Monday, October 19, 2009

It's been quite a long time since I actually “reviewed” any CD's, so I thought I would mention today, just 2 that are associated with recent events.
The first, and I'm sure many of you have it already, is Martin Harts new CD “Passing By”. I'm also sure that many of you will be wondering why I hadn't given it my usual treatment. In my defense I can only say, I did invite you to its launch party, and I did give you the cover artwork then as well.

But to the grist. It is a masterful production. Written by, played by, produced by, Martin Hart himself. It is a quality product, meticulously produced in every way.

I know that Martin is getting the scores properly published, and I really think that is going to be of benefit to many others, because the tunes themselves have that quality that makes you want to hear them again. And I'm sure they are solid enough for more than one interpretation.

At the launch party, we didnt have the benefit of vibes player Alan Grahame, but at The Woodley Theatre this last Saturday, Alan, Martin and Ken McCarthy were there (in a tribute night to the late Ken Jardine, instigator of the Woodley Theatre Jazz Nights) to enable the 3 tunes from the album that have vibes solos to be played live for us. “Blue Note Tango”, “Bright Life”, and the title track “Passing By” all brought a full house to gasp with delight, “trific” was heard by me from more than one seat!

On the album, each tunes reason for being is explained, but that title track has so much meaning which can be heard from the music, it is truly beautiful. Do go out and buy it (at Hedsor this week)? I have already exported a copy to the U.S.A.!

Another link now. Martin, in his tribute to Ken Jardine on Saturday, mentioned that the last live jazz concert he and Ken were involved in was one by Tina May. Last Friday I went to Norden Farm to hear Tina and Niki Iles perform with some ex pats from “Pendulum”. They are all ex pat's because Pendulum is of course the “child” of musical director Pat Kelly!

This event gave me the opportunity to purchase the very latest Tina May Album “I Never Told You”, many of the tunes from which she performed on the night.

This is another beautifully crafted album, possibly not quit as well recorded as Martins! [There is to my ears a touch of sibilance and slight treble distortion on it, (but only ever so slight)]. It shouldn't be enough to put you off buying it, because it is a terrific album.

In my view, Tina is a real jazz singer. She is a member of the band, not just singing jazz songs in front of the band, she is using her voice as in integrated part of the jazz ensemble.

And again, the title song is one to bring tears to your eyes, it is full of emotion, and with very emotive lyrics. “I Never Told You”. So often we leave the things we most want to tell someone unsaid. And then sometimes it can be too late!

With Tina and Nikki on the album are Phil Donkin bass, Stephen Keogh drums, and guest saxophonist Karen Sharp.

At Norden Farm, I thought that Nikki Iles playing was perhaps a little too polite, but on the album, the intimacy of the sound makes you hear her delicate and sympathetic playing much better. Its a lovely listen, on 33 Records 33JAZZ200

One last link. The next Woodley Theatre Jazz evening will be January 16th, with guest artist guitarist Max Brittain.

Guess who we have coming to play for us at Hedsor this Thursday? Yes, MAX BRITTAIN.
Come on out, all the wonderful talent we have performing there can be in your ears for a mean £5 Thursday October 22nd 8.30pm The Hedsor Social Club

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