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14 February 2015


On the local scene for many years now, guitarist Terry Hutchins returned to the area to present a concert for the Angel sessions, on Valentine's Day. He opened his recital with Who Can I Turn To by Anthony Newley, actor, comedian, writer and not too bad a songwriter either.

Hutchins fashions light, bluesy and decidedly boppish lines on a series of standard songs like  My One And Only Love and Out Of Nowhere. His style is in the modern, mainstream idiom, as developed and expanded by Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery in the 1960s and '70s. He can ring the changes too and break away from the expected by playing a  soul blues, Work Song by Nat Adderley or indulge in a little indiscriminate  rhythm and blues  by Fats Domino.For further variation, he introduced Liz Cooper who came up to sing four standards including, the almost  obligatory, for this night, My Funny Valentine.  

Terry's lines are easy on the ear, melodic, inventively varied and never likely to lose the concentration of a listener with very limited musical knowledge. He improvises sturdily on well worn themes and then retreats to the back of the stage to strum rhythm chords as bass or keyboard player solos.

On piano, Malcolm Cliff proved to be an interesting soloist, quoting snippets from other tunes on all his solos and ensuring they were always of interest. If he went Down By The Riverside, All Too Soon, it was just part of his journey through the changes of the current selection. Keith Howard on bass and Trevor Davis at the drums provided the rhythmic backdrop and were consistently propulsive all evening.

I haven't heard Terry Hutchins for a couple of years now so this was a refreshing opportunity and kept up the good standard of jazz presented at The Angel. 


Derek Ansell.


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

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