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Saturday, June 02, 2018

DJazz: The Durham City Jazz Festival: Paul Edis - June 1

Paul Edis (keyboards)
(Review by Russell).
A Durham lad is Paul Edis. The ‘boy done good’, as someone once said. Is there anything new left to say about pianist, educator and promoter Dr Edis? Not really, other than to say this DJazz set in Palace Green Library’s Courtyard Café met the very highest expectations one has come to expect. Standards, original material, an arrangement of an English pastoral and DJazz 2018’s first encore!


Young at Heart and You Must Believe in Spring opened Edis’ programme interspersed by Of Mice and Men, the pianist’s bluesy, gospel number. The very French Vignette enthralled those hearing it for the first time, and, indeed, those hearing it for the umpteenth time. Jobim’s One Note Samba is another oft-heard tune but, here’s the key, when it’s played by a pianist of Edis’ talent, it’s more a piano masterclass than just another perfunctory reading of the number. The applause rang out. No need to say anymore.

Edis introduced his arrangement of Greensleeves saying many of the jazz greats had reworked it – Coltrane, Paul Desmond…and me! Well, the present day great, Dr Edis played it canny good, like.*
A freely improvised piece – a ‘world premiere’ said Edis – contained/retained Edis’ innate elegance and a final offering, a swinging Almost Like Being in Love, brought the house down. The Courtyard Café’s MC thanked Paul Edis, thinking that was it. Not likely! The standing-room-only audience had other ideas. Sustained applause won an encore and Edis flew on A Night in Tunisia. Another Gig of the Year contender.                
Russell

* ‘canny good, like’ is Geordie understatement for brilliant.  

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