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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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Papanosh @ The Bridge July 27

Raphaël Quenehen (alto & soprano sax); Quentin Ghomari (trumpet, trombone); Sebastian Palis (accordion, keyboards); Thibault Cellier (bass); Jérémie Piazza (drums).
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
The city of Newcastle has quite an affinity with French players, the local football team seems to be made up almost entirely of  French speakers. For the second time in almost as many weeks a band from across the water graced us with their presence and what a joy it was. The upstairs room at The Bridge was adequately filled but it should have been packed to the rafters for this wonderfully inventive and creative band.  
The upstairs room was bathed in sunshine as the first set kicked off with Chameau(Camel)  which had definite hints of the Miles Davis 70’s  electronic era about it. Next up was Icelandic inspired  Skatefulk  this piece was anything but cold starting with a rousing drum solo from Piazza and progressing with whistles and then simultaneous alto and soprano blowing from Quenehen not forgetting some funky electronic keyboard wizardry – fantastique. Fairly fittingly as we were after all above The Tyne the next song  was Aupres des douces eaux (Close to the Water ) this featured a dreamy trumpet solo from composer Ghomari and the entire piece really did evoke the feeling of the title. Baleze featured a machine gun like  drum solo from Piazza and the set concluded with a Mingus composition Peggy’s Blue Skylight this had everything including  Spanish vocals from Quenehen and much  hooting, tooting  and  hand clapping from all and sundry with a New Orleans feel thrown in. At the interval Quenehen presumably as breathless as everyone else mimed the  introductions to his fellow band members.
Set two began with Strawberry of K a film noir style alto solo which  gave way to a cacophony of sound which at times made it feel like there was a  big band   in the room. A marvellous organ solo from Palis performed on the electronic keyboard sounded like Jimmy Smith with knobs on so that the absence of his Hammond Organ was hardly missed (which sadly couldn’t make it up the stairs and the round the corner  to the top room ).  I couldn’t quite catch the name of the next song but it had almost a Procol Harum type keyboard feel to it until Palis decided to conduct the band using his entire body. As he swayed and gesticulated the band played to his every movement. What followed was even more remarkable as the metaphorical baton was passed  to audience member Chris Calver who concluded the piece with considerable aplomb (see photo.)
A terrific bass solo from Cellier introduced Mingus’s Reincarnation of a Lovebird and this also featured a triumphant tenor solo from Quenehen. A tribute to the late great Bass player Charlie Haden La Pasionaria  seemed heartfelt and was indeed quite emotional. The grand finale Gibril Circus evoked feelings of silent movies and the band looked as though they were enjoying themselves as much as the audience who broke into rapturous applause at the conclusion of Le Gig – C’est Magnifique.
The evening really had all in terms of musical styles (bebop , hard bop, funk, big band etc etc) but what made it so exciting was that they were performed in no particular order. You never knew what was going to be around the corner (apart from sadly the aforementioned trapped Hammond Organ) everything was  played with an enthusiasm  and ebullience that could not help but carry you away if only The Toon’s Frenchmen could emulate their Papanosh  compatriots then maybe the 47 year trophy drought could be ended.  
Steve H.

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