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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Jazz Café. December 17

Ruth Lambert (vocals), Giles Strong (guitar) & Mick Shoulder (double bass)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Ken Drew & Crufts)
Ruth Lambert had the world (and a rapt Jazz Café audience) on a string, wrapped around her finger. Lambert launched her trio’s new CD at Jazz North East’s Christmas Schmazz concert promotion. All seats taken, Ms Lambert, in the company of Giles Strong (guitar) and Mick Shoulder (double bass), gave a commanding performance in the art of intimate jazz singing.
Ms Lambert shimmered in a ‘must-have’ bottle-green dress of some vintage and heels as Messrs Strong and Shoulder looked the part in lounge suits (matching ties, on the advice of their stylist). The trio opened with You and the Night and the Music.  Having heard Ms Lambert sing the Schwartz and Deitz number on countless occasions it came as a surprise to hear her hold notes at length. A wonderful surprise. A Lambert original - A Love That Never Dies (written some twenty years ago) – is heard in the head with Graeme Wilson’s tenor saxophone solo, whereas this version lost nothing in its stripped down state.
I’m in the Mood for Love, I’ve Got the World on a String (Lambert sure did) and Skylark. Hoagy’s masterpiece is Lambert’s. When your BSH correspondent appears on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs (unlikely, but you never know) Lambert’s recording (on her new CD) will be the one disc rescued from the waves (‘it’s been a pleasure, Kirsty’).
Giles Strong got down on the blues; Love Me Like a Man. Superb intro, Lambert got in the groove, telling it like it is. Mick Shoulder’s It Would Be Yours took it down, the bass playing the tops, as it was all night. I Fall in Love Too Easily (Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne),Time After Time (ditto comp.). It doesn’t get any better (Strong’s guitar on the former a highlight of the evening bringing to mind the phrase ‘just like that.’). Two sets of truly incomparable jazz singing. Only one way to go out with an encore at this time of year – Santa Baby. Merry Christmas!
 Footnote: Lindsay’s pooch (see photo) loved every minute of the gig!
Russell.

1 comment :

Ann Alex said...

Russell, The pooch's name is Chaplin and he was at the Blue Jazz Voices end of term gigs. He seems to love Jazz

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