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Bebop Spoken There

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13,348 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 766 of them this year alone and, so far, 40 this month (June 11).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Sun 13: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

Sun 13: Sunday Jazz @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick (2:00pm).

Sun 13: Charlotte Keeffe Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. (8:00pm). £10:00. Advance booking essential at: www.jazz.coop.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Guitarist goes it alone in Eyemouth

(By Rob Adams)
Scottish guitarist Nigel Clark plays a rare solo gig back in his home country when he appears at Eyemouth Hippodrome, just north of the Bebop Spoken Here heartlands on Saturday, March 11.
Currently based in Dublin, Clark spends much of his time these days touring with Dutch violinist Tim Kliphuis’s trio and has just released an album, Confetti Falling in the Rain, with the Irish singer Colette Cassidy.
“I really enjoy working with Tim and Colette but there’s something I particularly like about being alone with an audience,” says Clark who began playing professionally at the age of eighteen and played with 1980s chart-toppers Hue & Cry and soul singer Gloria Gaynor before following his hero, John McLaughlin into jazz and jazz-rock.

“The stories behind the tunes in the jazz repertoire are often almost as compelling as the melodies and harmonies that shape them and it’s much easier to share anecdotes from the stage when you don’t have two or three other musicians kicking their heels, waiting for you to shut up and play!”
From gigs with his own band, which included saxophonist Tim Garland and pianist Brian Kellock, Clark went on to accompany singer Carol Kidd and after signing with New York label Arkadia Records he found himself playing guitar festivals in a band comprising eleven of Europe’s top players including Jan Akkerman, Terje Rypdal and Wolfgang Muthspiel.
It was with his first album for Arkadia, Grand Hotel Europa, that Clark made the permanent switch from electric to acoustic nylon strung guitar, finding the latter a more personal means of expressing himself. He subsequently formed a duo with Belgian guitar legend Philip Catherine and when, in 2007, Tim Kliphuis was looking to move beyond the “Dutch Stephane Grappelli” description that had helped to establish him, he found Clark’s readiness to play anything from a Scottish traditional tune to the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s The Dance of Maya an inspiration.
Clark recorded a solo album, Under the Stars, in 2012 and its arrangements of standards such as Body & Soul and All the Things You Are form the basis of his set list.
“I include one or two rock and pop songs, Santana’s Samba Pa Ti and maybe a Beatles song or two, because I like playing them but also because audiences might not always be familiar with other tunes I play, like Joe Pass’s Paco de Lucia, for example, and they can help to break the ice.”

Rob Adams.

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