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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.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

CD Review: Geoff Simkins' Trio - In a Quiet Way

Geoff Simkins (alto); Nikki Iles (piano); Dave Green (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Make Someone Happy - the opening track - did indeed make someone happy (me!) It swung from the outset. Wot no drummer? The track was halfway through before I noticed. Maybe it was because I was tapping my foot so much that a drummer would have been surplus to requirements. Not that this is a wham, bang, thank you ma'am belter. Far from it. After the exuberance of the opener, Earl Zindars' Elsa takes us into a more, reflective 3/4 mode. Elsa brings to mind Art Pepper's Diane and Simkins' playing hints at Pepper, Desmond and, perhaps, most of all Lee Konitz. Kenny Wheeler's Old Ballad is another beauty reminding us, as if we needed to be reminded, of what a sensitive and sympathetic player Nikki Iles is. If you can't make it with backing like Nikki gives here then sell your horn and drive taxis. Simkins isn't going to be driving taxis! Nor is Dave Green.
Green, a dear friend of the late Margaret Barnes, is, and always will be, top call bassman for sessions such as this and the proof of the pudding is in the cooking - regulo 7, occasionally 9.
Konitz' s Friend-Lee allows Simkins to make his allegiance clear. It jumps and all three do it justice.
Beija Flor, by Nelson Cavaquinho, in Portuguese means Hummingbird. Simkins recalls hearing it by Jim Hall and, he says, he always keeps Hall's solo in mind whenever he plays it.
Nobody Else But me, written by Kern and Hammerstein in 1946, somehow or other stayed off my radar until I heard it by the wonderful Cécile McLorin Salvant. Martin Waugh played it at the last Jazz Café jam and now here it is once more - don't go away again!
Another Zindars' tune - Sareen Jurer - goes from 3/4 to 4/4 and back again. His wife, Annie, who is Armenian, came up with the title. Written with Bill Evans in mind who better to have on piano than Iles?
Mooch Too Early, fiendishly moulds Bird's Moose the Mooche with Evans' Very Early. Simkins describes Josh Rutner's composition as "A white knuckle ride that we all felt a vague sense of satisfaction that we'd emerged relatively unscathed."
Delete 'relatively' you nailed it.
The final track is one that is the most meaningful for north-east readers and jazz guitar buffs anywhere. For DJC is a tribute to Dave Cliff.  Dave, one of the areas great jazz guitarists, subsequently went on to greater things down south. Simkins says, "I first met and played with Dave over thirty years ago and his musical integrity and skill has always been an inspiration to me.'
No argument there, let's hope Dave is okay despite not playing so regularly these days.
Lance.
Geoff Simkins' Trio - In a Quiet Way available on Symbol Records SR20170301.

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