John Helliwell, Jasper Somsen, Hans Vroomans, Marcel Serierse, Don’t Ever Leave Me, Challenge ****

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful: Ring any bells? And now for something completely different. Supertramp saxophonist the Yorkshire born John Helliwell says Keith Jarrett's take on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's …

Published: 14 Nov 2022. Updated: 23 days.

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful: Ring any bells? And now for something completely different.

Supertramp saxophonist the Yorkshire born John Helliwell says Keith Jarrett's take on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's 'Don't Ever Leave Me' inspired him and there are four versions of the ballad in different guises solo (bass solo not piano incidentally - and what a contribution overall Jasper Somsen provides), duo, trio, quartet - the latter finding Helliwell tender on clarinet.

Helliwell is with a consummately elegant Dutch piano trio - pianist Hans Vroomans is suitably loose when needed; bassist Jasper Somsen tonally pristine and drummer Marcel Serierse exacting and no nonsense.

Supertramp fans will inevitably gravitate to versions of 'Two of Us,' 'You Started Laughing' beautifully arranged and quite poignant in the rendering and 'Just a Normal Day.'

Among so many highlights you will want to spend a lot of time on there is a wonderful version of Lynne Arriale's 'Arise' which goes to show again Helliwell's sensitivity and the quality of the arranging at play.

Not remotely trendy and no worse for that but required grizzled jazzer listening particularly the old hands not ashamed to have mega selling and once ubiquitous Supertramp albums in their collection although the world of 1970s soft rock is really another galaxy away and not really that relevant even bearing in mind the covers. No one has anything to prove on Don’t Ever Leave Me and when such a situation prevails to return to the Logical Song again from up top there is no need for anyone to produce the ever obliging navel lurking within one's nether garments and once again ask who I am.

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The astonishing sound of Nana Rashid - for your radar ahead of Music For Betty

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Published: 13 Nov 2022. Updated: 23 days.

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