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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Crotchet
LOIS LANE

With the

John Horler Quintet

Bewitched

Ronnie Scott’ Jazz House JHCD 069

  1. Bewitched
  2. Isn’t It romantic
  3. I Didn’t Know What Time it Was
  4. Spring is Here
  5. You Are Too Beautiful
  6. Everything I’ve Got
  7. Glad to Be Unhappy
  8. My Romance
  9. Sing for Your Supper
  10. It Never Entered My Mind
  11. With a Song in My Heart
  12. My Funny Valentine
  13. Little Girl Blue

John Horler – Piano
Andy Mackintosh – Alto
Phil Lee – Guitar
Paul Morgan – Bass
Sam Burgess – Bass
Mike Smith – Drums
Recorded in London in July & August 2002

When this album arrived on my desk, the first thing I noticed was that all the songs are from Rogers & Hart, those master craftsman of the popular song. I know Lois Lane to be a quality singer, I have enjoyed her occasional appearances on ‘Big Band Special’ and I was already aware of the talents of the accompanying musicians. My expectations of the album therefore were extremely high and I am pleased to write that I was not in any way disappointed. Not only does the album succeed, but also the sound quality is as good as anything I have heard, congratulations to Red Gables Studio.

The album is full of highlights; it was nice to hear the verse on Spring is Here. All of the arrangements by John Horler are excellent and the soloists all perform well up to their own very high standards. Lois has the diction and huskiness of Julie London, but the voice is uniquely Lois Lane. This is not the easiest clutch of songs to sing and she is to be congratulated on her excellent performance of all of them. An example of this would be You are Too Beautiful which she sails through without difficulty and both Andy Mackintosh and John Horler contribute excellent solos. Phil Lee’s guitar work is tasteful throughout, listen to his accompaniment to Lois on Glad to Be Unhappy.

My Romance is taken at an easy tempo; it is one of my favourites of the Rogers & Hart tunes, by the sound of his solo Andy Mackintosh agrees! The sleeve note says that Sing for Your Supper is a ‘first take’, it is funny how sometimes the tension of a ‘first take’ produces a result that is difficult to beat.

Mike Smith is a top class drummer, the last time I heard him he was swinging the Syd Lawrence Band and he is an outstanding Big band drummer, but here he is a masterpiece of good taste and easy swing.

It Never Entered My Mind is a very sad song and this version by Lois is one of the best I’ve heard. My Funny Valentine is a duet for Lois and John Horler; I enjoyed the piano solo and the singing of this one.

Overall this is an outstanding album, Lois and the band should be performing these songs in every Arts Centre in the country, but just in case you can’t here them live, by the album, you won’t regret it.

Don Mather

 

 



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