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Monday, April 08, 2013

GIJF Day 2. The Paul Edis Sextet: Concourse, Saturday April 6, 2013


Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (bass), Adam Sinclair (drums), Graeme Wilson (saxes), Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn), Alex Leathard (trombone).
(Review/photo by Jerry)
After initial reservations when its development was first announced, I have come to love the Sage. I feared it would be a “cathedral of music”: nothing more than an elite venue dedicated to devotees of classical music (a club from which I have voluntarily excluded myself for most of my life!). Structurally it is a cathedral, but there is nothing elitist or forbidding about it – rather it is a communal hub buzzing with life even on workaday days but all the more so when a major jazz festival is underway!
And whatever the genre, it is not all about the big stars (though they shone and dazzled all weekend like the Millennium Bridge at night) but about the local and the young and the up-and-coming….
On Friday, in Hall One, we had Jambone and NYJO: the very young, gifted locals and the slightly older national ensemble aided and abetted by local and national stars such as Tim Garland, Mark Nightingale, Jason Yarde and Jacqui Dankworth. And what a concert it was, from start to finish: proof, if proof were needed, that there IS a future for jazz and places like the Sage guarantee this wonderful continuum.
Exiting Hall One you become aware that the music still goes on – a band in the Concourse is in full (swinging) swing – its own audience now swelling with all those flooding down the stairs. The Concourse, with its almost non-stop, free, top-quality music typifies the open, welcoming atmosphere of the Sage in general and of the Festival in particular….
Which brings me, eventually, to the last shift on Saturday when a good crowd in the café and on the stairs enjoyed an hour-long set from the sextet featuring eight Edis originals, four of which I had not heard before. These four new (to me) pieces are set to feature “soonish” (Paul’s word) on the sextet’s  second CD – worth watching out for!
Administrate This, Echoes, Ravelations and Missing You (say “Aaah”, everyone!) were the familiar titles, arriving like old friends. Echoes sounds amazing in that huge, high-roofed space! In amongst those we had the Lord Prescott inspired Better than a Punch in the Face, Lost in Translation (50% Norwegian and 50% “Scouse”!), the suitably oriental Eastern and a cracking finale entitled simply The Timothys. This last was dedicated to his in-laws: such a belting good tune suggests that Paul knows which side his bread is buttered on! All heartily recommended – catch them when you can!
Jerry.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I too love the Sage and always get a buzz when I enter the building. It has to be said though that the Concourse is not the most acoustically perfect place for music, particularly when another concert ends and people walk back and forward in front of the band (maybe if the stage was moved forward towards the Cafe, traffic could go behind it?). However, when you are getting such a great band for free, what's to complain about. And that half the set was made up of new original piece shows the band is continuing to progress. Paul said that 'Eastern' was the working title for one piece and asked for other suggestions - How about 'East of Edis'?
The final new standout track 'The Timothys' was written in elevenths, according to Paul, as that's the number of family members. However, that's nothing - there were 11 in my mother's family and 12 in my father's. Nobody wrote them a tune but they had their own football league.
JC

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