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Monday, November 21, 2016

Peter Gilligan Quartet @ Black Bull, Blaydon. Nov 20

 Peter Gilligan (keyboards), Roly Veitch (guitar & vocals), Paul Grainger (double bass) & Rob Walker (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Minnie Fraser and Russell)
At short notice Peter Gilligan stepped into the breach to replace the previously advertised attraction. Blaydon Jazz Club is known as a bastion of the Great American Songbook and pianist Gilligan is well acquainted with it. Working with club promoter Roly Veitch there was never any doubt they would come up with a set list to win the approval of the Bridge Street audience.
On a cold November Sunday evening, the competing attraction of this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year – it’s a foregone conclusion! – dispatching Novak Djokovic at the ATP World Tour Finals on BBC television and Christmas just around the corner, it was a heartening sight to see familiar faces making the effort, determined to Keep Music Live as the Musicians’ Union would have it.
Johnny Green’s Out of Nowhere opened the programme. The standard set, Messrs Veitch, Gilligan, Grainger and Walker maintained it throughout the evening. Gilligan’s long time bassist Paul Grainger, at the best of times in cruise control, had this one in the pocket and the presence of the versatile Rob Walker ensured a GAS booker’s delight. A first vocal of the evening came Veitch’s way on East of the Sun with sympathetic support from PG, PG and RW, piano, bass and drums respectively. Charlie Haden’s Our Spanish Love Song – a  post-GASbook modern standard – impressed Veitch. This was, perhaps, the first time that the Black Bull had heard the revered bassist/composer’s tune. It sat nicely with all.

Jerome Kern’s Long Ago and Far Away with lyrics by Ira Gershwin afforded Roly Veitch a second opportunity to sing, once again with simpatico accompaniment. Sonora featured Veitch the guitarist; soloist and quartet excelling. Veitch suggested the composer was one of the under-rated talents in jazz history – the name, Hampton Hawes. Bop trumpeter and composer Kenny Dorham’s Blue Bossa heard solos from all four musicians with a master class in hand drumming by Rob Walker, a fitting finale to a most enjoyable first set.

I Remember April (comp. Gene de Paul) picked up where the quartet left off: an effortless – or so it seemed! – reading of a classic number with guitarist Veitch taking it home. Ray Noble’s The Touch of Your Lips heard Veitch the vocalist, with pianist Gilligan fleetingly quoting The Surrey with the Fringe on Top. Roly Veitch admires fellow guitarist Jim Hall and alluded to a similarity in structure of  the great American’s Waltz New and Some Day My Price Will Come. Two compositions, a shared chord progression, a ‘contrafact’ as any musician would recognise.

A bossa Flamingo then Sam Rivers’ Beatrice a vehicle for Peter Gilligan, with a fine solo from Paul Grainger and, before we knew it, time to go, but not before a double-time take on All God’s Children Got Rhythm.
 Next month – December 18 – it’s Roly Veitch, Paul Grainger and David Francis (drums) with guests James Birkett (guitar) and Goodman clarinet virtuoso George MacDonald.
Russell.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Very nice to hear The Musician,s Union to get a mention.
Raymond Newton Double Bass/ Cello/ Bass Guitar

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