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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CD Review: Man Overboard - All Hands on Deck

Thomas Gould (vln); Ewan Bleach (clt/sax); Dave O'Brien (bs); Jean-Marie Fagon (gtr); Louisa Jones (vcl).
(Review by Lance).
Just imagine, if Grappelli and Goodman had got together, what the end product would have sounded like!
By closing your eyes and allowing a little (well quite a bit) of imagination it's reasonable to assume the outcome could have sounded like this.
Both Gould and Bleach are facile performers with their classical backgrounds occasionally peeking through. How High the Moon is almost fuguelike in places but still with a delightful thirties/forties feel to it. The rhythm section are absolutely steeped in the idiom giving the required um-chug so essential to the authenticity of the style. Bleach, apart from his Goodman moments also has Bechet blasts - particularly on Premier Bal.
Louisa Jones is deceivingly laid back in her approach - if Billie Holiday had been singing these tunes today maybe Lady Day (imagination time again) might have sounded a little like this. But whatever, the end result is quite captivating.
The tunes? 18 good ones including Honeysuckle Rose, That Old Feeling, All of Me, Avalon, Lullaby of the Leaves, St. James Infirmary, Topsy... .
If I describe this as Music of The Blitz - Harry Parry, Hatchett's etc it is in no way meant to be a putdown - far from it! - and I can appreciate that these guys are going to be big on the Swing dance scene which is emerging like a reborn old time religion - "May I have the next Jitterbug before the Doodlebug blows us all to Buggery!"
Sleeve notes on this  Champs Hill Records release are by Sebastian Scotney of LondonJazzNews.
Man Overboard - All Hands on Deck is due to be launched at The Vortex Jazz Club, London on June 18, 2013.
Lance.

1 comment :

Lance said...

I've since discovered that rhythm guitarist Jean-Marie Fagon came over here to Sunderland from Paris in 1980 and played in a band - The Suspects (AKA The Cesspits) They appeared on a compilation album Sunderland NE1 alongside the Toy Dolls.
The music on "All Hands on Deck" is somewhat different!

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