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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Friday, September 20, 2019

Mark Williams Trio @ The Merry Monk, Bishop Auckland - September 20

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Susans (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) 
(Review by Russell)

An impossibly sunny day in Bishop Auckland. Stan Laurel couldn't believe it, scratching his head, as was/is his wont. Sadly Mr Laurel couldn't make it to the Merry Monk, fortunately a hardy band of Town Hall regulars made it in time for the one o'clock start. Same format - a one hour set, a fiver on the door. 

The Town Hall's temporary closure necessitated a move to the adjacent Merry Monk pub. September's monthly Friday jazz concert promotion presented the Mark Williams Trio. It was to be a set of standards given a Williams' twist, so inventive is the master guitarist. I Should Care opened the set, a tune popularised back in the day by the big bands and here in twenty-first century County Durham we were treated to a guitar-led trio version. Irishman Williams constructs solos like no one else. It is as if his fully formed solos are predetermined, what is for certain is he has, and continues to, put in the hard yards and on a gig such as this it pays off handsomely.  

My Favorite Things (in Williams' hands more Coltrane than Julie Andrews), then a memorable take on How Insensitive in that bassist Paul Susans' sensitive solo on the Jobim classic was subject to unintentional noises off - the open door to the pub's kitchen offering a competing soundtrack of workplace banter, FM chart hits and full-on hand dryers being pressed into action. Pro that Mr S is, he laughed it off with a wry smile. Drummer Russ Morgan saw the funny side of it and, as to be expected, delivered the goods working alongside his fellow A-listers. 

Bemsha Swing could be described as Monk plus funk courtesy of Susans' in-the-pocket bass line. Ellington and Kern to finish - Prelude to a Kiss and The Song is You. Williams promised a set of standards, he was true to his word. 
Russell

1 comment :

Lance said...

Bemsha Swing - Monk in the Merry Monk!

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