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Friday, December 06, 2013

Havana Club 5 @ Hoochie Coochie December 5

 Jemma Hutton (Vocals); Steve Summers (Soprano, Alto, Tenor. Hand Percussion); Paul Grainger (Bass guitar); Alan Law (Piano); Paco Rivera (Congas, Hand Percussion); Carlos Luis Rivera (Vocals, Timbales, Bongos.)
(Review by Kath Jobes.)  

Dear readers, you may have noticed some changes to the line-up of musicians, unfortunately the lovely Sarah Travena has a bad chest infection so couldn’t blow her horn. However, some last minute calls to friends brought the cavalry in the form of Jemma Hutton of Burundanga  to sing a few songs and the very talented Steve Summers and his plethora of saxes and percussion who joined in for the second set… what a treat!
The tinkling of Paco’s chimes and the light finger tinkles of the pianista, Alan Law introduced A Song for my Father… soft Latin sounds developed into spirited Latin and Afro Cuban music as Carlos added his unmistakable beats and a grin that would light up the room… and yes he had reason to smile… wow can these guys party.   The Jody Grind, brought vocals from Carlos and foot tapping rhythms, the improvisation in Latin groove just seemed endless.


The guys were then joined on stage by Latin singer Jemma Hutton who sang a heart breaking and poignant Killing Me Softly and Besame Mucho… just delightful!  The last two of the set were Blue Bossa and Get Carter… the musicians really seem to have telepathy in the way they complement each other as they improvise around the Latin sounds… this stuff sure is addictive and you can understand the smiles on and off stage…. There is a fabulous vibrant energy to this music.

The arrival of Steve Summers and his alto sax to the stage heralded the second set as the band set away with Chucho, with an entertaining exchange of 4s between piano and sax, solidly supported by bass and percussion.

A change of sax to tenor brought deep richness to Afro Blue, and then another switch to Soprano sax and we were partying on with No More Blues… out came the Pandeiro and Cabasa and we got to see another skill of this talented musician as he joined in with the hand percussion.  Caravan featured both Sop and Tenor Sax, and a smashing solo from Carlos on the Bongos.  Jemma came back to the stage and five became six to Stand by Me.  

My favourite part of the night was the enchanting Concierto de Aranjuez introduction to Chick Corea’s Spain by Paul Grainger on electric bass, this fusion of classical and Latin is simply breath-taking.

The last song of the night, the vibrant Carlito’s Way, was dedicated to Nelson Mandela as the news came of his passing... The world will be a sorrier place.


Speaking of loss, this event was organised to support Abi Lewis’ film documentary about the legendary Keith Crombie – The Jazz Man and raised over £200 for this worthwhile cause… but there is a little way to go…  If you have a bit of cash to spare please do go online and pledge your support to this historic documentary of our cherished and beloved Keith Crombie and the original Jazz Café.

Kath J.

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