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Monday, March 23, 2015

Jazz Coop @ The Globe: Debra Milne Ensemble – March 21

Debra Milne (vocals); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Tim Johnston (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Debra Milne has become an assured jazz singer with a sweet clear voice and songs meaningfully expressed, and this performance was a joy to hear, with all four of the band contributing well. She wore a dress bearing large yellow flowers which chimed in well with the Latin numbers in the varied programme. The men wore jeans and dark shirts; (why should only women’s attire be mentioned?)
The songs fairly zinged along, from Have You Met Miss Jones (who became Old Jones) right through to the encore which I heard as I left for the Metro.  In between we had Killer Joe with lyrics by Debra and some excellent heavy metal effects from Steve’s guitar; a lovely slow bossa with an opening light tin-like sound on the drums; Billie's Bounce with more of Debra’s words, fours and vocalese with the bass and the Tom Waits song Temptation - typical Waits, a song of drink and degradation.  The second set included Tight by one of Debra’s favourite singers, Betty Carter, with very tricky timing;  a slinky Pretty Eyes and, unusually, a Jethro Tull number from the 1970’s, Living In The Past. A clever, lively drum solo preceded Caravan, which was the last number before the encore.
Other tunes included, as well as a couple of originals by Debra and Steve, Stay and Blame Game; Lester’s Way; Just You Just Me; Senor Blues; Show Me The Man; Four; a title by Chic Corea that I didn’t catch; It Ain’t Necessarily So; Born To Be Blue and Sting’s Consider Me Gone.
Speaking of being gone, the audience came in fewer numbers than the band deserved, which was a shame for such a good performance, but if you weren't there, well you know what you missed by  reading this account. 
Ann Alex 

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