Mark Jennett, Everybody Says Don’t, Jazzizit

From 2014. Jazz singer Mark Jennett with his band of bassist Geoff Gascoyne, pianist Rob Barron, drummer Sebastiaan de Krom, trumpeter Martin Shaw, and saxophonist/flautist Andy Panayi: Opening with the Stephen Sondheim title track a song that …

Published: 13 Nov 2019. Updated: 16 months.

From 2014. Jazz singer Mark Jennett with his band of bassist Geoff Gascoyne, pianist Rob Barron, drummer Sebastiaan de Krom, trumpeter Martin Shaw, and saxophonist/flautist Andy Panayi: Opening with the Stephen Sondheim title track a song that featured in the second act of the 1960s musical social satire Anyone Can Whistle the horns riff energetically against the up-tempo vocal line.

Jennett has a soft light voice with good diction that compares a little to Ian Shaw’s sound and there’s plenty of mobility in his jazz referencing beyond his show sound. The Bacharach/David element of the album (‘Are You There [With Another Boy]’ and ‘Wives and Lovers’) is where Jennett emerges best, the band responding especially well to Gascoyne’s quite superb arrangement of ‘Wives and Lovers’.

Barron’s stealthy opening to ‘Some People’ sets the atmosphere of the song very strongly, and Jennett develops a nuanced hesitancy in his interpretation to match. Juxtaposed against the gospelly chords of ‘There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This’ Jennett easing into the song, later ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’ moves a little bit too much into the laidback cabaret domain despite the fresh little shuffle from de Krom at the beginning, but Jennett is more convincing on Cole Porter’s ‘Just One of Those Things’ one of the more serious interpretations on the album.

Jennett folds in songs by Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, and Randy Newman to sit with the jazzier Great American Songbook treatments, the Simon song ‘Train in the Distance’ particularly coming off well. I wasn’t so keen on the overly syncopated ‘Slow Boat to China’ at the end however Jennett is worth discovering, and there’s plenty of interest to enjoy provided by both singer and band.

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Alan Barnes parties like it’s 1959

From July 2019. Fêted UK saxophonist and clarinettist Alan Barnes celebrates his 60th birthday by releasing a themed 1959 album. Eleven classic compositions from 1959 arranged by trombonist Mark Nightingale are included, compositions by Duke …

Published: 13 Nov 2019. Updated: 5 months.

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From July 2019. Fêted UK saxophonist and clarinettist Alan Barnes celebrates his 60th birthday by releasing a themed 1959 album. Eleven classic compositions from 1959 arranged by trombonist Mark Nightingale are included, compositions by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Horace Silver and Gerry Mulligan among others.

On the record Barnes (alto and baritone saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet) is joined by Pat White (trumpet), James Copus (trumpet and flugelhorn), Mark Nightingale, Gordon Campbell (trombone), Howard McGill (alto saxophone and clarinet), Robert Fowler (tenor saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet), Andy Panayi (tenor saxophone, flute and clarinet), Mick Foster (baritone saxophone and bass clarinet), Robin Aspland (piano), Sam Burgess (bass) and Matt Skelton (drums).