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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Vasilis Xenopoulos with the Paul Edis Trio @ The Traveller’s Rest. October 25

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor & soprano saxophones), Paul Edis (keyboards), Tony Abel (double bass) & Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Having attended an event at Sage Gateshead, it was unseasonably mild as I strolled across the High Level Bridge to Central Station in time to catch the 19:03 train to Darlington. The Opus 4 Jazz Club at the Traveller’s Rest in Cockerton, Darlington had secured a return visit by Vasilis Xenopoulos. It was the Greek tenor player’s sole engagement in the north east this year making it a ‘must get to’ gig. Central Station was crowded, more so than usual. Trains were going nowhere fast, at a standstill at platforms, stationary on the King Edward Bridge. Down the East Coast mainline at Chester le Street there was an ongoing trespass incident. Don’t you realise this is Friday rush hour? Don’t you realise there is soon to be some great tenor being played in Darlington? One wag said: Run the b****** over!
Arriving half an hour late, Vasi would be in full flow. Walking into the Traveller’s, there was pianist Paul Edis standing outside, mobile in hand. What are you doing out here? I said. Vasi’s late, said Edis. Time for a Guinness. Vasi arrived (six hours and ten minutes on the M1 from London), unpacked his horn and started to play…and how! One astute listener, with no little admiration, remarked: To arrive, take the stand and play - like that! Absolutely right. What a player!
Paul Edis’ friendship with Xenopoulos diffused a potentially difficult situation (big name arrives, tired, ‘difficult’ etc). Fantastic tenor, fantastic trio. A full house too. Noisy at the bar, the sound not the best from certain vantage points. It was one of those nights. A great night in spite of, perhaps because of, the circumstances. Xenopoulos’ full, rich tone, imperious technique, infinite ideas (replete with quotes!) made this a gig to remember. Centrepiece, Blame It On My Youth, A Night in Tunisia, I’ll Remember April, top tunes all, a Vasi ballad composition, great piano from Edis, the superb Adam Sinclair (exemplary brushwork) and the dep for a dep Tony Abel held it together like the true pro he is.
Xenopoulos and Edis are at Zefferelli’s in Ambleside tonight (Saturday 26) – if you are in the vicinity get yourself along, you won’t regret it. Vasi should return to play a series of dates in the north east. He needs to be heard. Here’s a dream itinerary…the Maltings, Berwick, Exchange Café, Hexham, the Black Bull, Blaydon, the Lit & Phil, Newcastle (Edis at the grand), a return to the Traveller’s, Saltburn Community Hall. That’s six dates to be getting on with. Add a festival date or two (Sage Gateshead, Scarborough)…all perfectly possible, Promoters, make it happen. A post script - thanks to PB for the lift across town, much appreciated on the night.        
Russell.               

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