Sara Colman, Rebecca Nash, Henrik Jensen, Trish Clowes, Vortex ****

There is a bluesy earthy humane sense to the artistry of Bristol based singer Sara Colman whose work in recent years has included the breakthrough 2018 Stoney Lane album What We’re Made Of and more recently for the same label a meditation on Joni …

Published: 7 Apr 2023. Updated: 11 months.

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There is a bluesy earthy humane sense to the artistry of Bristol based singer Sara Colman whose work in recent years has included the breakthrough 2018 Stoney Lane album What We’re Made Of and more recently for the same label a meditation on Joni Mitchell whose 'My Old Man' the last track on Colman's Ink on a Pin (2021) was one highlight at last night's Vortex show where Colman was joined by pianist Rebecca 'Bex' Nash, Somerset based double bassist Henrik Jensen known for his work with his band Followed by Thirteen and a welcome surprise unannounced guest in tenor saxophonist Trish Clowes who will be appearing with US trumpet icon Dave Douglas featuring with her band My Iris at the 606 on 27 May.

''I could sing Joni all night,'' said Colman after 'Black Crow' lit up the club later on.

The Joni songs were only part of the blend. And Colman's new material here was most winningly 'Little Light' in the second set performed for the first time - there is an ethereal touch in Colman's best songs. Earlier 'Dreamer' from What We're Made Of and 'Ribbons' translated well in front of the bafflingly sparsely attended Thursday night house.

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Nash, whose album Redefining Element 78 was deservedly very well received last year, was a flowing engaged presence throughout. 'Noble Heart' with added lyrics, a setting of that album's piece 'Palladium', again was a big moment of the evening which was shaped by two sets.

There was space for Nash whose sound is reminiscent of Alcyona Mick a little to improvise beyond the notes on the spread of printed pages sat on the club's Steinway.

Jensen was a knowing presence at all times and added a bubbling push and pull that drew out the contours of Colman's voice.

With a style that sits close to Liane Carroll who Colman and Jacqui Dankworth have toured with in The Passion, a vocal/piano trio who released the album One Good Reason in 2007, Colman's internal mood music is vibrant rhapsody - you enter into the song with her and readily roam the rooms of her imagination. Clowes' low toned Iain Ballamy-esque contributions added interesting elaboration and given the uniqueness of this line-up added another striking dimension.

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Rebecca Nash, Henrik Jensen, Sarah Colman, Trish Clowes photo on Thursday evening at the Vortex

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Late show verve from Deschanel Gordon

Punters queuing at Ronnie Scott's earlier last night Cedar Walton's 'Hindsight' covered by such leading artists as Kenny Barron, Gary Versace and Emmet Cohen more recently was among the choice early set highlights of last night's Late Show at …

Published: 6 Apr 2023. Updated: 13 months.

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Punters queuing at Ronnie Scott's earlier last night

Cedar Walton's 'Hindsight' covered by such leading artists as Kenny Barron, Gary Versace and Emmet Cohen more recently was among the choice early set highlights of last night's Late Show at Ronnie Scott's hosted by trumpeter Mark Kavuma. Round midnight on a rainy night in Soho the tune from Jazz Messengers great Walton simply sends you there.

With Kavuma in the front line was once again lit up inside tenorist Mussinghi ('Songbird') Brian Edwards - read a full 2021 report of the superbly realised Kavuma Big Beat's 91 Living Room Brick Lane show - and from that same configuration in the band too on piano, a commanding presence in the rhythm section vaulting and grooving making a joyful noise on Ronnie's incredible top of the range Rolls-Royce of a Yamaha - Deschanel Gordon. And yet the band was different given that the powerful Jason Brown last night was a storming and welcome presence at the kit instead. Check out Brown on 'Andy's Shuffle' a highlight of Xhosa Cole's Ibeji last year.

Last night was a chance too for a first sighting of super lively relative newcomer Leeds bassist Jack Garside who was hugely mobile on the exhilarating Walton tune and on Mussinghi's 'Wayward's Return'. Final word we would be amazed if there isn't a bidding war among the major jazz labels to sign Deschanel given his national and international potential. He may not be actively carrying a torch for Walton, Mulgrew Miller or fellow Londoners Julian Joseph and Trevor Watkis whose style is also so apt in this context but Deschanel and the rest of the Kavuma band certainly know how much this music remains so very meaningful 70 years since hard bop's first shining hour.