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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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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.

Monday, August 20, 2018

CD Review: Sara Dowling - Two Sides of Sara

Sara Dowling (vocal) + Gabriel Latchin (piano) or Bill Mudge  (Hammond)
(Review by Lance).
When a CD/artist arrives on the back of endorsements by Guy Barker, Nigel Price, Sebastian Scotney, Jazz Journal and Mojo the least I can do is check it out before sending it down to the local Oxfam shop.
I'm rather glad I did!
Sorry Oxfam, but charity begins at home and this one's staying at home - mine!

One of the current trends amongst jazz vocalists is to draw from the Ella/Joe Pass albums but, great as those albums are, the earlier collaboration between Ella and pianist Ellis Larkins topped them. The First Lady was at her absolute peak in the years before Granz turned her into a songbook-churning machine and Larkins was, arguably, the finest accompanist she ever recorded with and I haven't forgotten Peterson, Tommy Flanagan, Paul Smith, Don Abney and the others but with Larkins, the chemistry was there.
So, when I read that Sara Dowling loved the Ella/Larkins' recordings that was another strike against Oxfam and when I actually listened, it was game, set and match Ms. Dowling.
The UK, Europe, the World, maybe even Mars, has more jazz singers per unsquare mile than we could ever have dreamed of back in Ella's day. Not all are wonderful, some are average and some are downright awful.
Sara fits into the Wonderful category.
If you doubt me, listen to Sara and Gabriel Latchin doing: Isn't it a Lovely Day; It's Crazy; I'm Glad There is You; After You Get What You Want You Don't Want it; Lost in the Stars; Will You Still be Mine and Some Other Time and you'll die happy.
Unfortunately, should you depart this mortal coil at this point you will miss the next 7 tracks which have Bill Mudge on Hammond B3.
More superb singing with the Hammond adding a different dimension without detracting from Latchin's performance on the piano tracks.
You Turned the Tables on me; Mountain Greenery; I Guess I'll Hang my Tears Out to Dry; Miss Brown to You; Great Day; You Came a Long From St. Louis; Sleepy Time Down South. If anything, Sara is even jazzier on these tracks - well she had to be hadn't she? When you pit yourself against Mel Tormé, Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee and Louis Armstrong there's no time for coasting.
Sara isn't coasting!
A 5 star and counting album.
You can check it out here and whilst you're there listen to her first album and the (after Jon Hendricks) definitive version of Gigi Gryce's Social Call - this lady is going to be big!
Lance.

2 comments :

Martin Hummel said...

Lovely album. Well-deserved review. Good stuff, Lance!

Anonymous said...

Great review and a perfect summary of this young lady who has a great future ahead of her.

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