Tuesday, October 07, 2014

It’s THAT time of week again when I start to think of my blog, and what to write.

This week at Hedsor we will have the normal sized Clive Burton Quintet, with no additions or subtractions in numbers. Normal except that we will have a guest bass player as Ken Rankine is still in Malta and I don't know who has been booked!

It was good to hear one of the Quintet’s old book played for me last week. It is some time since Matt Wates “Stargazer” was played, and although a little rusty (Nigel Fox wasn’t a member of the band when I think it was last played and our guest bass player Steve Pickings hadn’t heard of it) I think the band coped admirably, it was very nice to hear it again. Perhaps we can prevail upon Clive for some more of the older arrangements to be dragged out again.

For those of you who haven't been to Hedsor since it was last played, it is now just £6 to get in, (which includes a raffle ticket) and our music still starts at 8.30pm. All of the music is now played in the Big Room, and we could do with you all coming back to see what that's like!!

Having got the weekly need to say we are still at The Hedsor Social Club, this week I am going to concentrate on my review of Gill Cook’s new CD.

“Morning with You”

After a gap of 7 years since her CD “Something Cool”, it is a delight to be able to write up her latest CD. And, yes, even this release is slightly later than expected (perhaps a ploy to heighten ones expectations?).

Those of you who have listened to her “live” over the intervening years, either at the Ealing Jazz Festival or in a club like Hedsor, will know that she is an accomplished performer, and this is instantly recognisable in her new CD.

The choice of material is a little less “Song Book” than many singers would choose. The songs are from a much wider musical path than many would have risked. Those titles that you have heard other singers perform are given a Gill twist. The openers “Sunday in New York” and “Black Coffee” are performed in such a way as to make you hear the words as though for the first time, you are made to think about their meaning all over again.

The musicians she has chosen to collaborate with on this release (Nick Tomalin Piano, Dominic Howles Bass, and Matt Fishwick Drums) provide a very easy light and lilting accompaniment, and they are enhanced on alternate tracks by trumpet star Steve Waterman who was, like Nick, also on the earlier CD. Steve plays some excellent licks at all the right times! You can see why he is so highly rated.

The first non-standard jazz tune to be sung is Carol King’s “Stand Behind Me”. OK you might have found this one before but I wonder how many jazz fans or singers would find material like Prefab Sprout’s “When Love Breaks Down”.

So a mixture of the unusual and the usual all performed with swing, skill and insight. It leads the listener into the unexpected and into finding music they might never have listened to before. The CD, our vehicle for the journey, has also been very well recorded at London’s “Red Gables Studio”.

Is there a negative side? Yes. It’s a shame that the last track (“If I Were a Bell”) ends in a fade. It had been tapping my feet nicely!

To start your 52 minute journey go find Mainstem Productions MSTCD0058.

Finally I’m just glad I have already booked Gill for Hedsor’s Christmas Party!

Geoff C

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