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Bebop Spoken There

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Album review: Collette Cooper – Lost

This fine CD was issued a few days ago with all proceeds being donated to Nordoff Robins,which is the UK's largest independent music therapy charity, for which Ms Cooper is an ambassador. The general 'feel' of the album is of driving blues and a feeling of loss, with musical surprises on some of the tracks.

There are four original songs, two popular standards (I Put a Spell on You and Street Life) plus a bonus track coda, which is informal fun, where Ms Cooper sings and tries to play harmonica. The recording was made direct to tape in one take, not obvious at all except for the coda.

The track which stood out for me is Cooper's own Perfect Girl, an entertaining cabaret number which would have been worthy of Piaf. Voice and piano lead the song, describing a too-perfect person in the limelight, with accordion comments and low bass notes supplying the darker side of the portrayal.

On blues style numbers such as Don't Throw Your Love Away, the voice has hints of Bessie Smith with a pleasing raspy undertone and Lost Soul is a heartfelt gospel song with trumpet solo and lyrics asking for help - Jesus help me find, some kind of peace of mind.

I Put a Spell on You has a repeated rhythm on piano and a solo on muted trumpet. This is all rounded off with the coda, with spoken comments: They're all lookin' at me showing the singer's very human side.

Ms Cooper, championed by BBC2, Radio6 Music and Jazz FM, plays regularly around London at venues such as the Jazz Cafe, The Roundhouse and the Piano Bar Soho. A community activist and artist who has been involved in Vivian Westwood's Cool Earth environmental charity.

I hope this recording makes a lot of money for the charity. It is available on Thelonius Punk Records via the usual suspects.

Ann Alex

Don't Throw Your Love Away; I Put a Spell on You; Lost Soul; Outta My Mind; Perfect Girl; Street Life; Coda (bonus track)

Collette Cooper (vocals); George Muranyi (piano); Francois Moreau (bass); Cyro Taylor (drums); Graeme Flowers (trumpet) + Sam Taylor (piano); Andrea Trillo (drums); Kevin Davy (trumpet); Steve Counsel (harmonica); Dan Lipman (sax); Mike Hanson (lead guitar); Frank Biddulph (violin); Martina Schwarz (accordion); Simon King, Dan Lipman (backing vocals track 6)

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