Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Keyboard Aces Head for Toon; ALAN NICHOL Has the Latest News on the Roots Scene

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Keyboard Aces Head for Toon; ALAN NICHOL Has the Latest News on the Roots Scene

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN NICHOL

KEYBOARD players dominate this week's roots scene with three world-renowned, yet quite diverse, members of the 88s club appearing on Tyneside.

Whilst all three are grounded in jazz, two of them have strong links with mainstream music.

First up is Florida-born, New Yorkbased, Brad Mehldau and his trio, Larry Grenadier (bass) and Jeff Ballard (drums).

Mehldau, still in his thirties, has already released around 15 albums and was recently cited by the Los Angeles Times as being "universally admired as one of the most adventurous pianists to arrive on the scene in years".

He's certainly adventurous, covering material by artists like the Beatles and Radiohead, indeed his current release, a two-disc live CD, includes his version of the Oasis track, Wonderwall.

Mehldau visits The Sage Gateshead's Hall 2 tomorrow night.

Next Thursday, the unlikely setting of the Black Swan on Westgate Road, plays host to the Hammond organist, Brian Auger and his band Oblivion.

It is his band certainly, but it would be equally accurate to call it his family as he has his daughter, Savannah, on vocals and his son, Karma, on drums.

Auger's influences were mostly jazz players but he found mainstream success (and a worldwide hit) with Julie Driscoll in the Brian Auger Trinity back in the 60s.

Auger's Newcastle gig is the only provincial show in England on this short UK visit. Ticket info on 07760 400 226 or online at www.cannygigs.com.

Octogenarian pianist/composer, Stan Tracey, also has a family link because his trio, at The Sage's Northern Rock Foundation Hall next Friday, features his son, Clark, on drums with Andrew Cleydert on double-bass.

The over-worked word "legend" is entirely appropriate in Tracey's case as he has been a fixture of the scene for decades and covered the ground between Ted Heath and Ronnie Scott to Evan Parker, Keith Tippett (Julie Driscoll's husband, incidentally) and John Surman. …

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