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COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Minnie Fraser Quartet @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Feb. 24

Minnie Fraser (vocals); Mike Bowman (keys, arrangements); Paul Grainger (bass); Abbie Finn (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)

This was the first time I’d heard Minnie doing a full gig and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Mostly GASbook with fine singing and interesting arrangements, accompanied by stellar musicians well-known to the audience, and the Globe full downstairs, what better way to spend a Sunday evening?

The trio opened the show with two tunes seamlessly integrated; I Wish I Could Know How It Feels To be Free and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, including an early drum solo from Abbie. Minnie stepped on to the stage with a friendly smile, band introductions, and Ain’t Misbehavin, which segued neatly into All Of Me, and a skilled bass solo backed by firm chords from the keys, and off we went. Misty, one of Minnie’s favourite songs; The Very Thought Of You; then, with great versatility, a change to a Latin number, which was Dindi.

I liked the fact that Minnie included the verse for many of the songs, had a welcoming smiling manner, and did some songs that you don’t hear often, such as Get Happy, which is all about death as she pointed out, to some amusement. Lullaby Of Birdland; a deeper-voiced Black Coffee; Song For My Father: then a difficult song tackled well, a pleasant surprise which was Twisted, a song about being a bit mad. The tune is based on a tenor sax solo, hence its difficulty, and readers will have heard the version sung by Annie Ross. A good way to round off the first half.

The second half continued with magic, That Old Black Magic, then Stardust and Fascinating Rhythm, again, both with verses I’m glad to say, and I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Next came another surprise, introduced as the song Keith Crombie wouldn’t let anyone sing, you’ve guessed, Summertime, just voice and piano – Lance left the room, coincidence ...maybe.

Night And Day (with verse, good); then a slow Midnight Sun, with its brilliant rhyming of ‘alabaster palace and aurora borealis’ (beat that, classical poets!)  Cheek To Cheek was the final song, so we thought, but an encore was demanded, and disarmingly encouraged by Minnie, so we went out to the sounds of the A Train, singing, ‘you must get the Metro’.
 
I haven’t mentioned the instrumentalists much because it goes without saying that they did their stuff really well, as we’ve come to expect. I have only one minor quibble,  that the piano was sometimes a bit overpowering, and the ‘effects’ were occasionally overdone whereas straight piano would have been enough. Although, as Lance pointed out, the addition of the vibraphone sound gave an effective Shearing feel to some of the numbers.

Well done, Minnie and the band!
Ann Alex

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