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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Dream Jazz Collective @ The Empty Shop, Durham - February 16.

Jelly Cleaver (vocal, guitar), Seth Evans (keyboards), Nikita Losak (bass), Guillaume Trionfo (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
This was a one-off special which Carlo hadn't spotted as a Jazz gig and promoted accordingly. You may think the clue was in the name and the band had contacted Bebop Spoken Here to see if there would be anyone around to review it, but Carlos’ instincts proved, if not spot on, then near the mark.
They're a London-based band but Jelly Cleaver is a graduate of Durham University. Her voice was way down in the mix but she has a classic soul voice albeit without the grain of Aretha, Gladys Knight etc., more Minnie Ripperton, Deniece Williams or Betty Wright - no pressure then.
She's elegant and exotic, stylish and stunning and plays a spanking Gibson, but like the speaker of the Commons, I want to hear her. The music is an exciting melting pot of Jazz, fusion, pop, hip-hop, soul, funk and rock, Meshell Ndegeocello the nearest comparison I can come up with.
Some odd key changes, syncopation, changes in tempo, assured rhythm guitar and suitably restrained soloing, including some wah-wah and feedback.
They have a single out on March 1 called Angela and they've gone for something a little more 'out there', which is great, flicking her guitar to 'rock' for her solo.
It was a short set, somebody said about twenty minutes though I guesstimated around forty. They repeated it at an Italian restaurant a couple of hours later from a cramped stage above the bar, and I clocked it at about half an hour. I get that they may only want to play original material, but for the time being, they need a couple of covers and, with such a wide range of influences, there's so much to choose from. They also need to sort out their sound problems her voice barely audible here and sometimes entirely inaudible.
Having said that, even more so than at the Empty Shop, the band were laying down some crucial grooves (man), which is, I'm guessing, why the Empty Shop took out the tables and chairs.
Their entourage, including Katie Meberly of Nintai, who fronted a fine pixie folk, Jazzy support set at the Empty Shop, and two other young ladies led some fine sync dancing, simple but stylishly delivered, which proved infectious sparking some Crazy Ellen show dancing from the regular punters, which I'd like to see become part of their set.
Definitely, one to watch.
Steve T.

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