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Bebop Spoken There

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11,644 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 779 of them this year alone and, so far, 43 this month (July 11).

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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.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

CD Review: Alex Webb & The Copasetics - Call Me Lucky

(Review by Ann Alex)
I expected this CD to be wonderful and I wasn’t disappointed. It could well be my CD of the year. If , in the unlikely scenario that you are unfamiliar with the work of Alex Webb, then it’s my duty to enlighten you! He’s done music journalism, played in pop and jazz groups, and created (and performed in) stage productions such as Cafe Society Swing which, in recent years has not only taken London and New York by storm but also this year’s GIJF. Circumstances decreed that I missed this latter show but our worthy editor rated it as one of the Festival’s highlights (see review).
Call Me Lucky consists of his well-crafted original songs with a jazz sensibility, songs which have up to now only been performed live. So Webb gathered first class vocalists around him and committed the songs to CD.  
Vimala Rowe, featured in the show at Gateshead, does a fast, snappy, It’s Your Move, the band contributing lively 4’s and she also gives us a soulful ballad, Low, Low Places, accompanied by just piano, bass and brushed drums. 
China Moses, daughter of Dee Dee Bridgewater and another, earlier, graduate of Cafe Society Swing sings a slinky, finger-snapping Bad Girls (Need Love Too) and a haunting Nothing But A Blues. MOBO nominated Ayanna Witter-Johnson provides Winters, an atmospheric number featuring cello, guitar and many wintry images. 
Me and My Crazy Ideas is done by the soulful voice of David McAlmont.
Newcomer Sandra Nkake gives us an intimate almost whispered song of longing, As If, featuring a lonely-sounding trombone. 
Alexis Gardner does the title track, a real swinger with witty words and short sax and trumpet solos; then we have Infatuation from Alexander Stewart. Stewart appeared with Moses in the London production of Cafe Society Swing, supported, along with Webb, on a Dionne Warwick tour and was a finalist when Jason Isaacs won the Crooner of the Year competion.
Open The Windows, a straightforward happy love song with effective repetitions and whistling is sung by Cherise Coryna; and Allan Harris provides a fast swing with Enough.
The final 2 tracks were my favourites. The rich classy voice of Jo Harrop, a not unfamiliar figure in the north east (Jo hails from Chester-le-Street), telling of the End Of The Affair, a love song with hope for the future, and then Liane Carroll, singing the superb lyrics of Words I Never Spoke, which everyone can identify with.
The CD was released on June 3rd 2016 on Splash Point Records, and there was a launch on June 7 at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho.  I wish I’d been there!
Ann Alex.
Vimala Rowe, China Moses, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, David McAlmont, Sandra Nkake, Alexia Gardner, Alexander Stewart, Cherise Coryna, Allan Harris, Jo Harrop, Liane Carroll (vocalists).
Alex Webb (composer, arranger, piano, organ) + on various tracks:  Liane Carroll, Raphael Lemmonier (piano); Miles Danso, Alex Davis, Andrew Cleyndert, Fabien Marcoz (bass); Sophie Alloway, Andy Chapman, Jean-Pierre Derouard (drums); Sue Richardson (trumpet, Flugelhorn); Freddie Gavita (trumpet); Winston Rollins (trombone); Denys Baptiste (tenor sax); Nathaniel Facey (alto sax); Jo Caleb (guitar); Ayanna Witter-Johnson (cello); Andres Ticino (perc); Cherise Coryna (whistling).

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