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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Zoe Gilby Trio @ The Jazz Café. August 15

Zoe Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell)
The Jazz Café’s last night of the summer season until September and the place was busy. More than busy, the place was packed. And no wonder, Zoe Gilby was holding court. A gig or two in the West Country, hundreds of miles on the clock, then back home to fulfil an engagement at the Pink Lane establishment.
Lieber and Stoller, Brubeck, Bush (Kate not George) and a pad full of originals peppered the first set. Some Cats Know, Travelin’ Blues (West Country style), In the Warm Room, just a selection from a select set list. Gilby’s working relationship with guitarist Mark Williams and bassist Andy Champion goes back a good few years and it showed. Three of the very best musicians on the scene, appreciative of one another’s abilities, this was a joined-up performance that held the attention of the audience throughout the first set. The original material stood comparison with the familiar, the musicianship of the highest order. In It Together and Your Words heard Williams and Champion knock-out tremendous, on-the-money solos with Gilby’s lyrics, in particular her recall and delivery, quite something. Gilby possesses the stage craft to engage with all, a talent many a vocalist can but aspire to.
Second set offered more of the same top quality jazz. Paul Simon’s Graceland, a Gilby-Champion composition Eleanor, some Cole Porter (at a lick) and the noirish Midnight Bell with the enunciated lyric and Williams’ unsettling, fleetingly discordant solo. A swing-out number – Is It Me? – upped the mood with guitar and bass tearing it up. Red Headed Girl, dedicated to the original redhead, has a great title and line…Red Headed Girl from the North East of Nowhere. The closing number – Red City – featured Andy ‘Souk’ Champion’s evocative intro. Minarets, markets and merchants, the sights and sounds of North Africa. Williams embellished, Gilby sang of the joys of the Red City. This was another assured performance from Ms Gilby, we have come to expect nothing less.            
Russell.      

1 comment :

JC said...

Yes, great session with a brilliant trio. Each of them are fantastic musicians in their own ways and Zoe Gilby keeps flying the flag for her own improvising instrument of scat, which is great. As you say the originals are now a full part of the set and it seems there is a rich seam to be mined here with a song I think she said hadn't been recorded yet ('Secret Kiss'?). Up front in the Jazz Cafe is now the place to be for these gigs as it's like having the band playing in your own front room. Judging by the number of people who were trying to squeeze into this space at this session, it would be great if the listening area could be made bigger.

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