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12,176 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1315 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec. 5).

Remembering ...

Roland Kirk died on Dec. 5, 1977.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Paul Edis: Time & Place LJF live stream - Nov. 20

Paul Edis (piano); Jo Harrop (vocals); Tony Kofi (tenor sax); Adam King (double bass); Pete Adam Hill (drums) 

(Screenshots courtesy of Jerry)

BSH planned to attend this Hampstead Jazz Club performance only to be thwarted by Lockdown 2.0. Fortunately this year's EFG London Jazz Festival was able to deploy its not inconsiderable resources to make most, if not all, events available online. Paul Edis regularly works with singer Jo Harrop and now that our exiled Geordie pianist is based in London he was able to extend an invitation to his friend, and occasional musical collaborator, Tony Kofi to join him and Jo in revisiting Time and Place
The lights were low as Edis took to HJC's snug stage alongside bassist Adam King and drummer Pete Adam Hill. Harrop stood in front of the trio with saxophonist Kofi seemingly socially-distanced in the wings. The project is, to  a degree, self-explanatory...themes of time and place. Twelve compositions - a mixture of standards and originals - were given a flawless reading. Edis and Harrop obviously familiar with the set list, less so, Kofi, King and Hill, and it is to their credit that they fully contributed to a successful evening. 

And so to the theme...Time After Time (music Jule Styne, lyrics Sammy Cahn). Those who have heard Jo Harrop sing knew that this first number was likely to be good. It was better than good, more like fabulous. The first of two Vernon Duke classics -  Autumn in New York - suggested the musicians on the stand were fully immersed in the music, King and Hill reading the charts, likewise the man in the wings, tenor saxophonist Tony Kofi. 

Three Edis compositions followed, one after the other...Madeira (a hair-raising tale of a mountainous bus journey!), Embrace the Silence (first heard on Tyneside with Edis directing Sage Gateshead's youth jazz ensemble Jambone) and, with a nod to Antonio Carlos Jobim, The Long Way Round. BSH is familiar with the above songs and one thing is for sure, familiarity doesn't breed contempt. In fact, they seem to get better with each hearing! 

Harrop sang beautifully on Michel Legrand's Once Upon a Summertime and then it was Edis' turn to impress on Vernon Duke's April in Paris. If any of the London jazz crowd didn't know about Paul Edis, they do now. Brilliant! 

Edis' Breathing (from a Darlington Jazz Festival commissioned suite) heard more from Tony Kofi in what sounded like waltz time. At this juncture it became apparent that brevity was the watchword - excellent musicianship all round, executed with commendable concision. Jo Harrop, the lockdown lyricist, emailed Edis some words to see what he could come up with. Twenty four hours later, the duo had a new tune to perform to an audience. An audience...what's one of those? Ah, yes, people gathering together to share in the magical experience of live performance. Well, it almost happened here at Hampstead Jazz Club, almost, but not quite. Next best thing, via the medium of the live stream, we, the audience, heard What If? We look forward to being present the next time Edis and Harrop perform it!

We were nearing the end of this evening's concert. Edis' Rome Wasn't Built in a Day (Edis leaving the singing to Harrop, Harrop leaving the piano playing to Edis), another Edis-Harrop lockdown composition If I Knew performed as a duo, then to close, Edis' Wise Words reunited the quintet. Gospel-infused, concise, all had been said and done. An excellent set, we look forward to hearing it again when we're part of a capacity audience. Next year, believe it.
Russell        

1 comment :

JERRY said...

If anyone missed this excellent gig, it still seems to be available here:

https://www.facebook.com/HJCJazzClub/videos/2129518460505144

Well worth a look and listen.

JERRY

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