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Monday, April 09, 2018

GIJF Day 2: Jay Rayner - An Afternoon of Food and Agony - Sage Gateshead, April 7

Jay Rayner (piano, vocals); Pat Gordon-Smith (vocals); Dave Lewis (tenor saxophone);  Robert Rickenberg (double bass)
The Gateshead International Jazz Festival is noted for, if nothing else, its eclectic programming. First publicity for this year’s GIJF included Jay Rayner. What? The restaurant critic? A Saturday afternoon slot in the middle of a high profile jazz festival allocated to a newspaper columnist…is this the future of jazz? Would anyone turn up? They did, Sage Two’s three tiers were open and most seats were sat upon. Looking around the cockpit auditorium it was clear that only a few of those present are ever seen at the week-to-week, bread and butter jazz gigs across Tyneside.

Rayner entertained with anecdotes about his childhood, of growing up with his mother’s ‘agony aunt’ high profile (Claire Rayner), his love of musicals and more. The Ladies Who Lunch (comp. Stephen Sondheim), Eggs and Sausage (comp. Tom Waits), Black Coffee. Yes…music (jazz?) and food. Let’s take it on the road.
Vocalist Pat Gordon-Smith performed enthusiastically, Dave Lewis blew a mean, bluesy tenor, Robert Rickenberg’s secure bass playing added a touch of class, this was a curate’s egg of an afternoon at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.
Russell  (Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)         

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