Interview: Paul Edis | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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On Saturday 17th October, talented jazz pianist Paul Edis will be joined by virtuosos Andy Champion (double bass) and Russ Morgan (drums) for a night of swinging sounds at Gosforth Civic Theatre. The event is to celebrate the release of the new Paul Edis Trio album Snakes and Ladders and will also be live streamed across the internet.

We chat with Paul about the event and the new album…

Have you performed much since the return of live gigs? 
We’ve all done a little bit of performing since live gigs returned, but not together unfortunately – as the album tour we had planned had to be cancelled! 

What did you do over lockdown to keep the creative juices flowing? 
I tried to make sure I did something creative every day. Highlights include collaborating with Jo Harrop on some new songs, playing a weekly live stream on a Friday lunchtime, writing a sitcom pilot…! 

How did the Paul Edis Trio get together? 
We were playing together in different bands, and quickly realised how much we enjoyed playing together, so we started playing some gigs – originally mainly playing standards by the Great American Songbook composers (like George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern) but gradually playing more of my original compositions. 

Tell us about your new album Snakes & Ladders. 
Snakes and ladders features 8 original pieces I’ve written in the last few years. The title track is a reference to the classic board game – as the music goes up and down unexpectedly – but it was also a bit of a nod to the ups and downs of life! The other tunes are really quite varied, including a nod to various jazz piano greats (including Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Bill Evans). The album was recorded at Blank Studios by long time collaborator Adam Sincliar, and the artwork is created by Lynsey Gray, who as well as designing the artwork for this album created the artwork for my Christmas album last year ‘On Christmas Day’. 

To promote the launch you are playing at Gosforth Civic Theatre as well as live-streaming the performance for an online audience. Do you think this joint approach is the way forward as the live music industry finds it feet? Do you like being able to perform to a local and (potentially) global crowd simultaneously?
I think the combination of livestreamed gigs with a live audience is an amazing model that could genuinely create new audiences for jazz and more niche music. It instantly means that the music is accessible to potential new fans all over the world, and it’s not going to stop people coming along to experience the thrill of live music.

What’s next for the trio? 
Fingers crossed (!) we might have a few more gigs eventually and maybe a national tour! If the album sells well I’d love to get some vinyl pressed too! 

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