When I was asked if I would like to visit La Gitane on Manchester’s Bridge Street to write a review of a concert by the jazz legend David Amram to mark the release of  his boxed set “Classic American Film Scores 1956-2016” I could not believe my ears!
The man is responsible for composing the scores of such films as “Splendor In The Grass” and “The Manchurian Candidate”. He has collaborated musically with greats such as Thelonious Monk, Hunter S. Thompson, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Johnny Depp (ok, I put in that last reference for the wife’s sake, yes dear, he worked with your hero!)
He also collaborated over many years with his close friend Jack Kerouac in Jazz/Poetry readings.
The La Gitane bar in Manchester is an intimate little venue on Bridge Street. It was a little difficult to find, so if you do go looking for it seek out it’s sister venue, Café Istanbul, you’ll discover the club downstairs. It is well worth finding, I fully intend returning there with my wife Amanda who was unable to join me on this occasion. It’s a quiet place, suited to the discerning music lover who doesn’t want the manic atmosphere of many clubs in Manchester.
Once I arrived I was greeted by our host and organiser for the evening, Scott Devon (thanks, once again for the tickets Scott). As I settled in with a bottle of Merlot he explained that he had found himself to be more than a little shocked over the legend he was talking to over Skype as he arranged the booking with David. David later confessed to me that he was more shocked to be talking over something called Skype!
David Amram was joined on stage by Jon Thorne on bass, Eryl Roberts on drums, Matt Nickson on sax and his son, Adam Amram on conga drums.
The audience (including one of our local artists I remember from the D&P, James Holt, who I intend on returning to in a later review) was mesmerized by the music and amused by the stories of Jack Kerouac and Greenwich Village.
We were treated to the full versions from music from classic stories such as the waltz from  Arthur Miller’s “After The Fall” and the theme from Splendor In The Grass
Frank Murphy for www.BoltonLive.org
For more information on David Amram visit here
For more information on Scott Devon and to join his mailing list for future events visit here
For more information on David Amram`s film score box set here
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