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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Zoë Gilby Trio @ The Jazz Café. Dec 16

Zoë Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell)
Some things are quality, they just are. The Zoë Gilby Trio entertained the Lit & Phil’s regulars at the Jazz Café. A one-off change of venue, the audience transferred to Pink Lane without a hitch. One or two were first time visitors to the Caff. They liked what they saw and they liked what they heard. Vocalist Gilby’s star is in the ascendant. An acclaimed singer on the national scene, this trio gig pitched Gilby with double bassist Andy Champion and guitarist Mark Williams. You won’t find a better bass player and you won’t find a better guitarist. A lunchtime concert in Newcastle, three virtuosi, the hour-long programme resolutely GAS book-plus.

Gilby and Champion compositions took their place alongside Arlen and Harburg, Phil Lynott (ostensibly an odd selection) and the great Charles Mingus. Eight numbers, one hour (Champion’s car was on a meter!), professional presentation, jazz at its best. The trio opened with If I Only Had a Brain (Arlen and Harburg), Gilby in fine voice, a high bar stool to her left for bassist Champion, to her right, the seated Williams. The volume levels set just as they should be, we heard no fewer than four Gilby and Champion tunes: Find a Secret, Eleanor, Believe and, as Gilby said with no little self-deprecation: One of our greatest hits, the accomplished The Midnight Bell. Williams invariably coaxes bell ringing sounds from his Epiphone and he did just that on this occasion. From one master musician to another…Andy Champion. A double bass player of prodigious technique, he is in possession of that elusive quality…his own sound. In this small group setting there isn’t anything better than hearing a bass player of this calibre. If you don’t know Andy Champion’s sound, take it as read, he would have been ‘first call’ for Ella.
To close an enjoyable Friday lunchtime concert Zoë Gilby breezed through Dry Cleaner from Des Moines, at pains, rightly, to credit Joni Mitchell’s songwriting contribution. A 2017 Lit and Phil concert programme will be announced shortly.    

Russell.               

1 comment :

Pam Young (on f/b) said...

This was a top class gig thankyou Andy Champion Mark Williams and the lovely Zoe Gilby x

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