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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).

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Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Paul Edis Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. August 15

Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (double bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Roly Veitch).
The music of Duke Ellington. The latest in an occasional series in which pianist Paul Edis presents a musical portrait of his chosen subject: Edward Kennedy Ellington – composer, pianist, bandleader. Blaydon Jazz Club hosted this first performance of the Paul Edis Trio playing Ellington’s compositions and those associated with him, notably Billy Strayhorn.
The Black Bull regulars turned out, the pianists – Ellington and Edis – the attraction. This   was the first opportunity for some to hear drummer Russ Morgan play. He’s been sitting-in at jam sessions on Tyneside for a year or so, making a big impression, rapidly picking- up some of the plum gigs on the scene; the recently established Tanton-Williams Quartet, working with vocalist Alice Grace, herself a welcome newcomer, and Dr Edis. The ever-reliable bassist Mick Shoulder, busy with his own projects, was, as ever, at Edis’ side.
Rocking in Rhythm for trio, the sound of the Ellington band’s section work in one’s head, this was going to be special. Edis interspersed tunes with commentary; context (the social and the political), relationships (professional and personal), the music and its oft disputed authorship. From Black and Tan Fantasy to Isfahan to Mood Indigo. The trio took a little time to hit their straps. Short on rehearsal time, eye contact essential, a nod the cue, a real test of their musical mettle. Take the A Train took us to Harlem, the Harlem Renaissance of the early years of the twentieth century. The trio settled, the jazz superb, Blaydon Jazz Club was the place to be!
Edis wasn’t too concerned about chronology; Ellington’s five decades as composer were a rollercoaster stylistically, similarly his personal life, public popularity ebbed and flowed with a mid-fifties nadir dispelled overnight at the Newport Jazz Festival. The jazz history books were re-written that rainy night on Rhode Island. Paul Gonsalves’ marathon blues-drenched solo saw Ellington reborn. We didn’t hear Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue a la Newport ’56, not least because the pub hadn’t applied for a late licence! We did hear more classic Ellington; Money Jungle (his brief association with a younger generation of musicians forging a new path), Come Sunday (Edis solo), Satin Doll and to close, Cotton Tail. The audience wanted to hear some more, the trio conferred and said good night with Star Crossed Lovers.
Next month there is a two-concert special. An extra date – Sunday 6 September – sees the phenomenal young guitarist Bradley Johnston in a duo setting with mentor James Birkett.
Lovers of jazz guitar shouldn’t miss this one. If you are yet to hear him play, be prepared to be, as they say, ‘gob-smacked’. Dr Birkett can play a bit too! Then, on the regular third Sunday in the month (20 September), Johnston returns leading his own quartet. The band formed during BJ’s participation in the Jazz Café’s regular jam sessions. Such occasions can be sink-or-swim affairs…it was clear to all that Johnston was in the fast lane! At the Black Bull he will be supported by some of the scene’s most experienced musicians. Get along on the night. Recommended.  
Photos.
Russell

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