Sultan Stevenson trio, Vortex

With material last night at the Vortex including the original 'To Be Seen' and a treatment of the Irving Berlin 1920s standard 'What'll I Do' familiar as the theme tune for the BBC TV sitcom Birds of a Feather newcomer pianist Sultan Stevenson …

Published: 5 Nov 2021. Updated: 28 days.

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With material last night at the Vortex including the original 'To Be Seen' and a treatment of the Irving Berlin 1920s standard 'What'll I Do' familiar as the theme tune for the BBC TV sitcom Birds of a Feather newcomer pianist Sultan Stevenson with double bassist Jacob Gryn and drummer Kai MacRae delivered a crisp and confident set for the first house that held the attention throughout. Stevenson, wearing his already familiar colourful hat and whose sound seemed quite McCoy Tyner-like ''going fourth'' in exultant intervallic leaps while later there was a flavour of Mulgrew Miller in his touch, has a very strong playing personality already and pushed the trio hard with MacRae especially responding. The improvisation on 'What'll I Do' could have been filled out a little more and extended beyond melodic paraphrase, however. That aside the set displayed plenty of spark and attack with 'Guilty by Association' and 'Free' featuring MacRae also working well. Stevenson is clearly a player with a big future in front of him. SG

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Best jazz-vocals albums in 2021

Latest update and rankings 1/ Black Acid Soul 2/ Time Traveler 3/ The Heart Wants 4/ Whistling in the Dark 5/ Midnight Shelter Lady Blackbird with Chris Seefried, producer of Black Acid Soul, top at the 100 Club in August. Photo: Christine Solomon

Published: 4 Nov 2021. Updated: 8 days.

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Latest update and rankings

1/ Black Acid Soul

2/ Time Traveler

3/ The Heart Wants

4/ Whistling in the Dark

5/ Midnight Shelter

Lady Blackbird with Chris Seefried, producer of Black Acid Soul, top at the 100 Club in August. Photo: Christine Solomon