Remi Harris Trio
Remi Harris – guitars etc
Caley Groves – guitar
Mike Green – bass
The attendance was somewhat depleted due to the high risk of snow forecast but the stalwarts who made the journey were treated to an evening of the best quality jazz in probably one of the few clubs open that night.
Remi began playing on his Django style Guitar with a typical gypsy jazz version of Pennies from Heaven and continued with Caravan, using a “bottleneck” effect in places and building up tension reminiscent of the Wes Montgomery version. Cissy Strut from the Meters funk band with its bluesy style and locomotive rhythm was a complete contrast to the next, gentler, number Nuages which Django Reinhardt first recorded in 1940 when the Nazis had occupied Paris which, Remi suggested, meant that the clouds were grey rather than white. Still on a Django kick, we had Django’s Tiger with an amazing flow of ideas from Remi including an excerpt from the Archers signature tune in the middle! Then a change of guitar to the more jazzy, f- hole instrument with pickup for a rendering of Bok to Bok, another Wes Montgomery favourite. Remi’s deep affection for the guitar was evident as he picked up yet another instrument to tell of his influence from Fleetwood Mac and launched into a medley of their well known numbers.
The second half began with just Mike on bass and Remi whilst Caley sat back to enjoy the music for a while and Remi brought forth a 12 string instrument, as featured by more of his favourites, Led Zeppelin and the Eagles. Nature Boy seemed an ideal tune to show off the attractive tone of the 12 stringer. Ukulele? Yes, for a run through All of Me, then over to a solid bodied guitar to play Oscar Peterson’s wonderfully lyrical Hymn to Freedom. Caley returned to the stage and the trio returned to Django mode with There’ll Never be Another you inspired, said Remi, by the Stan Getz version. Can’t Buy Me Love as never the Beatles played it led to a very Spanish or Moorish sounding Odd Elegy which had Tony and Peter pondering as to the time signature. Remi ended the speculation by informing us it is 39/16 – 39/16!! The performance ended as it began with gypsy swing; Coquette, Bossa Dorado and Hideaway, as time ran out all to soon for an audience who were so obviously appreciative of a breadth of repertoire and style rarely seen in just one evening.
So, thanks to Remi, Caley and Mike who left the stage to long and loud applause only to be requested for an encore and what better number than the favourite of all gypsy bands – Sweet Georgia Brown.