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Bebop Spoken There

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11,626 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 761 of them this year alone and, so far, 25 this month (July 6).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Vasilis Xenopoulos w. Paul Edis Trio @ Ushaw College - June 7

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass) Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Three gigs in two days for Vasi and Paul. Each one different. The ambitious undertaking last night at Sage Gateshead, the informal duo set this afternoon at Durham's Gala Theatre and tonight's swinging session at Ushaw College. I don't know if anyone caught all three gigs but several at this one had been to two and all had been to one!

They hit the deck running with Hank Mobley's No Room For Squares - what a sound this guy gets! If everyone could spell his name he'd be top of the tenor sax category in all the polls. Think Dexter Gordon or early Coltrane - that's the ballpark he's in - maybe just outside of it. The Greek saxist and the pianist from Chester-le-Street have forged a musical relationship over the years that never fails to gel. Add the undefeated Champion and Morgan the Mighty - on bass and drums - and you have a formula that equals perfection although the playing is far from formulaic.

The Best Things in Life Are Free may be a questionable statement but there was no disputing that what we were hearing was the best what e'er the price.

If Ever I Would Leave You, originally sang as a ballad by Sir Lancelot in the musical Camelot, was played at such a gallop that maybe he had left her and she was chasing after him. Sonny Rollins and Jim Hall provided the inspiration.

Charlie Haden's First Song (For Ruth) featured Andy Champion and there was more bass inspired music with Mingus' Nostalgia on Times Square which brought the first set to a close.

I was driving so I can't give you the lowdown on the booze but with music of this quality, who needs it?

Our Love is Here to Stay - subtitled by Vasi as My Mother-in-law's Here to Stay got the second set underway Followed by a delightful jazz waltz - Some Time Ago.

A Night in Tunisia was an absolute belter Blistering tenor that needed neither mic nor i-pad, piano and bass in the mix and an amazing solo from Russ that combined hand-drumming, brushes and sticks in varying permutations.

A sensitive We'll be Together Again before it was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and out.

Two Gigs of the Month in two days - maybe three going by Russell's review of the lunchtime gig (see previous post) and it's still only 7 days in!
Lance

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