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17 December 2016                                                               

This was the last jazz session at the Angel for 2016 with vocalist Judy Vaughan and her very compatible trio of Phil Craddock on piano, Jamie Howell, bass and Jim Wade at the drums. Judy is the sort of vocalist who will  give her own interpretation of several quality standards and then turn her attention to something a bit offbeat. On this occasion it was In A New York Minute, a slightly off centre song by Fran Landesman  that the singer brought to life with her personal reading.

She also put her own touch on old favourites like Just In Time  and Duke Ellington's  Don't Get Around Much Anymore. The other piece with Ellington connections was Good Thing Going  which was drummer Jim Wade's set of lyrics to the Duke's famous  Take The A Train  melody.

The trio flexed their  instrumental muscles with a piano, bass and drum reading of  Autumn Leaves  which kicked off with a slow bass intro and then went into mid tempo as the others joined in. Judy Vaughan showed her ability as a jazz singer with well thought out interpretations of Honeysuckle Rose, Route 66  and Benny Golson's Whisper Not along with many other selections.

She also got into a bit of scatting on occasion and finished off with a swinging variation on White Christmas. Moody's Mood For  Love  was the only piece she appeared to be struggling with but she got to grips with it and sorted it out in the end. Saxophonist James Moody's variation on  I'm In The Mood For Love is not the easiest set of lyrics to deal with.

Good support throughout from the rhythm trio made this an enjoyable recital  which was enjoyed by the faithful, that is to say those people not tied to their armchairs for a certain ballroom dancing show on television which, so I am told, is very popular!         


Derek Ansell

This review is reproduced  with the kind permission of the Newbury Weekly News, where it was first published.

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