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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Gabi Heller Quartet @ The Globe - June 22

Gabi Heller (vocals); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Dave Parker (bass); Mark Robertson (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This band was as great as ever, so the difficulty for the reviewer is trying to say something different about the performance. Here goes: I noticed Gabi’s clever acting ability in interpreting the songs, especially her very expressive left hand (the hand not holding the mike) pleading, spreading, twisting, in order to convey emotion. I noticed the wide range of different tones that Stevie entranced from the guitar, Dave practically dancing with the bass in his enthusiasm, and Mark matching his drumming wonderfully to the different moods of the songs, sticks, brushes, mallets, playing cymbals only, as suggested. Gabi, who is an actor as well as a singer, put her heart and soul into all the songs, and I think maybe all jazz singers should study acting as well. The songs are worth it.

A good start was made with All Or Nothing At All, a skilled long guitar solo, inventive scat from Gabi, with the faintly German accent adding charm to the songs. Gabi told us that you can get an app on your mobile to tell you the stages of the moon, before singing about the Old Devil Moon, and My Foolish Heart, during which she became a scatting instrument in the band, singing a staccato blend with the guitar. Angel Eyes was heartbreakingly sad, a slow ballad with just guitar and voice to start, then the guitar with an echo effect, and a bass solo. Then along came It Don’t Mean A Thing to cheer us, fast scat, busy drums, call and response between voice and guitar. Imagination was milked for all it was worth, very slow with brushed drums, made humorous with a Louis Armstrong  growl on some of the words, but what else can you do with odd lyrics such as ‘starts you asking a daisy what to do, what to do’? Slow Me Down Lord, a gospel song, was included for people agitated by the news, but done loud with lively drums, to give the opposite effect to the words, just for a change, as Gabi explained. The first half ended with You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.
I liked the very varied selection of songs done and the interesting information supplied by Gabi, such as the Moon app mentioned before, and the way Gabi takes on a different persona occasionally, such as with the song  Don’t Mess Around With Me, (an original) a cabaret type song where she becomes a bossy woman. Other songs done in the second set were a rousing My House (Easter Eggs and Christmas trees were offered to the house guest); You Don’t Know What Love Is; The Queen song Dead On Time (about chasing time, with whoops from our singer and an unusual drum and guitar duet); Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Gabi pointed out how dark the lyrics are); My Favourite Things (raindrops illustrated on the guitar); Come On Into My Kitchen; and to finish, Lullaby Of Birdland (much playing with the lyrics).  
 Another good night at the Globe.

Ann Alex

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