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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, December 02, 2013

CD Launch: Zoe Gilby Quartet - Twelve Stories @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle

Zoe Gilby (vcl); Mark Williams (gtr); Andy Champion (bs); Richard Brown (dms).
(Review by Lance/Photo by Ken Drew).
The room was near full, the tables replaced with rows of chairs, the glasses charged - the scene was set.
Let the stories unfold...
The album begins with The Windmills of Your Mind that segues into The Waters of March and so too did the launch begin. The resonance of the double bass intro reached every corner and told us that the 60+ bums on seats weren't affecting the room's acoustical properties. Zoe, the voice as clear as a Midnight Bell, confirmed this and when guitar and drums entered the fray we all relaxed and let the words and music take over.
In it Together, one of six Zoe originals written in collaboration with Andy or, in this case, with Andy and Mark, came up next followed by On The Edge from one of her two previous albums.
Midnight Bell, inspired by the story of the same name from Patrick Hamilton's trilogy Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, never fails to impress and nor does Kate Bush's slightly risqué In the Warm Room done as a duo with only Mark in support - magic!
Caravan let Richard Brown loose on the kit and this normally self-effacing skinner emerged from his shell to display a rare technique.
This seemed a good moment to nip down to the bar so I may have missed the final number of the set.
The room was buzzing during the break - a good sign that folk were enjoying themselves.
Money, another duo track - this time with Andy - saw Zoe scatting in her own inimitable style and Mr Gilby laying his bass credentials on the line.
Eleanor, another track from one of the previous albums, is well known to the fans and Guilty Man, from another Hamilton trilogy is based on Ralph Gorse, the ne'er do well played by Nigel Havers in the tv production of The Charmer some years ago (I'm a mine of information on Patrick Hamilton!) is another well crafted original.
A dip into the Rogers and Hart songbook for It Never Entered my Mind (complete with verse) warned against complacency in a love affair, Is It Me? moved a long a pace or two before Red Headed Girl From the North East of Nowhere paid tribute to Zoe's mum Hilary (sitting beaming with pride in the front row).
More back catalogue with Your Words then, finally, Red City.
The number 27 bus was nearing the stop so I had to leave before the flowers were presented but I'm sure there wasn't a dry glass in the house!
Ken Drew photos.
Lance.
PS: On the CD you also get some class trumpet playing from Noel Dennis.

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