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Bebop Spoken There

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

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11,755 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 895 of them this year alone and, so far, 32 this month (August 9).

Coming soon ...

August

Monday 10: Happy Birthday Paul Edis.

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Ann Hampton Callaway: Jazz Meets Broadway @ Pizza Express, Soho - August 7

Ann Hampton Callaway (piano/vocals)
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Sebastian Scotney)

In this day and age it is a brave initiative to book a solo artist for 5 consecutive nights (2 at the Pheasantry and 3 at Dean St.) but, judging by last night, it paid off with many who had been at the Chelsea gigs following up here for a second helping and, I'm told, a totally different programme.

This was the final gig of my two day trip to our capital city and what a gig it was! The title "Jazz Meets Broadway" summed up the evening perfectly. This was jazz, cabaret style, in a manner that detracted from neither worlds. 

As Ms. Callaway observed, many of our jazz standards began life in Broadway shows and often bore little resemblance to what jazz musicians and singers subsequently did with them.

That Old Devil Moon included a scat chorus any jazz instrumentalist would be proud of. Just in Time was, just divine, leading, as it did up to 'the patter'.

This is one funny lady!

I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face was simply beautiful although she may have neutralised the gender in the lyric.

Callaway also does amazing impressions - such is her vocal range no one is safe! On How High the Moon I'd venture she even outdone Ella her idol with another amazing scat solo. Prior to this she'd sung a few bars as Broadway baritone Alfred Drake may have performed the tune!

"How many singers does it take to sing My Funny Valentine?" asked Callaway. Answer "all of them". The audience by now were her devoted slaves and her revealing story of the background to Larry Hart's lyric meant that I, and I'm sure all of the others present, no longer saw the piece as an overworked vehicle but one of the most poignant songs ever written!

And so the show rolled on. Can't mention everything there was just too much! In an audience sing-along number she advised us not to try it if we had a lisp - 'S Wonderful!

Another killer was Blues in the Night - never heard the Harold Arlen classic done better.

Those who witnessed Soweto Kinch's gig at DJazz last year will no doubt remember his audience participation "let's write a tune" number. The audience shouts out words and the artist then makes a song incorporating them.

Ann (at this stage I think we can dispense with formalities) did just that and managed to compose a credible lyric with words related to London such as BBC, Brexit (natch), Willesden and a whole lot more. All good fun.

To finish off with it was Carole King's You've Got a Friend - So have you Ann, a room full of them.
Lance.
PS: Ann Hampton Callaway also plays mighty fine piano!
PPS: Good to catch up with Sebastian of LondonJazz News who kindly took the picture.

That Old Devil Moon; Just in Time; I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; How High the Moon?; My Funny Valentine; Ain't Misbehavin'; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Taking a Chance on Love; From This Moment On; Happy Birthday; This Can't Be Love; It Never Entered my Mind; Whatever Lola Wants; 'S Wonderful; They Can't Take That Away From Me; Blues in the Night;You've Got a Friend.

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