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Friday, December 11, 2015

Graeme Wilson Quartet @ The Lit & Phil – Dec 11

Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone), Paul Edis (piano), Andy Champion (double bass) & Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Graeme Wilson is on Tyneside to play a couple of gigs. The first of them at the Lit & Phil went down a storm. The monthly Friday lunchtime concert series continues to attract near full houses and Wilson’s appearance was no exception. Having spent several years as one of Tyneside’s Honorary Geordies, Wilson returned to his native Scotland to take up a job in the world of academia, yet makes time to meet up with, perform, and record with three of the north east’s finest musicians.
New material – new to the Newcastle audience – featured in the programme together with more familiar material. Searchlight Nevada, the first of five compositions, inspired by the tale of John Coltrane going missing in the desert, reaffirmed the memory of Wilson’s cast iron technique and to some ears an inside-the-tune logic to his thinking, development and execution of ideas. A post Coltrane sound, echoes of McCoy Tyner hanging onto the coat tails of the tenor giant, this was a great start to the set. Turquoise (another tune previously heard in Newcastle) followed, then a new composition, Spinning Slowly, featured brushes in the hands of the brilliant Adam Sinclair – the slowly spinning object being a car on ice. The New Wallaw referenced Blyth’s derelict (now lovingly restored) Art Deco cinema. A vehicle for the much missed Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra, the composition works as a small group piece. In the hands of the four musicians on the stand it couldn’t fail to do so.
The final tune of the afternoon – Five Floors Up – achieved a unanimous post-gig verdict from many present: superb. Recorded as a duo piece for Wilson and pianist Paul Edis, the musicians had little difficulty in adapting it for quartet. Drawing upon seemingly endless influences and sources, the number incorporated a lazy, behind-the-beat post-bop in-the-pocket feel infused with the blues. And…Wilson and co whistled the coda. Masterful!
An eagerly anticipated new recording is in the offing. The CD will compliment the highly regarded EP Pleasureland. Scheduled to be released sometime in early 2016 with gigs to follow, watch this space. The next Lit & Phil lunchtime date for your diary is, wait for it, Graeme Wilson and Paul Edis on Friday 22 January playing the music of one TS Monk!
Russell.  

1 comment :

JC said...

Great review of a brilliant gig and I definitely agree with Russell's comment on Five Floors Up - there is no better way of describing it than as incorporating 'a lazy, behind-the-beat post-bop in-the-pocket feel infused with the blues'. The tune certainly deserves that many hyphens!
Also nice to see the band having a good time and whistling while they work.
JC

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