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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, November 21, 2017

The Early Bird Band + Paul Edis @ Blaydon Jazz Club - November 19

The Early Bird Band: James Metcalf (trumpet & flugelhorn), Alex Thompson (alto saxophone), Ryan de Silva (baritone saxophone), Ben Lawrence (piano), Alex Shipsey (bass & double bass) & Dylan Thompson (drums) + Paul Edis (tenor saxophone & flute)
(Review by Russell/Collages courtesy of Roly & Jerry)
What’s that about police officers looking so very young? Arriving at the Black Bull the average age of those on the premises plummeted due to the fact that six young musicians were about to play a gig in the Sunday evening jazz lounge. More than one of the sextet isn’t yet eligible to cast a vote at a General Election (one could be just around the political corner), and the band’s MD, Paul Edis,  can hardly be described as a veteran musician/educator (that’s way into the future).
Most members of the Early Bird Band (there are others) made the gig, so they played it as a sextet. Trumpeter James Metcalf stepped up to the plate to take a first, possibly nerve-wracking, solo. JM did just fine, and, to his left, Ryan de Silva followed up with a confident baritone sax solo on Sandu.
MD Edis, technically making it a septet, opened on flute as the Early Birds more than did justice to Song for my Father. An apposite Ornithology found the band relaxing into the set, bop numbers are right up their jazz alley, the stuff of their early Saturday morning workshop sessions at Newcastle’s Lit and Phil.

Blue Bossa heard from Edis, Ryan de Silva, pianist Ben Lawrence soloing over unison horns, and, taking it home, the young man at the back, drummer Dylan Thompson. A couple from Miles Davis – Flamenco Sketches and Milestones. Alto saxophonist Alex Thompson approached the numbers with great sensitivity, James Metcalf excelled on flugelhorn, Ryan the baritone man likewise, and, the other young man in the engine room, Alex Shipsey, showed what he could do playing his shiny, new double bass.* Kenny Barron’s Fungaii Mama took us near to closing time with the frontline – Messrs Metcalf, Thompson and de Silva – firing, leaving Dylan Thompson to play a great closing solo.   

Earlier, Dr Edis observed that this Blaydon Jazz Club engagement was the first gig which featured the Early Bird Band as headliners. It won’t be the last!                       

* Watch out Mr Champion!

Paul Edis (piano)
Earlier, Paul Edis played a solo set. A mix of standards and original compositions, this was a piano masterclass. I’ve Never Been in Love Before, From Nothing to Nowhere (comp. Edis) emerged, or, indeed, was salvaged, from the bridge of a discarded, unfinished tune cast aside for a few years. A three-number delight – Bill Evans, Kurt Weill and Henri Mancini – preceded, as one Bebop Spoken Here reviewer described it, ‘Paul Edis’ greatest hit,’ the perfectly formed Vignette.

I Can’t Get Started (one of the great tunes), One Note Samba, as Edis joked ‘the one with several notes in the middle’ incorporating a light-of-touch stride section, and a dominant left hand walking bass line on Gone With the Wind, the Blaydon Jazz Club could have listened all night but the Early Birds were about to fly.  
Russell             

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