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Friday, November 23, 2018

Strictly Smokin' @ The Black Swan - Nov 22

Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (keyboards); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums) + Michael Lamb (trumpet)
(Review by Russell)
Gig number two on a damp November evening. Having left Prohibition Bar it was a short walk across the High Level Bridge to Newcastle Arts Centre to catch the remainder of the Strictly Smokin' set in the basement Black Swan Bar. 

Playing to a 'select' audience, the Strictly Smokin' rhythm section boys were having a ball. It was one of those gigs when musicians play for the love of it, to hell with the absentees. The SSBB horns given the night off, this was an opportunity to hear guitar, piano, bass and drums stretch out. On entering the Black Swan Bar guitarist Pav Jedrzejewski was in full cry on Chick Corea's Spain

Billy Cobham's Red Baron from the drummer's highly regarded Spectrum album found the quartet in a groove, very different from their usual gig with Michael Lamb's ace big band. Speaking of the SSBB's MD, trumpeter Lamb just happened to be on the premises with his trumpet at hand and he joined the boys for a blast on the penultimate number of the evening before leaving it to the quartet to take it out on Caravan.

A vignette of a performance. Two gigs in one night? It's possible, but only on an occasional basis!      
Russell.

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