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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

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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.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jazz Café Jam Session - April 17

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Paul Gowland (alto); Ben Richardson, Joel Brown (piano); John Pope (bass); Charlie Gordon (guitar); Matt Lack, John Bradford(drums); Kate O'Neill, Weiting Huang; James Shouten, Chloe Watson, ?? (vocals).
(Review by Lance)
Tonight's jam had a plethora of pianists, a drove of drummers, a swarm of singers, even a brace of bassists (a very rare occurrence ) but only a solitary saxophonist. Fortunately, the saxophonist was Paul Gowland who is worth ten men whether you want ten men or not - tonight we did. His Autumn in New York, Cottontail and Someday My Prince Will Come were simply superb.
Accompanied by young Joel Brown the pairing worked well (not forgetting the trojan work put in by Paul Grainger and Rob Walker's drum solo on Cottontail).

Prior to Joel, Alan Law had dazzled with Herbie Hancock's Driftin'; Lulu's Back in Town and his own arrangement of a French chanson - Souvenir de Paris? - un tour de force. Ben Richardson threw his hat into the ring with Softly as in a Morning Sunrise and There will Never be Another You. Like the other two pianists, Ben performed miracles on a piano that needs a little tweaking by the tuner.
First of the singers was a newcomer to the Caff - Kate O'Neill from down south (Middlesbrough to be precise). I was delighted when Kate opened up with Carl Sigman's Crazy he Calls me. A tune recorded at one time by Billie Holiday and sung well by the lady from Teesside. It also served as a reminder that Daryl Sherman, currently on a UK tour, is centering her show around the music of Carl Sigman - details
Kate did some off-mic scatting which deserved to be better heard. Not many can sing Loverman successfully but this girl was the exception with some great jazz phrasing. Later, she sang Close to You that I only heard briefly as, unfortunately, it was time for me to take a train.
Let's hope we hear her again.
Surprise! Surprise! A male singer appears and, apart from the occasional visit by Paul Skerritt, this doesn't happen very often.
James Schouten was out on parole from the Royal Academy of Music where he is studying opera.
The arias he chose tonight were Misty by Garner and Fly me to the Moon by Richard Branson.
A powerful voice that filled the room with or without the mic he also had a stage presence that will stand him in good stead when singing Largo Al Factotum. It didn't do him any harm here either. I look forward to Act 2.
Another voice with volume was that of Chloe Watson (got the name right this week) who reprised At Last à la Etta. She even managed to drown out the boisterous birthday party down at the other end of the room.
Rather more reticent was Weiting Huang who sang Quiet Nights and the girl who sang Blue Moon - sorry, I didn't catch your name. Both showed promise.
Apart from Rob Walker, we had Matt Lock and John Bradford on drums. Both did the job without any pyrotechnics - just solid timekeeping that didn't cause any disruption.
Oh yes, I almost forgot, there was also Charlie Gordon on guitar. He played mainly rhythm but, when called upon, proved to be a fluent soloist.
Paul Grainger must have fingertips like a cobbler's thumb when he goes home after a night of nonstop pizzicato so that when John Pope arrived Paul must have experienced similar feelings to Baden-Powell when Mafeking was relieved.
Another good one!
Lance

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