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Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Jazzy Christmas: The Paul Edis Trio, Jo Harrop & Guests @ Sage Gateshead – December 22

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums); Jo Harrop (vocals); Matt Anderson (ten, sop sax); Graeme Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Emma Fisk (violin); Alex Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Kate Garnett (trombone); Megan Robinson (flute, piccolo)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photos by Jerry and main photo by Sarah Williams)
What a grand start to Christmas! A different take on many Christmas favourites to get us in the right mood. Different from the first tune, which was an unusually rhythmed  Jingle Bells, in tricky 5/4 time from the trio with Matt Anderson on tenor sax. The piano lid, bass, bass drum and mic stand were adorned with fairy lights and Paul read out Christmas cracker jokes at various times during the evening. Enter Jo wearing a glamorous short, black, sparkly dress, to sing Let It Snow, and the mood was well set for the audience in hall 2, which was full, including many seats taken on level 3.
All the instruments were well up to the mark, with the saxes and brass giving us skilled solos, Emma’s violin sounding superb, and Jo Harrop, back in her native North East, singing well in a clear voice with an obvious jazz edge, and every word distinct. And the three younger musicians, trained by Paul in the Jambone band, did themselves credit. Jo did a very fun version of Never Do A Tango With An Eskimo; then a much sadder wartime song I’ll Be Home For Christmas (if only in my dreams); a saucy Santa Baby, reminiscent of the Eartha Kitt version; a moving Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (with piano only).
 
 The instrumentals included White Christmas (beautiful violin from Emma); Driving Home For Christmas (requested by Mrs Edis); Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. There was a lovely carol medley, featuring the piano for In The Bleak Midwinter; O Come All Ye Faithful led by Emma; and a very up tempo Silent Night from everyone. While Jo and Paul were playing, the other instruments left the stage, then played a moving God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, from various parts of the auditorium downstairs. It reminded me of orchestras which Thomas Hardy recalled playing in church when he was young. The instruments were similar, though maybe not saxophones as I’m not sure if they had yet been invented, but you get the idea.
 Winter Wonderland was the last number, followed by an encore of Mel Tormé's The Christmas Song (chestnuts roasting on an open fire etc), with everyone in Santa hats, except that there was no hat left over for the drummer. Jo gave her hat to Russ, well deserved for his hard work. A friendly gesture to round off a great evening.
Ann Alex  

1 comment :

Steve T said...

On my honeymoon in Rome I saw this brilliant jumper but it was £350 and this was 1995. Had it been £100, I'd have tortured myself and no doubt led a life of regret, but at £350, there was no decision to make and so it was on Friday.
When I first saw this night on the Sage Website, I emailed Paul to say how brill it sounded but fortunately delayed buying tickets and it was only when I came to buy them later I spotted the collision.
As I said, there wasn't a decision to make which doesn't mean it doesn't hurt; imagine how splendid I'd have looked in my £350 jumper.
More or less the ultimate North East Jazz super-group, with our very own Duke Ellington (Lord Paul) at the helm. The return of a great sax player and friend of the North East, (PC ALERT) a prodigal daughter who looks and sounds terrific (ditto the fiddler), and I'll leave it for the ladies to evaluate the male protagonists in that dept.
Next Year.

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