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Bebop Spoken There

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Wednesday February 24

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE BICKERSTAFF, BECCY OWEN, REMI HARRIS & GWILYM SIMCOCK

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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Alan Barnes @ Jazz Café September 19.










Alan Barnes (alt/bar/clt); Paul Edis (pno); Paul Susans (bs); Rob Walker (dms).
(Review by Lance/left photo courtesy of Ken Drew/right photo courtesy of Mike Tilley).
In the delightful, intimate, setting of the "Caff's" upper room the disciples came to hear and dutifully worship The Master(s) who preached the gospel of good music, good fun and goddamn awful gags.!
In this latter respect, since the passing of Ronnie Scott, Barnes has long held the post of Court Jester and he never fails to get the fans on his side with a quip or six. However, joking apart (boom! boom!), it is his playing that makes him such an outstanding performer and in this respect he is second to none.
Barnes and Edis had had a highly successful warm up as a duo earlier in the day (see previous post) and that musical sketch blossomed into a full blown landscape with the addition of Susans and Walker. This was truly a night to remember in arguably the best local setting for jazz. The ambiance was there, the room felt 'right' even before a note had been blown.
There were a lot of notes blown tonight! From the first few choruses of the blues based opener by the trio - Triptych in another life - we knew it was going to be "all-right on the night". Barnes made a blistering entry on alto, notes cascading in a kaleidoscope of sound that eventually emerged as Straight No Chaser.
Horace Silver's Nica's Dream gave him the opportunity to link Horace Silver and Harry Gold and to remind us what a splendid tune this is. The change of tempo/mood in those wonderful 8 bars of the release never fails to excite.
A switch to clarinet and the Edis original For Bill [Evans] reminded us not only that Barnes is no slouch on the liquor stick but that Edis is a composer (and pianist) to be reckoned with.
Baritone was brandished on Bye Bye Blackbird and later My Funny Valentine - Gerry Mulligan lives!
There were many more highlights - too numerous to mention them all - the alto/piano unison on Donna Lee, the baritone/double bass passages, Rob Walker's hand drumming on My Little Suede Shoes, Edis' composition Lines - a composition to rank alongside Groovin' High, Hot House, Billie's Bounce and other bebop classics - and the most aptly titled number of them all, Tour de Force. This indeed typified the evening.
Lance.

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