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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.

Monday, April 13, 2015

GIJF Day Two: On The Concourse

(Observations by Russell/photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
An integral part of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival at Sage Gateshead is the non stop programme of jazz on the concourse. A social gathering – coffee, cake (some of it is likely to be scoffed as a freebie!), a glass of wine or a beer. The chatter, the snappers, an artist in residence, the place a hive of activity.
On this Saturday afternoon Jazz Attack – another of Sage Gateshead’s music education initiatives – opened proceedings. Lead by drummer Paul Edis*, this youth ensemble took to the stage from a staircase, playing as they walked onto the platform. A calypso (good, joyous material ideal in a festival setting), Satin Doll, the riffing Nick’s Late (the band’s title for a frequently late-arriving tenor player – no names, the clue is in the title) and the classic Nat Adderley number Work Song. MD Edis encouraged his charges, keen to hear their efforts rewarded with applause. The audience showed appreciation for several solo spots – tenor and alto particularly noteworthy – and the collective performance. Give it a year or two and some of these guys will become familiar names on the scene.
Improvising pianist Paul Taylor had the grand piano to himself for half an hour or so. In a typically restrained performance Taylor’s watercolour-wash impressionism engaged the attention of those up close, others a distance away perhaps missing out on the finer detail of his art.
The Ruth Lambert Trio ensured the sound balance was as good as it can be in the arena. Vocalist Lambert sang as well as ever, bassist Mick Shoulder and Giles Strong (guitar) as ever, were immaculate as accompanists as a set of original material was topped and tailed with GAS book classics You and the Night and the Music and Time After Time.
The Mark Gray Band (or was it Skake Yer/Your Brass?) entertained with a brassy jazz attack featuring the all-action David Gray (trombone). From Frankenstein to Brooklyn, it was just the sort of rousing stuff that cannot fail on the concourse at Sage Gateshead. The Cookers called a tea break in the Barbour Room. Instruments locked away, it was time to hear from the masters – read the report of the occasion posted by the editor of this blog.
Later, back on the concourse…the place was absolutely packed for the appearance of the one and only King Bee. Seats, upper level standing vantage points, staircase dwellers – a huge crowd lapped it up. Funkin’ great! The regular boys  - Dave Wilde, Richard Burns, Steve Glendinning and the great Chris Jelly – were joined by super-tight engine room deps. More! More!
Russell
* Ace pianist Paul Edis filled in on drums. A youth band short of a drummer? There has to be a joke in there somewhere. PS Don’t give up your day job, Dr Edis!

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