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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ the Jazz Café: Zöe Gilby Quartet - Oct. 6

Zöe Gilby (vocals); Noel Dennis (trumpet/flugel); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The Caff was crammed, the seats were all taken and your reviewer was relegated (eventually) to a tall stool next to the door which opened and closed frequently the cold air offering a contrast to the cool sounds emulating from the performance end of the room.
Down there, at the cutting edge, a noble effort to pay tribute to the music of American trumpet player and composer Tom Harrell was taking place with words put to many of his compositions. Words, I gather, that were written by Andy Champion.
I say 'I gather' as, at my end of the room visibility, even on a high stool, was virtually non-existent, chatter very much existent, and PA announcements unintelligible.
Despite all that, the music was magnificent.
Last time I heard Dennis (apart from chatting with him on Radio Tees re the approaching Middlesbrough Festival) he was very much in Chet Baker/classic Miles mode. These days, Tom Harrell is very much the main ingredient although the other two greats are still tantalisingly tasty ingredients of his signature dish.
I may have heard Zöe in better voice but I can't remember when. She handled the difficult material with apparent ease, her singing voice reaching the parts of the room her announcing voice didn't. This wasn't because of the acoustics it was because once she sang that first note (or Noel blew that first phrase) the chatters stopped chatting and all ears were absorbing the lyricism of 5 musicians at the top of their game.
Straight ahead renditions intermingled with her wordless vocals and the occasional free for all with the other four, rubber-stamped her credentials as one of the area's, arguably, the UK's, most original jazz singers.
Noel Dennis' style may be clean cut and melodic but nor is he afraid to talk dirty (musically speaking) when it all hits the fan. Likewise Mark Williams. He can be Kessel, Metheny, Clapton or Scofield as the occasion demands although, most of the time he's Williams (Mark not John). 
Champion, apart from his newly discovered talent as a lyricist, remains unchallenged and Russ Morgan, as ever did the business.
I didn't catch all of the titles but those I did included: a couple from the album Sail Away; Scene?; Angela; Aurora; Moods? and several others.
Truly an afternoon delight.
---- 
I came in at the back end of a set by the Tom Dixon Quartet. They were playing a piece that seemed to be going on forever. However, as I didn't hear it in full it would be unfair to comment. It was listened to in sepulchral silence until the end when the applause showed how well the band had been received.
Lance.

1 comment :

Hilary Say (on F/b) said...

Lance, Zoe actually wrote all the lyrics.

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