Good vibes to mark the September return of the Spice

A significant part of the London jazz club jigsaw slots back into place when the Spice re-opens in September. Paul Pace's regular club night is usually held on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the venue located in Soho, close to the Palace theatre in the …

Published: 16 Aug 2021. Updated: 33 days.

A significant part of the London jazz club jigsaw slots back into place when the Spice re-opens in September. Paul Pace's regular club night is usually held on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the venue located in Soho, close to the Palace theatre in the atmospheric and comfortable basement of the Spice of Life pub.

Details of what's planned include on re-launch night vibist Jonny Mansfield's Quintet featuring trumpeter Laura Jurd with ''the new Kit Downes'' Noah Stoneman on piano in the band (Wednesday 1 September); harpist Tara Minton with her quintet featuring the great tenor saxophonist Denys Baptiste who was the last artist to have a record released by Gary Crosby and Janine Irons' legendary Dune Records label on his album Identity by Subtraction in 2010 (Thurs 2 Sep); singer Ella Hohnen Ford (main photo top, pictured, Wed 8 Sep); and virtuoso straightahead guitarist Nick Costley-White with his trio who include tenor legend Julian Siegel who guested on the recent John McLaughlin album LIberation Time track 'Right Here, Right Now, Right On' (Wed 15 Sep).

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See the Spice Jazz site for further bookings including Pat Levett 's wonderful Allen Toussaint-loving outfit The Coalminers, above, to return on 30 September

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100 club Lady Blackbird show ahead as Black Acid Soul tracks seize the day

Tracks from Black Acid Soul by Lady Blackbird going by what we know so far (a substantial chunk of the record is streaming) are all spectacular. The debut of the singer, who lands very much in the jazz domain, although she may well be claimed by …

Published: 15 Aug 2021. Updated: 34 days.

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Tracks from Black Acid Soul by Lady Blackbird going by what we know so far (a substantial chunk of the record is streaming) are all spectacular. The debut of the singer, who lands very much in the jazz domain, although she may well be claimed by wider culture given how ungeneric the songs manage to be and also delivered so chandelier-shakingly, sketched in graphically with shades of Amy Winehouse to her sound, is out on 3 September.

The lovely Bacharach-type piano stretch from Deron Johnson (who was with Miles on Doo Bop, Stanley Clarke on East River Drive) to the beginning of 'It Will Never Happen Again' is a thing of wonder with an aching vocal line that melts you. 'Collage' kicked off by what sounds like a a churchyard bell and then what a key choice when Blackbird comes in makes the departure so unexpected. The organ soaked tearjerker 'It's Not That Easy' has strong Amy resonances but it's obvious Lady B only uses that point of connection as initial ignition. 'Blackbird' is more Nina Simone-like in terms of the depth of her voice and the ominous atmosphere. Leading from the string bass 'Beware The Stranger' speckled by vibes with very fine audio production and the whole thing slowed down is the one we keep playing most.

Before that playing one of the very best small venues in central London, Lady Blackbird is lined up for Oxford Street venue the 100 Club on Thursday 26 August.