SHEENA DAVIS GROUP
Jazzizit, Unit 7 Union Centre, Hillbottom Road, Sands Industrial Estate,
High Wycombe HP12 4HJ.
It Might as Well Rain Until September.
Beyond the Sea
I'm Into Something Good
Three Little words
Orange Coloured Sky
Dum de Dum do
The Very Thought of You
Sheena Davies - Vocals Tom Cawley - Piano Robert Rickenburg - Bass Pete Cater
- Drums Jim Mullen - Guitar
Many of the world's greatest female jazz vocalists served an apprenticeship
as Big Band singers, it is often a salutary experience, even if you knock
the audience out every night, you are still that 'bird that sings with the
band'. Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald both said it was important to their
development as jazz mega-stars.
Sheena did her Big band stint with the incredible NYJO band, which has produced
so many great jazz talents in this country and continues to do so under the
guidance of MD Bill Ashton. In a recent review of a Shirley horn CD, I commented
on her excellent diction and perfect intonation. Shirley must be one of the
greatest living jazz singers, so when I say that Sheena too is very strong
in this department, that is real praise.
One thing that came through clearly, was that this album is great fun to
listen to and certainly it sounds like it was fun to make. Music has to be
about enjoyment, for me this album is pure enjoyment. The rhythm section
plays a very important part in this Tom Cawley's 'comping' provides an ideal
piano accompaniment for Sheena, his solo work too is strong and swinging,
Robert Rickenburg's Bass anchors the section well and Pete Cater swings the
whole time. I once played in a band with Pete Cater, but he doesn't admit
to it now!!! Pete has always been a superb Big Band drummer and here he more
than amply demonstrates that he is just as at home in smaller groups.
The choice of programme is admirable, 'It Might as Well rain Until September'
is not the most obvious of 'jazzers', but this version kicks the album of
in real style. 'Smile' is taken at a slow tempo and has a feature for guest
Jim Mullen on Guitar, Jim has always delivered, whatever the company and
he seems to enjoy himself enormously. 'Dancing Leaf' is a Davies/Rickenburg
original, it has a strong melody line and a good lyric. 'Beyond the Sea'
is a medium tempo swinger. The remainder of the programme is equally
entertaining. Three Little Words would be my favourite track; a great tune
sadly neglected these days.
I am sure we are going to hear a lot more from Sheena Davies and I hope she
always has the fortune to work in such excellent company. I would give this
record five stars, but I feel that there is even greater things to be heard
from her in the future! Buy this record and catch her on a live appearance
next time she is round your way, she is already one of the best vocalists
the UK has produced.
Don Mather is a saxophone player and Bandleader in Coventry