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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Zoë Gilby Trio with Noel Dennis @ The Jazz Café. August 14

Zoë Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), Andy Champion (double bass) & Noel Dennis (trumpet & flugelhorn)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)
It isn’t as though your reviewer hasn’t heard Zoë Gilby and co. before. Familiarity breeds ...not a bit of it! Mark this down as a serious contender for gig of the year. Some gigs just hit the spot and this Jazz Café engagement was one of them. Familiar faces and the not so familiar – a bloke from Preston happened to ‘stumble across the place’ and a couple from Belgium wanted to hear some jazz, their search engine of choice suggested the Jazz Café – listened intently from first note to last.

The Pink Lane venue was busy, but so very attentive – no wonder with the calibre of jazz on offer. Noel Dennis was in town. The man plays far too few gigs these days; this was a chance to hear him blow great trumpet (and flugel). Dennis, guitarist Mark Williams and Andy Champion (double bass) opened up with Solar* before the star of the show Ms Zoë Gilby joined the boys to sing some jazz, then some! Gilby scatted on Straight No Chaser, Dennis’ growling trumpet into a reverb mic. Muted trumpet featured on Midnight Bell (an accomplished original composition) with Gilby’s carefully enunciated lyric, juxtaposing a two-line gem: drinks on me…pardon me,  a touch of class.   
Juan Tizol’s Caravan flew with Dennis and Williams in overdrive and a fabulous first set had something of That Old Black Magic. Time for a break! Jeremy was impressed, so too Kathy and John, Pam and everyone else on the premises. Another Prince Bishop, please!
Beautiful Love. Well, that was it, the gig went onto Bebop Spoken Here’s Gig of the Year shortlist. Better still – if that were possible – Gilby sang You Turned the Tables on Me. Just great. The waltz-like original In It Together waltzed along, Red City heard Gilby sing a lower register section to great effect, and, to top the lot, a good-time take on Harry Edison’s Centrepiece, with stellar soloing from Champion, called time on a memorable evening at the Jazz Café.
Russell.
* Solar – one for the musos…is the chord sequence based on How High the Moon?               

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