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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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KEVIN FITZSIMMONS

Show Me The Way

JAZZ WURX JWR011CD

 

 

Blue For You

Norwegian Wood

Views from the Quayside, Slightly Intoxicated

Itís Alright With Me

It Worries Me

Lush Life

Moving

There Must Be Something Out There

Iíll Never Be the Same

You Go To My Head

Show Me The Way

You Do Something To Me

Multicoloured Misery

Kevin Fitzsimmons (vocals): Steve Fishwick (trumpet); Alex Garnett (tenor sax); Gareth Lockrane (flutes); Derek Nash (alto and tenor saxes): Leon Greening (piano. Fender Rhodes): Dominic Howles (bass); Matt Fishwick (drums)

Recorded Cowshed Studio, London, 2013 [54:46]

 

English singer Kevin Fitzsimmons has a dapper cut about him. His album sports 13 tracks, five of them his own or co-compositions, and the remainder shows a catholic awareness of repertoire, indeed styles - Matty Malneck and Paul Weller, Lennon and McCartney and Cole Porter. Itís not too genre-hopping but it shows a pleasing security in tune selection.

He reminds me sometimes of Georgie Fame, most pressingly so on Blue for You where the Fender of Leon Greening is prominent and where Derek Nash blows a hard, fearless alto. Thereís more Fame at work in You Do Something To Me, where the ethos is of a Fame-like stroller.Norwegian Wood is taken at an easy swinging tempo and his own picture postcard slice-of-lifeViews from the Quayside, Slightly Intoxicated gets a genially mainstream workout, the cogs of his band working tightly. Cole Porterís Itís Alright With Me gets a slightly updated feel, and here the vibe is more Curtis Stigers than anyone, though itís true that Fitzsimmons lacks Stigersís lyric intimacy and rich self-awareness. Yet with just rhythm backing he unveils a confidential, conversational Lush Life where precise articulation does a lot of good work for him, and where Greeningís piano is a tremendous support.

His own There Must Be Something Out There starts Gershwinesquely and turns into a springy swinger, albeit the lyrics arenít in Ira Gershwinís league of wit. That old standby Iíll Never Be the Same is taken at a fast lick and features yet another good flute solo from the adaptable Gareth Lockrane. Fitzsimmons alters note values in You Go To My Head but these substitutions, though occasionally startling, work well in the context. He has the confidence to end with another self-penned number, credited Ė to be accurate Ė jointly to himself and Derek Nash: Multicoloured Misery. He is doubly confident because of its relatively slow tempo. It would have been easier to have ended on a fast swinging high Ė easier, but not necessarily better.

Jonathan Woolf



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