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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Alan Glen Trio @ The Globe - July 4

Alan Glen (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Paul Wight (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Exclusively For My Friends was the name given to a series of albums by Oscar Peterson recorded in front of an invited audience back in the 1980s. The albums were universally acclaimed as featuring Peterson at his very best. Last night, at the Jazz Coop HQ, nestled in the shadow of the Arena, pianist Alan Glen was at his very best playing a gig that could also be described as Exclusively For My Friends except the Tyneside piano legend has, or should have, considerably more friends than turned out at the Globe - their loss.

What they missed was an evening of sheer class by a master of his craft. Shades of Bud Powell, Hampton Hawes, Tatum and Peterson himself flowed from the maestro's fingers and not an iPad in sight - there was magic in the air.

Backed up by Paul Grainger on bass and Paul/Sid Wight/White on drums, from the opening Four to the Bye Bye Blackbird encore we sat back luxuriating in the music we were being enveloped in. 

Stella By Starlight, a 'devil take the hindmost' version of I'll Remember April, Ellington's Prelude to a Kiss with a florid, explorative introduction that seemed to be saying "I love you madly", Milestones - another belter - a 12 bar, Easy Go, that had an intoxicating groove to it and Autumn Leaves to round off the first set.

All Blues, Like Someone in Love, What is This Thing Called Love? You Don't Know What Love is (and those who weren't present don't know what good piano playing is!). The most swinging version ever of that hoary old standard My Melancholy Baby and Cherokee with Wight/White à la batterie to bring the evening almost to a close. If I've got to die let it be now!

So where was everybody? The Metros/buses were running, the weather was fine, no alternative gigs in the vicinity, no sporting distractions on tv or what?

I left with mixed emotions - happy with what I'd heard and sad that there weren't more people to share my joy with...
Lance

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