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Monday, October 26, 2015

Vasilis Xenopoulos Quartet @ the Black Bull - Blaydon Jazz Club. Oct. 25

Vasilis Xenopoulos (ten); Paul Edis (pno); Andy Champion (ns); Russ Morgan (dms) + Anne DeVere (vcl); Bill Harper (pno); Matthew Mackellar (dms).
(Review by Lance).
If this isn't our "Gig of the Year" it will only be because Stan Getz was discovered not to be dead but living nearby in Crawcrook. However, even in that unlikely case scenario this gig  may still get the nod. Few in the packed room would, I think, disagree.
You Do Something to Me did something to me - made me realise that tonight was going to be something special. Over the years I've heard Vasi several times and, unfailingly, each one is better than the previous - and the very first one at the old Side Café was fantastic!
Serenade to a Cuckoo by Roland Kirk; Kenny Barron's Jan Julia; Step Lightly by Joe Henderson; Imagination and Dexter Gordon's Montmartre made this first set one of magical proportions.
Of course, brilliant as he is, this couldn't have been achieved without the A lister help of Paul Edis, Andy Champion and Russ Morgan. I've heard bands that have been playing together for years that weren't as tight as these four.
The second set kicked off  with a surprise. Anne DeVere and Bill Harper, once long term residents at Blaydon Jazz Club but now living in France, had popped over and, with young Matthew Mackellar, joined up with Vasi and Andy for Autumn Leaves. Great to see and hear them again.
Back to business with Mobley's Split Filling; Joey Calderazzo's Midnight Voyage; and an absolutely beautiful ballad, I Fall in Love to Easily. I think one or two of the ladies in the room may have done just that albeit not with me!
Sadly, for me, that was the end of the affair as the number 12 bus was due which connected with the Metro and then the number 27.
It was good that so many had made the pilgrimage to Blaydon and been rewarded with such swinging music.
Strange that, although the outgoing bus was "Gannin' along the Scotswood Road," nobody was singing Blaydon Races ...
Lance.

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