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Review: Carol Grimes at Lauderdale House (LJF)
(Lauderdale House. 21 November 2013 – LJF. Review by Brian Blain)

Carol Grimes and her current, beautifully tight band – Dorian Ford (piano), Neville
Malcolm (bass) Winston Clifford (drums) and Annie Whitehead (trombone) – put them all together and we had a feast of varied music and a totally sold out venue. Grimes is a true, charismatic artist, who can groove with her wonderful rhythm section, as on her old favourite Red Top, a King Pleasure version of a classic Gene Ammons solo on a Lionel Hampton blues, that had Clifford pushing to get in on the act with some brilliant scat, a briskish Round Midnight and the delightful opener All Blues, a Miles favourite with singers.

But like many of the best contemporary singers, she varied her programme with songs by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and others, including a touching Scars, by that fine songwriting team Fran Landesman and Simon Wallace. Annie Whitehead’s trombone work really adds to the ‘colour’ of this band with beautiful plunger mute vocalisation, and a fine musical sense that made her counter lines and occasional pp endings to a song absolutely perfect.

Allen Toussaint’s joyfully upbeat ShooRah! Shoo-Rah! sent the audience home, faces wreathed in smiles and the band into a heartfelt team huddle, discreetly out of sight of the crowd, which spoke

volumes about how much they all enjoy this collective music making. As Carol said ‘This band likes to hug-a-lot.’ Memorable stuff

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013

 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Carol Grimes @ Lauderdale House, London Jazz Festival. November 21.

Carol Grimes (vocals); Dorian Ford (piano);Annie Whitehead (trombone); Neville Malcolm (bass); Winston Clifford (drums).
(Review by Flore).
‘If you want to get ahead get a hat and head for Lauderdale House’. The temperature doesn’t just dive in Newcastle, North London also has its share of howling winds, and below zero temperatures.
Carol rapidly warmed the audience up with red hair flowing topped by a snazzy hat at a jaunty angle, her way of warding off winter’s bugs.

1. All Blues, already the packed audience were anything but blue.
2.Little Sister, with drummer Winston interjecting ‘Call my Name’, who wouldn’t?
3.’Round Midnight, Carol chose Oscar Brown’s lyric, ably philosophising (is there such a word)?………’as one day gets spent we gain another’…….through all this a speedy tempo, but

was toned down for some poetry…….’the ghost of Thelonious Monk visits me’……and we are enveloped in a cha cha rhythm to conclude on a high. By this point the audience were agog! 4.Scars, Fran Landesman lyric, Simon Wallace score. Again very profound lyric, but true to Carol’s inimitable style, delivered with a twist. How does Annie manage to get her trombone to slide to a whispering finish?

5. Innards, Only Carol could write lyric naming parts of the anatomy, and Dorian perform such an alluring solo, punctuated by Annie ‘growling’ ( I was privileged to have a seat behind Dorian which allowed me to see the silent communication between the triangle of piano bass and drums).

6.The Dance, once again lyric by Carol, music Dorian. Carol said her inspiration came from paintings by Marc Chagall. This piece was a superb vehicle for solos from all the group. Hope Chagall was tuned into the multicoloured ending to the first set. The audience clamouring to buy the current CD featuring pieces performed.

7.Annie’s Little Red Trombone; Carol was inspired to pen this when Annie arrived as a party guest bearing a red plastic(made in China) Trombone. I couldn’t stop giggling to listen to the lyrics but a lot of ‘red’ was mentioned…..’beetroot salad, red beans’……..comedy switched to virtuosity with Winston pairing with Dorian on piano, and also scatting with Neville on bass. 8. But I was Cool; An open invitation with a blues flavour to let it all hang out, Annie ‘growled’, possibly to draw a veil across some four-letter words, Carol’s voice soared to falsetto, a signal for musicians mayhem, ending as it began, being ‘Cool’

9. A Tree and Me; Change of mood, Carol introduced this as a favourite of her daughters. Again, for me, the lyric was profound, with the musicians offering a sound basis, for Carol to then present herself in a totally different way, once more tongue in cheek
10.New Coat of Paint; Tom Waits. I suspect a very different version to the original. Opportunity for more ‘growling’ from Annie (she does it like no other). In a nutshell -Honky Tonk.

11. Ship Building; Elvis Costello, yet again thought provoking material, delivered in an upbeat way, turning the theme upside down, as they say ‘that’s Jazz’
12.Rags and Old Iron; I am certain that this Nina Simone classic was as they say in the trade, a ‘Big Finish’, with all the signs of a mini Musical. It drew all the threads together but left the audience hungry for more.

A stellar choice for the London Jazz Festival. I take my hat off to Brian Blane for selecting such a galaxy of stars. Definitely a case for Keeping Jazz Live.
Flore.

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