Sunday, March 5th, 2017
Reviewer: Reg Webb
Memorable it was, and there is no hiding place for the musicians in a trio without drums.
In an exposed situation like that, with Sunday's hushed and attentive audience at Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club, you need, for a start, a bass player with an impeccable sense of pulse, who can count.
Enter Andrew Cleyndert, who fits the bill to a T, bringing something of Ron Carter to his playing. I've known and played with Andrew over the years, and his very presence imbues the gig with what I think of as the ‘right’ spirit.
With Frank Harrison on piano, I have to admit that I'm a fan. I happen to think I'm a fan with good reason, but fandom is ever subjective. Like all of us, I'm sure Frank makes mistakes, but I was listening hard, and I didn't hear any.
We're blessed with a lot of fine piano players in this country at the moment - Frank Harrison, Janette Mason, Andrew McCormack, to name but three - treading that perilous line between being innovative, and not sounding like you're ‘trying’ to be innovative. Frank nailed it IMHO.
And so to the star, Georgia Mancio, whose voice and intelligence were obvious from the first phrase of ‘Prelude To A Kiss’. Unlike some, she is a ‘proper’ jazz singer, in that she brings improvisational skills to her performances (voice
and whistling incidentally), while others just do the song and leave it to the band to do the jazz.
I heard ‘One For Bud’ on a recent BBC Radio 3 broadcast, with Georgia’s collaborator Alan Broadbent, from their ‘Songbook’. This is Alan's tune, and Georgia's lyric, and a fine lyric it is too, so it was good to hear that one again at the end of last Sunday's gig.
The three of them did a great job on Giorgio Gaber's ‘Le Strade di Notte’. This appears on Georgia’s ‘Live At ReVoice!’ album, but with Maurizio Minardi on accordion. So, to hear this trio version 'You had to be there'.
Georgia's linguistic skills - helped, no doubt, by her Italian parentage - were much in evidence, giving her performances authenticity, while giving us Brits a proper sense of shame for those of us who hide behind English, and expect ‘Johnny Foreigner’ to learn it.
Back to subjectivity again, I found some of Georgia's phrasing a little lacking in precision as to pitch but, as an Ella Fitzgerald addict, I once again own up to musical prejudices.
I would urge anyone to take the opportunity to hear this fine artist live and, perhaps, if you can be bothered, you might take the time to get back to me about my one reservation, tell me that you disagree, and why.
Thank you Steve, and thank you Chris for giving us great sound from great musicians.