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Monday, October 21, 2013

Bill Harper Quartet with Anne DeVere @ Blaydon Jazz Club. October 20

Bill Harper (piano), Roly Veitch (guitar), Neil Harland (double bass), Adam Sinclair (drums) & Anne DeVere (vocals)  
(Review by Russell)
Bill Harper was house pianist at Blaydon Jazz Club for something like fifteen years before upping sticks with Anne DeVere for the good life in Brittany. This return visit reunited him with guitarist Roly Veitch and they were supported by the first call bass and drums pairing of Neil Harland and Adam Sinclair. Anne DeVere got up to sing a few numbers during the evening, an evening that got under way a few minutes early. A jazz gig starting ahead of the advertised time! 
So keen to get started, and enjoying themselves so much, we got a full value first set of an hour and more. Harper’s pad was chock-full of songs and he picked them out at will, knowing that his band mates would be able to handle anything put in front of them. Ballads, a bossa, Rhythm-a-ning Monk, two varied sets lapped up by the regulars and others who made the effort on this rare occasion. DeVere entertained with anecdotes, threatened to tell a risqué joke or two and sang beautifully; Johnny Mandel’s Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, lyrics momentarily forgotten, then recalled. Autumn Leaves, the first verse in English, the others in French. Bravo! Guitarist Veitch, content to allow Harper and DeVere to bask in the limelight, contributed typically sympathetic rhythmic support and took a few polished solos (All the Things You Are a highlight). Early sound difficulties were soon resolved and Bill Harper’s piano playing was heard to best effect. Two handed, fluent, easy – or so he made it look! DeVere enjoyed herself (perhaps too much!) on Some Cats Know and gave a perfect reading of I’ll Remember April during which Neil Harland and Adam Sinclair excelled. Our exiled guests were fulsome in their praise of the pair and Harper said of Roly Veitch ‘he always gets it right’. Quite so.
Russell.

1 comment :

Lance said...

On f/b, Jude Murphy and Joe Temperley liked this post.

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