate such high calibre solos in the first place!
Weird Blue put the baby to bed but not before Edis had shown just what he could - and indeed did do to it!
Lance.

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