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In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

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Today

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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Paul Edis and Graeme Wilson @ Jazz Lounge, Ushaw College, Durham, August 26















Paul Edis (piano), Graeme Wilson (saxophone).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of John Cogan)
I recently said people like the idea of (oddball soul singer) Swamp Dogg, Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart and Tom Waites as much as the music and Thelonious Monk may just be the ultimate example of this.
I've been listening to Monk for years but still don't get it, though I have no plans to give up. I even asked local legend Dennis, something of an authority on Coleman Hawkins, thinking I might be able to use that as a route in.
I missed Edis and Wilson’s legendary Caff performance, or should I say I was forbidden to go, so this was a big deal for me. At the interval, Russell, who is a Monk man, said it was the easiest review ever - perfect - though it won't surprise him to find out I disagree; but only a little.
Green Chimneys opened things up, a piece I only know because number one son played it recently at the Caff and the Globe. It's from the album Underground, so there's another way in. As if to illustrate the difficulty in Monk’s music, I felt they missed it and weren't together for the first few bars. I almost thought they would stop and start again, but these are top notch musicians and it's to their credit they quickly got it together. Of course it's entirely possible that they played the intro perfectly and that it's just Monk.
From there on in it was pretty much perfect: Four in One, We See, Monks Mood, Balou Boulevard (I think), Horning In, San Francisco Holiday, Jacky-ing and Light Blue from the first Monk album Graeme heard, a live album re-released 1st Sep, so another route in. Trinkle Tinkle, Ugly Beauty, Nutty and Epistrophe finished set one.
The impending gig in the glorious theatre and a trip to the refectory and bar meant I dipped in and out of the second set, enough to see it was a triumph.
My views on Monk haven't changed so I still think he's not as great as his mythology, though number one wife is a fan - who'd have thought it? I'm sufficiently fascinated by him to enjoy his music live and to keep dipping into his extensive back catalogue, and I totally get why musicians want to play him; the challenge of playing difficult stuff and the boredom of playing music which abides by all the rules. Several years ago, Lord Paul told me he was playing some Monk and I suggested he'd be playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order, as all the older people became hysterical. Andre Previn could have learned a lot from Monk.
Steve T.

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