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Not Like Me

Artist: Paul Edis

Date of Release: 13/09/2013

Catalogue no:

Label: Self Promoted

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Pulse

5.08

2

 

From Nothing To Nowhere

4.23

3

 

Round Midnight

5.19

4

 

Eastern

5.44

5

 

Not Like Me

4.29

6

 

For Bill

3.27

7

 

Vignette

4.03

8

 

Olivier

5.03

9

 

My Favourite Things

4.35

10

 

Beneath The Surface

3.50

11

 

Bring Me Sunshine

3.31

12

 

Sunrise

5.43

 

 

 

 

'Not Like Me' is the debut solo CD from pianist Paul Edis. It features 12 tracks, 9 of which are original compositions.

A familiar figure on the North East jazz scene, Paul has started to make an impression nationally, touring with band ACV and his own sextet. 'There Will Be Time' by the Paul Edis Sextet made the Jazzwise top 50 albums of 2012.

 

Reviews

 

05/06/2014 Andy Hamilton

It's a real joy to hear a new voice in jazz, and this shows that one has arrived. He's a real jazz composer, of which there are never too many. He's also a very thoughtful improviser. His new album consists mostly of originals, plus a gorgeously lyrical Round Midnight, My Favourite Things and an unusual jazz vehicle, the Morecombe and Wise theme, Bring Me Sunshine.

Edis is one of the contemporary generation of schooled jazz musicians, having completed a PhD in composition at York University.

The opening Pulse reminds me of the work of American pianist Andy Laverne, which means there's a Keith Jarrett influence deep in there, and in other tracks. I email Edis a couple of questions on this theme, to which he replies: "I'm a massive Bill Evans fan, though not particularly Jarrett – even though you're not the first to say that his influence is in the music...I'm massively into classical stuff too, especially the French impressionists. The track Olivier is in the style of Messiaen". Bring Me Sunshine is an unusual choice: "The inspiration was looking up Morecambe and Wise sketches on youtube – the Mr Preview [Andre Previn] sketch being a particular favourite!"

The title-track is a really striking, inventive groove-based piece – the only slight criticism I'd make is that through the theme, the groove could maybe have become less stop-start, more continuous. Vignette is a very pretty theme in 6/8 with a Satie-esque flavour. These are a very varied set of top-notch compositions, rich subjects for interpretation by other jazz musicians. The album is available to download from Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.

 

05/11/2013 Ian Mann

Paul Edis

“Not Like Me”

(Digital download)

Paul Edis is a highly versatile pianist/keyboardist based in Durham and he is a leading figure on the jazz scene in the North East of England. Still only twenty eight Edis graduated with first class honours from London College of Music in 2006 and completed a PhD in Composition at the University of York in 2012. His playing and writing skills were highlighted on his début album as a leader “There Will Be Time” (Jazzaction Records), a sextet recording that owed something to the “Blue Note” sound of Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk. Nevertheless Edis brought plenty of himself to the proceedings and the album was very well received and made the Jazzwise list as one of the best albums of 2012.

Edis’ ability has ensured that his trio featuring bassist Mick Shoulder and drummer Adam Sinclair is the “first call” combination for London based or international soloists visiting the North East. He’s a skilled sight reader, accompanist and musical director who has recorded with vocalist Ruth Lambert and with Newcastle based funk/jazz/soul outfit Nick Pride & The Pimptones.

Edis is also a key member of ACV the jazz/prog quintet led by double bassist Andy Champion. Here Edis plays both piano and electric keyboards and the group is beginning to forge a national reputation following the release of their second album “Busk” (2013) which appears on the long established London based Babel label.

With “ Not Like Me” Edis reveals yet another side of his playing and musical personality on a solo piano recording that is available as a digital download from iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Further information is available from http://www.pauledis.co.uk

The material on the new digital album includes nine original compositions plus three highly personalised arrangements of outside material, Monk’s “Round Midnight”, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “My Favourite Things” (presumably inspired by the version by John Coltrane) and more surprisingly “Bring Me Sunshine” written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee and immortalised by Morecambe and Wise.

Edis’ own tunes such as the opening “Pulse” offer reminders of his classical background, as a child he studied piano, flute and composition. But “Pulse” is also a convincing piece of contemporary piano jazz with Edis striking a good balance between right hand melody and left hand rhythmic patterns. There’s a classically derived lightness of touch and an “ECM” like use of space that is highly effective but any superficial “prettiness” is countered by a willingness to stretch out and explore as exemplified by Edis’ mid tune extemporisations.

Similar virtues are brought to bear on the following “From Nothing To Nowhere” before Monk’s “Round Midnight” is given a respectful reading with Edis avoiding any slavish copying and placing his own British/European stamp on the music.

“Eastern” begins with interior scrapings and string dampenings before opening out to embrace sombre but often beautiful melody, again in a contemporary style that draws upon both jazz and classical influences.

The title track begins sparely and offers a intriguing variations around a central motif with Edis adding more layers and nuances as the piece progresses, all the while displaying a kind of intellectual rigour.

I assume that the gently elegiac “For Bill” is a tribute to the late, great Bill Evans, a musician whose influence seems to be present within much of the music to be heard throughout this album.

“Vignette” is pretty and unadorned, and I suspect that “Olivier” is a tribute to Messiaen with Edis’ high register right hand trills reminiscent of the bird song transcriptions that appear in many of Messiaen’s compositions.

Edis’ version of “My Favourite Things”, presumably inspired by John Coltrane, involves the innovative and inventive use of unusual time signatures and intervals. The piece is wholly recognisable but with Edis approaching it in a variety of styles and tempos. It makes for interesting and enjoyable listening with a tantalising classical quote (Bach?) thrown in at the end.

“Beneath The Surface” is a stately and lyrical Edis original.
“Bring Me Sunshine” sees the pianist having more fun by approaching this much loved item in much the same way as “Favourite Things”. There’s an almost ragtime feel about some of the quirky and fragmented rhythms as Edis deconstructs the tune but in an affectionate and good natured manner.

The Edis original “Sunrise” ends the album on an optimistic note, his aural depiction of the dawn beginning with a fragment of melody on the horizon and ascending into something more substantial as the piece develops. Suitably unhurried it’s another example of Edis at his lyrical best.

“Not Like Me” sees Edis taking on the challenge of the solo piano album and succeeding well. Much of the original material is highly lyrical, often beautiful, and sees the pianist embracing both his jazz and classical roots. “Round Midnight” is interpreted in a similar vein but the other two covers introduce an element of fun with Edis interpretations displaying both wit and invention.
Each tune is a self contained journey that impresses in its own right but the album also seems to have a unifying aesthetic and hangs well together as a whole. It was recorded in a single day at the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle and was engineered by Adam Sinclair with Edis and Sinclair co-producing. The pair do a good job and the sound is excellent throughout, fully bringing out the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic nuances of Edis’ playing. It’s an album that brings out yet another aspect of Edis’ talent and versatility and it’s unfortunate that it’s not yet been granted a full CD release

 

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