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Wednesday January 27

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYRIAKI PANTELIDOU & RAY CARLESS

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Diachronix at the Jazz Cafe, November 29

Gabrielle Heller (vocals, electronics, percussion); Steve Glendinning (guitar)
(Review by Ann Alex/photo by Mike Tilley).
There was a full house for this unusual gig from Gabi and Steve, including people from Germany and Brazil.  The material covered jazz standards, Gabi originals in cabaret style, a bit of blues, and numbers written by Sting, Billie Holiday, and others.  The general theme was ‘The City’, well illustrated by adventurous use of electronics, with sirens and people rushing about.  And the percussion made an effective appearance even in the first song, about not being able to get out of the city, when Gabi made a defiant ‘chock, chock’ sound by hitting a bar with a stick.  (What is this called,  BSH readers?)   Steve showed his considerable talents throughout the whole set, many long solos, up and down scales, chords galore, guitar wizardry, but always fitting to the song being sung.
We had Gabi’s song Wallflower; then a song about early life before cities, with made-up language which sounded like ‘skee ya dum day’, very imaginative; Sting’s Hole In My Life with a scat refrain; a softer-voiced Angel Eyes with an exquisite guitar solo; Holiday’s Tell Me More And More And Then Some in an upbeat version; songs dedicated to the boat people, with an African style introduction, Kurt Weill’s My Ship, merged with a Latin bossa novarish song Little Boat, and to round off the first set, a blues, Sail On.
The second set opened with a song by Queen Dead On Time, with another good guitar solo to suit travelling in a city; then Gabi read excerpts from a poem Electricity (I’m not sure if this works at a jazz gig); a lovely version of the mythical Nature Boy followed; then came I Will Say Goodbye; True Love, written by Gabi and her husband; Tom Waits’ song about putting on a performance, with interesting use of a walkie talkie microphone. Kurt Weill’s Speak Low was the last song I heard properly as the Metro called me home, so I left to the sounds of Billie Holiday’s Don’t Explain.
I enjoyed this gig immensely, but I wonder if the sound levels needed some adjustment as Gabi’s voice was very loud on some songs, giving a very in-your-face effect.  Just a thought and I don’t know if other people noticed this.
Ann Alex

1 comment :

Lance said...

The "Chock Chock" was either claves or castanets or a combination of both!
And yes, particularly down front the sound level did seem high.

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