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Monday, November 10, 2014

Pannonica @ The Bridge Hotel. November 9

Zoe Gilby (vocals), Paul Edis (piano), Andy Champion (double bass) & Adrian Tilbrook (drums). 
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
This was some occasion! A sparkling, luminescent Zoe Gilby presented Pannonica, a personal response to Carmen McRae’s Carmen Sings Monk album. Accompanied by a stellar line-up – Paul Edis (keyboards), Andy Champion (double bass) and Adrian Tilbrook (drums) – Ms Gilby delighted a full house with expressive singing and many insights into the making of McRae’s late-career recording and the lives of the bop era musicians associated with Thelonious Monk and their loyal patron ‘Pannonica.’
In Walked Bud opened the programme with beautifully crafted solos from pianist Paul Edis and bassist Andy Champion. Gilby spoke of the alternative titles on McRae’s 1988 album (copyright restrictions etc.) and, as Frank Sinatra did so diligently throughout his career, name-checked the lyricists (the first tune, with lyrics by Jon Hendricks, re-titled   Suddenly). Little Butterfly (Hendricks’ lyrics) emerged chrysalis-like from the Monk original Pannonica. Ah! Pannonica. Well, plain little old Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter (née Rothschild) left England for New York following the break up of her marriage. Largely disinherited, Pannonica, lived the life. Patron, friend, (lover?) of Monk and other shooting-star talents devoted a life to bebop. 
I Mean You (You Know Who, Coleman Hawkins/Jon Hendricks) swung non-stop; Edis, Champion and drummer Adrian Tilbrook couldn’t be bettered. Time, sensitivity, swing, the perfect accompanists. McRae’s take on Blue Monk (lyrics Abbey Lincoln), Ugly Beauty, tune after tune, Gilby pitched it just right and worked a broader canvas departing occasionally from McRae’s inspirational album. Think of One (When I Think of One) stood out, but so did many others. McRae’s The Ballad of Thelonious Monk closed the programme. All four musicians at the Bridge Hotel excelled on a magical evening. 
Russell.   

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