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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Halperin: "Johnny Griffin is possibly the worst tenor saxophonist who has come to widespread public attention in the past decade." – (Jazz News, March 21, 1962).

Polly Gibbons: “If Billie [Holiday] had come up in the ’60s, she probably would have been a soul singer” – (Down Beat August 2017).

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Today Wednesday August 16

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Tynemouth Metro Station, Station Tce., Tynemouth NE30 4RE. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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Tees Hot Club - Cleveland Bay, 718 Yarm Rd., Eaglescliffe TS16 0JE. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pannonica @ The Lit & Phil - Oct. 30.

Zoe Gilby, vocals, Andy Champion, bass and Paul Edis, Piano.
(Review/photo by Jerry)
Pannonica is Zoe Gilby’s tribute to the music of Thelonius Monk (via Carmen McRae i.e. Monk with lyrics). I’d not seen the show before but was glad I caught this abbreviated version today as it was a real treat: nine Monk tunes interspersed with anecdotes and explanations and, in passing, a top-notch impersonation of Graeme Wilson! I look forward to seeing the full programme sometime soon.
Many of the lyrics were penned by Jon Hendricks including the zingy opener Rhythm-a-ning and the three tunes which followed. Pannonica, re-titled with lyrics, became Little Butterfly – a beautiful love song in which I’m sure the lyrics captured Monk’s feelings:
Like the lovely flowers / I wait for hours Just to feel that touch / The touch that I love so much
One day she'll flutter by I'll hold out my hand / And capture my butterfly.
Monk’s Dream, or Man, That’s A Dream featured some scat and a nice bass solo and Reflections, or Looking Back had a lovely piano finish. The line: “Thank God I’m a woman who knows” sounded like Zoe justifiably defending her choice of material!
Think of One, with lyrics by a Dutch vocalist, became When I Think of One. I’m not sure how the lyrics reflect the original unless it was about insecure love: When I think of one, I think of you / When you think of one, you think of who? There was a groovy piano solo and the final “who” sounded like a Tawny Owl in full cry.
I Mean You, with lyrics by Coleman Hawkins and Hendricks featured a great bass solo and was as near to “catchy” as Monk gets. Ugly Beauty, with lyrics by Mike Ferro, became And Still We Dream – a beautiful ballad / waltz about the end of a love affair. I like the way rhymes like “charming / alarming” crop up in Ferro’s lyrics echoing the oxymoronic original title.
My two favourites on the day were Blue Monk/Monkery’s the Blues and Brilliant Corners  When I’m Alone. The latter was amazing, musically – so complex that Monk’s band in 1956 (including Sonny Rollins), after no fewer than 25 takes, gave up and an edited “composite” had to go on the album. Today’s musicians were undeterred and the audience whooped their approval. Blue Monk was the closing number and Edis and Champion, who had solo-ed brilliantly throughout, saved their best till last and Zoe, whose vocals had been mesmerising elsewhere was really at home on this “blue highway”. I loved the lyrics, too – Abbey Lincoln, I believe:
Finding your one Place in the sun, Doesn't come the easy way Shallow or deep, Nothing is cheap, Measured by the dues you pay..
The lyrics perfectly fitted the tune – but not the occasion: I paid £4 and this was worth SO much more. I loved every minute!
Jerry

1 comment :

  1. An excellent gig. I wasn't sure I liked Thelonius Monk's music until then ...

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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