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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Paul Edis Trio @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Oct. 17

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)

(Photos courtesy of Jerry E)

A full house, an album launch, the return of the Paul Edis Trio. Each element is something to shout about, but to achieve these things in the midst of a pandemic is a major achievement. Gosforth Civic Theatre's Covid-secure premises is another example of how things can - and should - be done. As the house lights dimmed it struck your reviewer that it had been something like nine months, perhaps more, since we had heard pianist Paul Edis for real, in person, performing in front of a real, live audience. 

Snakes and Ladders is Edis' latest album. All original material, recorded at Blank Studios in Newcastle and available now as a dowload. Here at GCT we were listening to Edis, bassist Andy Champion and drummer Russ Morgan bringing to life the digital world in which most of us have lived for seven months and counting. Whiskers, the opening cut on the download, rightly opened this one-set concert. No matter how good the digital, virtual version is, the in concert, in person experience is what it's all about! The Tyneside jazz audience had heard Edis' trio play Whiskers at various venues across the region and here in Gosforth it took a moment for it to sink in - we were once again listening to the real thing! 

This evening's concert performance would follow the download track order.  It Ain't Broke, the title track Snakes and LaddersOf Mice and Men, the sanctifying, the brilliant bass solo, this was Edis and co on top form. The Long Way Round (for those familiar with the Tyne and Wear Metro system that's the journey to the coast via South Gosforth) took the form of a bossa train ride, Lucky Eleven the ballad form, Madeira inspired by a hair-raising bus journey in mountainous terrain and to close, yet more brilliance from the trio in a riveting, bop-infused Lies

Band leader Edis had a couple of spares just in case the audience wanted more. First, All the Things You Are, and to send us on our pre-ten o'clock curfew way, an old one, was it titled - don't laugh! - something like UXB or Unexploded Xenopoulos Bedstead? Whatever the title, it was great stuff. As album launches go, and considering the testing circumstances of the 'new normal', Snakes and Ladders couldn't have gone better.
Russell               

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