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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mick Shoulder’s Swing Manouche avec Picasso, Miró et al @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - March 24

Mick Shoulder (guitar), Giles Strong (guitar), Paul Edis (clarinet) & Paul Susans (double bass)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Jerry Edis).
Mick Shoulder mixes with superstars as a matter of routine. This Friday lunchtime concert in the McGuinness Gallery at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, the second in a new monthly series of jazz gigs in the resurgent County Durham market town, featured Shoulder’s Swing Manouche outfit playing to a large audience including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Elizabeth Frink.

Swing Manouche opted to play acoustically in the lower ground floor McGuinness Gallery. Swing ’51 began the hour-long programme, the acoustics just fine. Shoulder’s band mates – Paul Edis, clarinet, sporting a Stéphane Grappelli-inspired shirt (see photo), Giles Strong, guitar and double bass maestro Paul Susans – featured on All of Me, and Susans accepted Shoulder’s invitation to take another solo on Anniversary Song, saying to Shoulder, mid-tune: Another one! Giles Strong impressed on Django’s Hungaria and again on Shoulder’s Cigaro Bolero. Shoulder himself got a look in on Lulo Reinhardt’s Lulo’s Swing – democracy in action, one by one basking in the sunny Bishop Auckland spotlight.
 A party of school children from St John’s School and Sixth form College enjoyed the performance (worth ducking out of double Mathematics!) and this second concert in the series suggests that an audience is out there keen to hear top class jazz on its doorstep. Swing Manouche concluded the hour-long set with I’ll See You in My Dreams, Shoulder’s menacing Gonzo’s Waltz and a Hot Club standard – Django’s Minor Swing. Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and several other greats of the visual arts’ world looked on with admiration, no doubt recalling hearing the real thing – Django, Stéphane and the pre-war Quintette du Hot Club de France. The attendance of Pablo, Joan et al was in two-dimensional form – a selection of artworks from Durham University’s art collection is currently on show in the McGuinness Gallery including the aforementioned Picasso and Miró. Bishop Auckland, a town of high culture. Sample more of it on April 28 (one o’clock) when Dean Stockdale brings in his Manchester-based trio. Recommended.       

Russell.  

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