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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Saturday January 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Early Bird Band - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 11:00am.

Evening

Adrian Cox Quartet - Watchtower Gallery, West End, Berwick TD15 2HE. 8:00pm. £10.00. Cox touring new CD ‘Now is Spring’.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Ray Stubbs R & B All-Stars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ruth Lambert Trio @ St. Cuthbert's Centre, Crook - May 15.











Ruth Lambert, vocals. Giles Strong, guitar and Mick Shoulder, bass.
(Review/photos by Jerry)
 Ruth, Mick and Giles have a CD out and, having heard most of the tracks from it here tonight, I bought one! The sleeve-notes include this quote (not sure from whom): “It’s all about the intimacy of the trio. Three voices, each one as important as the other.” That sums up the distinctive atmosphere and experience here tonight. Thanking the band at the end, the MC likened it to chamber music in its clarity and apparent simplicity and he knows more about music than I do! I stress “apparent” simplicity as there is much complexity in the writing and arrangements and much subtlety of technique in performance to achieve that end. A treat of a gig!
The GASbook was well represented with You and the Night and the Music and Old Devil Moon in the first few numbers. Later came Carmichael’s wistful Skylark  (bass and vocals only)followed  by I’m in the Mood for Love. We also had Devil May Care and Arlen’s perky I’ve got the World on a String.
During the interval the band had discussed possible rhythmic augmentation – conga drums or an egg, maybe? In the event neither of those were deployed but on Tizol’s Caravan Giles tapped out the rhythm on the body of his guitar just as Mick had done on the bass on Love for Sale. Later we had Cole Porter’s You’d Be so Nice to Come Home To, Time After Time (with Mick sort-of-singing on his solo – always a good sign!) and, as an encore (vociferously requested), Secret Love.
Ruth admitted that the GASbook has always been her “comfort zone” but  tonight (and this is mirrored on the CD) she was stepping boldly and brilliantly out of it! Mick’s arrangement of Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise, for example, was “tricky to sing”, but how well she sung it! Then there was a blues – Love me Like a Man – dedicated to B.B. King with whom Bonnie Raitt often collaborated. I loved this version!
Ruth’s love of a song that tells a story brought us something more recent (well, 1969!) – Al Wilson’s The Snake - a happy song about a tender lady rescuing a poorly snake from death in return for which “he gave her a vicious bite”! When they told me this was “a seminal Northern Soul song”, I didn't believe them! Their version was mesmerising and if you ever want hissing sibilants, Ruth’s the girl!
There were originals, too, which showed that Carmichael & Cahn did not have a monopoly on good tunes and thoughtful lyrics! I have heard Ruth sing A Love That Never Dies countless times but never knew till now that she penned it. I assumed it was someone like Jobim (which I assume Ruth will take as a compliment)! She and Mick co-wrote Lullaby, a slow, moody piece teetering on the line between comfortable and spooky! Giles Strong’s Everything Was Beautiful lived up to its name and had lyrics which, in my opinion, the old masters would be proud of, suggesting positives which might emerge from the otherwise sad break-up of a relationship. Mick Shoulder’s How Could I? was introduced with the speculation that one day people might refer to the Great North-Eastern Songbook! Why not? say I  - the first chapter has already been written!
With Mick Shoulder on bass and Giles Strong on guitar Ruth will be in good voice” was how Bebop…flagged up this gig. Spot on! Three more concerts are coming up here between now and November – do NOT miss them!
Jerry.

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