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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Matt Anderson & Paul Edis @ The Jazz Café. June 13

Matt Anderson (tenor & soprano saxophones) & Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell).
Westgate Hill; Excuse me. Could you tell me where I can find Summerhill Bowling Club?
Ah! You’re going to Vamos! (Kid Creole the attraction!). Turn right and follow the noise.  
The spell of fine weather broke late afternoon. Newcastle’s party animals were out on the town. Hens and stags partied (high-heeled giraffes, rhinos, Roman togas), the well-heeled sought a pre-theatre al fresco option, the discerning drinker was on the CAMRA trail, the non-discerning (seven abreast, less the ‘good’, more like the ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’) fixed their steely gaze on the next boozer (any boozer) up ahead. And then there was jazz, jazz, jazz.
The Vamos! event had its share of coconut wearing/shaking jazzers making a buck, Scots descended on the Globe for some serious jazz, Zoe and Stu played seriously good stuff in the Vermont and then there was Matt Anderson and Paul Edis.
Leeds-based Anderson has become a familiar, welcome, face on Tyneside and this renewed acquaintance with pianist Paul Edis promised to be a meeting of compatible musical minds. The Jazz Café pulled a good number of folk. Some had yet to hear the duo. At the end of the evening some were still to hear Anderson and Edis. Chatter, chatter. Quick! Send another text. That makes it three thousand today! No matter, those who listened (a good number did) heard two fine musicians play a selection of standards and no fewer than three of Edis’ tunes.
Moments Notice, Like Someone in Love, some Edis, some Jobim, a sublime Embraceable You (Anderson superb – your reviewer’s notes read!!! That’s the equivalent of five stars in Down Beat). The set had balance to it – these guys know what they’re doing – and the outer, Tenor Madness, achieved the desired result…Phew! A rhino waddled by, a Balkan accordionist stopped, thought better of it, and moved on, the curious looked in, a typical Pink Lane Saturday night.
Some were in the Caff specifically to hear Edis, some were there to catch Matt Anderson for the first time – either way they were onto a winner. The musicians have the ability to get inside a tune; to explore, to invent, to surprise (to surprise one another). They played it acoustically. Tenor saxophone heard above the intermittent din, the piano (and pianist) sounding good.
Second set. Straight into You Stepped Out of a Dream. Wonderful. Just how do they do it? Murmurations (comp. Edis) had Anderson reading the dots. Advanced reading ability, no doubt about it. Edis excelled on You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To (!!! rating), the jousting duo engaging in a friendly chase. Anderson switched to soprano on Maiden Voyage. Fabulous playing, both reeds and keys. Edis’ ballad Ballad (as good a title as any other) served as the penultimate number of the evening. Invitation closed the evening. On this showing the Jazz Café will surely extend a further invitation to the duo of Matt Anderson and Paul Edis.
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Earlier, the Vermont Hotel’s Redwood Bar hosted a wedding reception. The newly weds and guests departed, the Chesterfield-plush venue sighed in relief. A popped champagne cork lay hidden under a table, snug on the deep pile carpet sprinkled with wedding cake crumbs. A lone quaffed glass awaited collection, hospitality staff doing their best to look busy behind the bar.
At the piano, Stu Collingwood suggested he Don’t Get Around Much Anymore. Suitably suited, Collingwood was fulfilling an engagement with the divinely dressed Zoe Gilby. A class act, the piano/vocals duo chose tunes they liked, tunes the hotel’s guests would like. Gilby impressed on God Bless the Child, interpretation and understanding of the lyric to the fore. It would be good to report a full house. The truth of the matter is this is a hotel booking – top performers, the event largely unknown to the outside world. Lullaby of Birdland, I Thought About You – you get the picture. The next time you’re in town and fancy listening to some top quality jazz check Bebop Spoken Here before you set off. Days and times vary (four o’clock, six o’clock, seven). It won’t cost you a penny (unless you choose to buy a drink) and you can sink into a Chesterfield for a few minutes or a couple of hours, the choice is yours. The short walk from the Vermont to the Jazz Café humming Dindi was never less than entertaining. Party people on the street – sashed last-night-of-freedom gluttons, tanned, plunging necklines, teetering heels. And you should have seen the women…  
Russell.       

                  

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