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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 2019)

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Tuesday July 23

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden. See above.

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood; Paul Grainger; Matt MacKellar.

Archipelago & J Frisco + Mark Williams Trio - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £9.90.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Time & Place: Paul Edis Quartet, Jo Harrop, Vasilis Xenopoulos; Ed Cross String Quartet @ Sage Gateshead - June 6

(Review by Lance/Photos by Russell). 

Wallace and Gromit may have pulled in Sage One and, down the road, at the Stadium of Light, the Spice Girls attracted the hoi polloi but for the more discerning muso, Sage Two is the only game in town.

Time and Place, an intriguing concept conjured up by Paul Edis and executed by an A-list team that, in jazz terms, outstripped the competition from here to breakfast time.

The idea, semi-premiered at the 606 Club, involved Edis selecting a selection of songs both standard and self-penned that related to the theme so, what better way to start than with Time After Time. Jo Harrop, looking stunningly statuesque in a white creation that didn't come from Primark, took Sammy Cahn's lyrics and Jule Styne's tune and made it her own. The icing on the cake, a sensitive tenor solo by the Greek God of the tenor - Vasilis Xenopoulos.

The Ed Cross string Quartet augmented the ensemble for April in Paris with Edis taking a solo so logical it's nothing less than perfection. As he also did the arrangement (indeed all of them) the strings slotted in harmlessly bringing a Parisian feel to the tune.

The first of Paul's own compositions - a two-part piece entitled Breathing. Inspired by a TS Eliot poem, the first part a quirky instrumental waltz, the second a vocal by Jo.

Things became somewhat vague after this. Writing in the dark with a temperamental pen and no idea of 'time and place' on the page my notes became a jumbled lexicon.

Too Little Time, by Henry Mancini, I recall as a beautifully emotive song. Wise Words  and When I Was Young (both Edis with a vocal by the maestro on the latter.); A Foggy Day (complete with verse); 63 Years (an Edis composition celebrating a couple's 80th birthday after being together for the above number of years); Autumn in New York (great vocal terrific tenor).

Embrace the Silence, a tension building original, Michel Legrand's Once Upon a Summertime; Rome Wasn't Built in a Day and le pièce de résistance Some Other Time. Just voice and piano, this was surely the vocal performance of the year which is no reflection on Edis' own vocal that followed - Taking the View - but this was special.

The evening finished up with West Coast Blues and In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. A memorable evening with superb singing, some of the best tenor sax playing around, a top rhythm section and some effective string quartet writing by Edis and played faultlessly by the string quartet.

As for Paul Edis, is there no stopping him? Surely his talents will eventually take him beyond these shores. If they do we will be both gladdened and saddened.

For those who want more of Paul and Vasi, don't bother going to The Gala this lunchtime - it's sold out! However, along with Andy Champion and Russ Morgan, they perform a quartet gig at Ushaw College near Durham tonight at 7:30pm.
Lance

Time & Place: Paul Edis (MD, piano, vocal); Jo Harrop (vocals); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums); Ed Cross String Quartet: Ed Cross (violin); Jo Montgomerie (violin); Chrissie Slater (viola); Ele Leckie (cello).

5 comments :

Patti said...

Well - words fail me - this was such a superlative gig, and Lance - you've summed it all up. It was wonderful - nothing less than that!

Chris Kilsby said...

Thanks Lance - a good summary of a great evening - what a showcase for the north east scene. For me, this eclipsed the recent (packed) Ronnie Scott's "All Stars" gig in every respect - vocals, originality, sax, piano, rhythm section, taste...

I was very keen to hear Paul's originals which have been played by Jambone. These didn't disappoint - especially my favourite, "Embrace the Silence", which never fails to send chills down the spine. NB though - the Jambone versions are different, but no less musical and accomplished!

Altogether, Paul and his superb crew did themselves (and Sage) proud - never mind talk of leaving these shores, how about investing in and building jazz here even more?!

Ian Paterson said...

I think it’s fair to say Chris that the Sage deserves little praise here....given that they are shutting down the jazz degree that Paul is head of and making him (and the rest of the department) redundant....it’s hard to see how that is investing in jazz....

Anonymous said...

In agreement with everything above, really quiet superb in every way. The only thing Paul Edis doesn't do is juggle and I wouldn't be surprised if he did that too.
Musicianship on this was top notch from everyone, simply fantastic playing and vocals. My wife who is not a jazz fan (but came for the wine) loved it too so it appealed to more than just the jazz crowd.

Russell said...

Paul does juggle...gigs, bandleader, tutoring, promoting, writing, arranging, festival organiser etc!

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance