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Monday, June 02, 2014

Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion // Paul Edis @ The Bridge Hotel. June 1

Zoe Gilby (voice) & Andy Champion (double bass); Paul Edis (keyboards).
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
The first day of June, a warm summer’s evening and a good turn out at the Bridge Hotel. Splinter @ the Bridge hosts Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion were looking at a blank date in the schedule with the late cancellation of the proposed gig, so, the obvious answer was to ask themselves if they were available do a voice and bass set (they were) and if a half-decent piano player could be found to play a solo set it would be problem solved. After a second’s thought Paul Edis was the obvious choice (and he was available at a reasonable fee!).
The Gilby-Champion partnership took familiar and not so familiar material and reworked it in the pared-down duo format. It freed Gilby to explore her vocal range, improvising on a lyric. The opening number – Pink Floyd’s Money – illustrated the range and dexterity of the voice and Andy Champion’s imperious technique as double bassist. The Joni Mitchell take on Mingus’ Goodbye Pork Pie Hat found favour with Gilby, the melody intact. Kate Bush’s Kashka From Baghdad, perhaps not obvious material at a jazz gig, worked, as did two standards from the repertoire – Nice Work If You Can Get It and Well, You Needn’t – the latter featuring arco bass from Champion. Nick Cave’s menacing Red Right Hand has rapidly established itself in the set list alongside The Midnight Bell (a Gilby quartet staple inspired by a Patrick Hamilton novel). As a finale Gilby invited Paul Edis to join them on a corking Straight No Chaser
Earlier Edis played solo. A set of original compositions (some available as a down load at www.pauledis.co.uk) and one or two standards held the attention of the Splinter audience. The self-deprecating Edis made light of From Nothing to Nowhere and Not Like Me, two tunes many a piano player would love to have written and performed. A Messiaen-inspired piece (a composition given the seal of approval in the cloistered environs of academe, so said Edis!), some Monk (inclusion compulsory!) and My Favourite Things made this all too short set a joy for lovers of jazz piano (the room seemingly full of them!). Giant Steps and New Distraction (Edis’ musings on the distracting iPadiPhoneiWant generation) hit the bulls-eye as subtle left hand stride patterns surfaced mid-Coltrane and mid-Edis. An element of levity rarely goes amiss and Bring Me Sunshine brought a smile to the faces of those present.     
Russell.      .                                

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