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Friday, May 03, 2019

Simon Spillett & Paul Edis @ Gala Theatre, Durham - May 3

Simon Spillett (tenor sax); Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell/PHOTOS courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

Another full house at the Gala Theatre, little surprise given the quality musicians on the stand. Paul Edis, promoter of the monthly Friday lunchtime concert series, invited Simon Spillett to travel north to play a duo set, the first of two performances today for the tenor saxophonist who has an evening engagement with Edis' trio at Ushaw College.

The tenor sax-piano gig kicked-off with Kurt Weill's Speak Low. Spillett is the sort of tenor player who takes a good look at a tune, playing with unrivalled authority and his musical partner on this Durham session can be said to do much the same from the piano stool. A big sound, executing ideas with astonishing dexterity, the sartorially elegant Spillett acknowledged the round of applause which greeted his opening solo. 
Pianist Edis matched our visitor solo for solo, the two men clearly comfortable in one another's company. Alone Together (Spillett said it seemed appropriate to play it as a duo) then a cut from his first album - Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most - held the audience spellbound. Spillett generously, and rightly, said of Paul Edis: Paul is a fabulous jazz piano player, you shouldn't take him for granted, he's a great player. Well, said, sir!

A Weaver of Dreams - ah, yes! One of the great tunes, certainly for a tenor player, a magical moment. Spillett introduced Leroy Anderson's I Never Know When to Say When saying the number was a gem of a ballad from the otherwise unsuccessful 1958 Broadway show Goldilocks. No doubt Mr Anderson would have been tickled pink to hear Spillett and Edis play his tune all of sixty years on.

The one hour Gala Theatre performance flew by and our duo went out on a sparkling Oleo. At the time of writing there is still time to make your way to Ushaw College for this evening's concert featuring Simon Spillett (tenor sax) with the Paul Edis Trio: Edis (piano), Andy Champion (bass) and the fabulous Abbie Finn (drums). 7:30pm start, £8, pay on the door. Sat Nav users should use the DH7 7DW postcode.
Russell
PHOTOS 

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I must say this was something special, fantastic playing from both and Tenor playing very much in the Tubby Hayes mould which was great to hear.

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