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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CD Review: Jacqui Dankworth - Live To Love

Jacqui Dankworth (vocals); Charlie Wood (Fender Rhodes, piano, organ); Chris Allard (acc/elec guitars,); Geoff Gascoyne (elec/acc bass, synth programming, celeste); Ben Castle (sop/ten sax); Mike Smith, Ralph Salmins (drums); Paul Clarvis (percussion) The Brodsky Quartet: Daniel Rowland, Ian Belton(violins); Paul Cassidy (viola);  Jacqueline Thomas (cello).
(Review by Ann Alex)
I agree with the quote from the Guardian critic, who says ‘she exhibits a subtle control of dynamics and a voluptuous tonal richness that seems to make almost any material sound special.’ This is a fine album of love songs, but love in the widest sense, four standards and ten original songs, not wholly jazz but with strong jazz influences.  I was interested to note that there is a slight similarity of tone reminiscent of her mother’s voice (Cleo Lane) and just a hint of her mother’s looks, but Ms Dankworth is very much her own person as a singer.
The four standards are Wayne Shorter’s Palladium, a catchy, jagged tune which seems to go round in circles; I Took Your Hand (Pieranunzi/Feather) all about love at first sight; a gentle version of Someday We’ll All Be Free (Hathaway/Howard); and Johnny Mercer’s Something’s Gotta Give, done so skilfully with just a tricky acoustic bass and voice.  How on earth she kept to the tune is a mystery to me.
The originals include an African-sounding Malala with lots of band soloing, clapping and drumming; All Is Quiet, an anti-slavery song about a lonely slave girl who is symbolised by the melancholy tenor sax; this is wisely followed by an upbeat song in praise of love with a happy keys solo; and we have the entertaining reggae influenced theme from Tomorrow’s World.  No readers, I hadn’t realised that this tune was written by John Dankworth, and Jacqui has added amusing lyrics about quantum mechanics, remember that from school? The Brodsky Quartet add much to tracks such as All Is Quiet, blending their sound well with the more conventional jazz instruments and not standing out as something ‘different’.  And with seven other original tracks, the album makes for good listening.
Jacqui Dankworth - Live To Love is due  for release on September 30 on Specific Jazz There is also a Live To Love tour beginning on October 2, but the nearest it comes to Tyneside is York on October 9.  More info.
Ann Alex.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being the only review I've come across that gave the musicians involved. It answered my question. The words synth programming acted like the warning skull and cross bone on a packet of poison.

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