At the Woodman

Marlbank had earlier changed all plans to scramble to stay beyond sound check and return later to the Woodman in Highgate for the first set when we realised in finding ourselves in the hostelry that the erstwhile Jeff Beck Blow by Blow and Osibisa …

Published: 10 Nov 2019. Updated: 5 months.

Marlbank had earlier changed all plans to scramble to stay beyond sound check and return later to the Woodman in Highgate for the first set when we realised in finding ourselves in the hostelry that the erstwhile Jeff Beck Blow by Blow and Osibisa player Richard Bailey was setting up and slipping his Zildjians out of their covers. Bailey to give him his props is also in the Steve Winwood band.

The first set that slipped down nicely as diners tucked into their hearty fare and that also included a fine version of ‘People Make the World Go Round’ by the Stylistics (covered so well last year by Kandace Springs) grooved along in mighty fashion aided via Wurlitzerised touches on keys by Sean Hargreaves stirring the confection. The bass guitar and Grant Green-esque jazz guitar lines completing the sound were an elegant match. Check out the Woodman if in the area or make plans to schlep yourself up there on subsequent Tuesdays. Might just make your day, “chop that wood, carry water” (Van Morrison).

photo: Cal Graham

Tags: Live reviews

2019 Highlight: Ahmad Jamal, Ballades, Jazz Village

You have to bow down and listen to Ahmad Jamal. That is the natural, right, and obvious thing to do – over and over again. Jamal has been a recording artist since 1951. Now 89 he is still a phenomenon. Duetting in part with bassist James Cammack on …

Published: 10 Nov 2019. Updated: 8 months.

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You have to bow down and listen to Ahmad Jamal. That is the natural, right, and obvious thing to do – over and over again.

Jamal has been a recording artist since 1951. Now 89 he is still a phenomenon. Duetting in part with bassist James Cammack on a third of the album Ballades is more than a lap of honour, folds in some astounding treatments of standards including a greatest “hit” and is one to cherish. Go straight to ‘Emily’ and of course linger over ‘Poinciana’ that featured on the classic album At the Pershing: But Not for Me. Listen also to the reflective, gently inuring, ‘Whisperings’ one of the three original compositions on the album, a song first recorded by O. C. Smith of ‘Little Green Apples’ fame that Jamal has recorded before. A joy and above all an education – Jamal’s best album since Saturday Morning.