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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Jazz Co-op @ The Globe: The Anita Wardell Quartet - Saturday May 9

Anita Wardell (vocals); Robin Aspland (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Tristan Mailliot (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
After reviewing the Rebecca Dumaine CD, I thought I’d had more than my fair share of listening to really good women singers, then along comes this gig with Anita Wardell. ‘Sparkling’ is a word that comes to mind, not a superficial sparkle but something about charisma, stage presence, original- sounding vocalese, and an interesting mix of songs. I’ll skip straight to the 2nd set which opened with my favourite song of the night, Ellington’s Come Sunday, new to me.  You could have heard the proverbial pin drop as this beautiful song proceeded, a jazz-hymn if ever there was one, accompanied just by piano, referring to the Biblical lilies of the field, ‘but the sun still shines in Springtime’.
The gig had started with a real buzz, a crowded bar, including people who’d been to Anita’s singing course during the day – the 2nd day of the course is taking place as I write. Who Can I Turn To, began slowly with voice and piano, then a neat pick-up by the rest of the band, swinging along, and these musicians know their stuff.  Lots of long solos with the songs, skilled piano adding flows to the sparkle, Paul on bass who seems to have done lots of gigs lately (possibly the hardest working bassist around, at least this last week); and the drummer, especially enjoyable on the next song, Blossom Dearie’s They Say it’s Spring, pleasant, clanky, tappy, spring-like sounds from the kit.  Then came Horace Silver’s Lonely Woman, sung with immense feeling; a wordless scatty bebop song Tricotism involving the drums in 4’s, and perhaps, to my ears, 8’s.  Farmer’s Market followed, all about a woman who fell in love with someone who was selling peas, another bebop tune which has had words added to it.
I heard only 3 songs in the 2nd set, besides Come Sunday, there was Gershwin’s Soon and a feelingly sung Willow Weep For Me, which always reminds me of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  It all probably got even better, but the metro called me home.  But now I’m off to hear the people on Anita’s course showing what they’ve learned – I hear she’s put them through their paces!
Ann Alex

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