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Bebop Spoken There

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13,218 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 637 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 11).

2021 APPJAG (All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group)

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May 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (weather, unfortunately, not permitting). CANCELLED!

May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Saturday, February 29, 2020

John Garner & Paul Edis: The Music of Bill Evans @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - Feb 28

John Garner (violin); Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

A sell out weeks in advance is surely some indication of what was in store. The Gala's audience knows a good thing when it sees/hears one and today's lunchtime concert focussing on the music of Bill Evans more than lived up to expectations. Today's musicians - John Garner and Paul Edis - share an enthusiasm for the American pianist's compositions and with the addition of a number of other selections the capacity audience hung on every note.

Violinist John Garner's cv is rather impressive. A graduate of the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall, Garner's performance experience is extensive and varied. In the jazz world Garner has worked with the likes of Chris Potter, Liam Noble and Gareth Lockrane. Pianist Paul Edis needs little introduction - musician, educator, promoter (including the Gala's monthly jazz concert series!).

Today's programme opened with Bill Evans' Re: Person I Knew (an anagram of the name of the record producer Orrin Keepnews). Garner opted to perform unampilfied which demanded maximum concentration of the lunchtime audience. The Garner-Edis partnership dovetailed seamlessly across sixty minutes or so of sublime music performed with elan. Edis offered anecdotes of the duo's subject sketching a flawed figure (drug misuse) who left an enduring musical legacy. 

Edis re-ignited speculation that the writing credit for Nardis could/should have gone to Evans rather than Miles Davis but, as was the way with such things, Miles Dewey Davis, as one of the most famous names in jazz, then and now, called the shots and banked the royalities. Edis' For Bill required no explanation, Garner's Sardines did but, following its world premiere performance, MC Edis forgot to reveal its connection (however tenuous) with their subject, Bill Evans! 

Evans B Minor Waltz, Leonard Bernstein's Lucky to be Me, the set list continued to offer riches; Garner's enviable classical technique, Edis' equal command of his chosen instrument (an authoritative left hand, occasional stride patterns), the ease of interplay between the two musicians. Time was pressing but time enough to close a marvellous afternoon of jazz with Children's Play Song
Russell           

2 comments :

JERRY said...

Sardines is almost an anagram of Nardis - with which (apparently) it shares certain musical similarities. Evans clearly liked anagrams too, as RE:Person I Knew, shows. P.S. Steve T, I had no insider help with this solution (not deduction, just an English teacher's guess!)

Brian E said...

This was a sublime, magical performance, which had the audience spellbound for the full 60+ minutes. It must rank as one of the best of the innumerable inspiring concerts the Gala lunchtime audience has been treated to over the past 5 years (or more), a fitting farewell from Paul as he leaves for what used to be known to musicians as 'the big smoke'.

Many in the audience left asking when they would have the opportunity to hear him again. Well, it's not that long. He's playing with 'his' Triptych trio at Gateshead Jazz 2020 festival at the Sage on Friday 20th March. See no doubt a link on the BBSP site. And he's doing a solo concert at the Gala on Friday 26th June.

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