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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.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pannonica @ The Jazz Cafe - September 25

Zoë Gilby (vocals); Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell)

It's a fairy story with numerous exotic characters. None more exotic than the improbably named Baroness Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter aka Nica, the Bebop Baroness. Of the Rothschild dynasty, Pannonica gave it all up (stately homes, butlers, maids, the lot) to immerse herself in NYC's bebop firmament. Carmen McRae, Jon Hendricks, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell are a well drawn supporting cast of characters. The other name, of course, Thelonious Monk. Reading excerpts from the Pannonica story book today was Tyneside's star vocalist Zoë Gilby.

The Jazz Cafe on Newcastle Arts Centre's mezzanine floor drew a healthy crowd to hear Ms Gilby tell the story of Pannonica. Accompanied by pianist Paul Edis, Gilby's set list included liberal helpings of Carmen McRae's inspirational vocal treatments and Jon Hendricks' lyrics. In Walked BudLittle Butterfly with its beguiling cadence, Monk's Dream, the waltz time of Ugly Beauty, Gilby's amazing vocal dexterity and Edis' sparkling piano playing on Brilliant Corners, this was great stuff on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. Blue Monk (Abbey Lincoln's lyrics) took us up to the interval.    

With everyone sitting comfortably Rhythm-a-ning from Mulligan Meets Monk resumed Gilby's reading of Nica's fairytale. And what a start! Paul Edis' solo was right out of a story book! Ask Me Now (relaxed, beautifully read), Straight No Chaser (audience whoops for Zoë's vocals and Paul's non-stop left hand underpinning a quote-laiden solo). Our storyteller Ms Gilby happily accommodated a request - 'Round Midnight - confiding the perennial favourite was in the set list anyway and, with the rain clouds lifting, Gilby and Edis read the final chapter, closing the book with Jimmy Rowles' The Ballad of Thelonious Monk
Russell

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