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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Alice Grace Quintet @ The Jazz Café - Sept. 18

Alice Grace (vcl); Paul Gowland (ten/alt); Peter Gilligan (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Russ Morgan (dms).
(Review/photo by Lance/photos by Mike Tilley here).
A gig of two halves. The first marred by Ms Grace being slightly undermiked although not so much that her undoubted class didn't shine through. The second, however, was the real deal. Now everyone in the crowded room could appreciate this exciting, relatively new, voice on the local scene. 
Not that this was a one person show. The band were at the top of their game and the voice/tenor unison passages a joy to behold. Gowland took the tenor on magical journeys that mere mortals could only dream about. Gilligan's never ending quest to find the lost chord resulted in him not only discovering the elusive Ab min9(bb5) but also a whole bag of more complex ones. Russ Morgan, Mr Deadpan, but very much Mr Expressive when it comes to percussion. Paul Grainger had the honour of opening the show. Bass and voice first chorus then band explodes and PG3 drops down into support mode.
The repertoire was varied. Standards such as: Devil May Care; I Didn't Know What Time it Was; It Could Happen to You; There Will Never be Another You and On the Street Where You Live and modern jazz pieces by Dave Holland; Kenny Garrett; Roy Hargrove; Chick Corea; John Taylor and a couple of Kenny Wheeler's. Not surprisingly, these latter songs showed a distinct Norma Winstone influence.
Night in Tunisia featured the "famous (Charlie Parker) alto break" and Gowland blew it to perfection having switched from tenor to alto for this number. Gilligan played what, in years to come, if it ever gets on record, may become known as the "famous piano break". Alice turned this into an object lesson in scat-singing and Grainger and Morgan aided and abetted admirably.
Was this the gig of the year? Could be, a better sound balance in the first set and it would be!
Still a great night.
Lance.

1 comment :

Russell said...

If not for the minor sound difficulties, this was gig of the year for 'sense of occasion'. A fabulous night.

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