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




Crotchet
Young at Heart

Sheena Davis Group

JAZZIZIT JITCD 0331

 

 

  1. Young At Heart
  2. It Must Be Love
  3. Seasonal Memories
  4. Got A Feeling
  5. I Cried For You
  6. Sentimental Journey
  7. Sway
  8. Only You
  9. Up O the Roof
  10. When I Grow Too Old To Dream
  11. But Hey! That’s Love
  12. When You Wish Upon A Star

Sheena Davis – vocals
Robert Rickenberg – bass
Pete Cater – drums
Steve Holness – piano
Jim Mullen – guitar (2,6,11)
Guy Barker – trumpet (3,5,8)

I enjoyed the last Sheena Davis Group album so much, that I was really looking forward to this new one, which was recorded in January of this year. As well as the immaculate backing trio, we also have the benefit of star guests Jim Mullen and Guy Barker as an added bonus. Sheena is of course a real jazz singer, as opposed to a singer of out of date pop songs, there is a great deal of difference.

On this new album she swings all the way, with excellent diction and good intonation, now they are the qualities of a real jazz singer. The trio are just perfect, Steve Holness solos and ‘comps’ magnificently, Bob Rickenberg plays a solid bass line and Pete Cater ‘ticks’ away, in the way we usually only hear from American drummers.

The arrangements by Sheena and Robert are just right to bring the best out of each tune, including their original compositions (3,4,11). The sleeve note suggests listening to this music whilst relaxing, I’ll buy that, but it also suits me whilst driving, working, getting up, going to sleep etc., its just my kind of music, good tunes immaculately performed!

Young at Heart, the title track is taken slowly with sparse accompaniment, just the thing to enable us to appreciate the quality of Sheena’s vocal talent. I also has a very fine piano solo from Steve Holness, which exactly fits the mood.

Labi Siffre’s It Must Be Love, makes a better jazz vehicle than I would have expected, this track benefits from a good arrangement and the addition of some fine guitar work from the always consistent Jim Mullen. Seasonal Memories is a Davis/Rickenberg original as is Got A feeling, the former has a Latin feel whilst the latter is a swinger, both are good tunes that suit Sheena’s voice and the group as a whole. I Cried for You is taken as an up tempo swinger, Guy Barker solos with his usual exuberance and there is a nice drum solo from Pete Cater, Sheena’s interpretation of the song is perfection. Sentimental Journey has nice chords from Jim Mullen behind the vocal and swings easily throughout.

Sway is to my mind better suited to male singers, but don’t ask me why! Only You has a nice intro from Guy Barker and Sheena again gives a fine interpretation of the song, On the Roof demonstrates the groups ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. When I Grow Too Old is taken at a fast tempo at which everyone sounds comfortable. But Hey, That’s Love is another interesting original song, well sung and again the arrangement is ideal for both singer and song. When You Wish Upon a Star gets tender treatment, and a similar performance to the title track, it is the kind of tune that finds the inadequate performer out, no problems of that sort here!

This is a very fine CD, which I recommend without hesitation.

Don Mather

 

 



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