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Friday, March 21, 2014

Mo Scott, Paul Edis & Neil Harland @ The Gala Theatre. March 21

(Review by Russell)
The monthly Friday lunchtime jazz gigs at the Gala have become so popular they are now selling out in advance. The appearance of Mo Scott was no exception. The printed programme bore little relation to the set list Scott devised on the spot. Pianist Paul Edis and double bassist Neil Harland scrambled (most professionally) to find their parts as the Empress of the Blues counted ‘em in. Scott added, helpfully: Everything’s in numerical order except for the one’s that aren’t!
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore sang Scott and proceeded to ask the question: Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You? Edis responded with some bluesy piano playing. Scott can usually be heard singing the blues late into the night. At the Gala she found herself performing at the decidedly non-bluesy hour of one in the afternoon. Come Rain or Come Shine featured fine vocals as did Good Morning Heartache. Neil Harland set the mood on Fever and Scott’s intro to Bye Bye Blackbird hit the spot as did Edis’ solo with a fleeting quotation from Casablanca thrown in for good measure. Scott and Harland left the stage to Edis to play a solo number – My Foolish Heart (Victor Young/Ned Washington). Little did we know that Edis would be accompanied throughout by the sound of a pneumatic drill on a nearby building site! Mose Allison’s Stop This World followed, a perfect retort to the unwelcome intrusion. Scott declared You Don’t Know What Love Is, heartfelt, real.
The hour long set flew by and before the full house left to wind their way, Scott, Edis and Harland made a dash for it along Route 66. Next month at the Gala (Friday April 25) the jazz guitar duo of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston will surely play to another sold out crowd. Guitar playing of the highest order, order your tickets now – 0191 03000 266600 – because if you don’t you will be turned away. A week today Mo Scott can be heard in full throttle blues mode at the Jazz Café in Newcastle.
Russell.

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