Norma Winstone and Interplay show how it’s done

norma-winstone-live

When a top vocalist is in such high demand and performing in various places with local musicians, it must be frustrating not to have sufficient opportunity to rehearse, especially unfamiliar material. This was the case with JazzFM Vocalist of the Year Norma Winstone at Leamington's Restaurant in the Park. However, it is a reflection on the professionalism and ability of the artists involved that this was largely undetected by an enthusiastic and appreciative audience, and many felt privileged to have seen how jazz musicians work, resolving the occasional glitch.

After an introductory number, 'Gratitude', from bassist Adrian Litvinoff's band, Interplay , Ms Winstone started with the Clifford Brown composition 'Joyspring', and immediately demonstrated how adept she is at dealing with lyrics at a fast tempo. Tenor saxophonist Alan Wakeman took a strong solo that wouldn't have been out of place with the original Brown/Max Roach group and showed that he is well on the way to peak form following his recent lay-off. A slightly Latinish up-tempo version of Raye/de Paul's 'You Don't Know What Love Is' followed, which included an effective unison passage of horns and voice.

Litvinoff's attractive ballad 'Ode to Duke' showed what a good composer he is and Ms.Winstone dealt with it as if she had been singing it for years, creating a mood and atmosphere that trombonist Richard Baker continued, with his rich and mellow solo ending in a flurry of notes, suitably Ellingtonian. Key changes and tempo variations were used to good effect on 'Hang Around' and 'Sometime Ago', whilst the famous jazz standard, 'Body and Soul', featured the singer with just Litvinoff's bass and the piano of Neil Hunter, both adding warm and melodious solos. At times Ms.Winstone's voice seemed to display a fragility that somehow enhanced the lyrics, giving them added poignancy; at others her strength of tone gave balance and authority to them. 'Memphis Shout' was a delve into the 60s, the electric piano of Hunter laying down a soul groove and an excellent trombone solo from Baker, full of slurs and licks, had members of the audience getting up and strutting their stuff.

The extended piece of Monk's 'Round Midnight' that segued into Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke's 'Midnight Sun' caused a problem, but with Ms.Winstone taking charge and quite rightly calling a halt, the audience were then treated to a keyhole class in resolution. The musicians quickly ironed out the problem and once again underway, Hunter's inventive piano solo drew a well deserved acknowledgement from the vocalist. The evening's direction then changed with a duet between vocalist and drummer/percussionist Dave Balen on tabla. Completely unrehearsed, the two entered into a musical conversation and Eastern sound experiment, the call and response elements and their rapport having the audience enthralled, reminding us of Ms.Winstone's reputation as a pioneer in vocal improvisation. Another Litvinoff number, 'When Loves Begins', once again gave the opportunity to show how well she delivers a ballad, this time with Wakeman giving a Ben Websterish breathiness to his full sounding tenor. 'Ladies in Mercedes' (composed by Steve Swallow, lyrics by Ms.Winstone) and an encore of Monk's 'Well You Needn't' sent the audience away with the confirmation that they had witnessed a soundly cohesive unit supporting someone thoroughly deserving of the title 'Jazz Vocalist of the Year'.

– Matthew Wright

– Photo by Petra Kemper

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Makaya McCraven, Ashley Henry RE:ENSEMBLE and Theon Cross Trio unite Chicago and London for International Anthems

Makaya McCraven, Ashley Henry RE:ENSEMBL…

Some of the most exciting names from London and Chicago's...

Read More.....
The Write Stuff adds new qualification for young writers aged 18-25

The Write Stuff adds new qualification f…

This year's Write Stuff music journalism course will return for...

Read More.....
Exclusive stream of ‘I Miss You’ – New single from Wayne Shorter produced seven-piece Holophonor

Exclusive stream of ‘I Miss You’ – New s…

Fast emerging US progressive jazz seven-piece Holophonor are set to...

Read More.....
Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017 nominees announced

Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017 nominees …

  The nominees for the 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards have been...

Read More.....
John Jack – 1933-2017

John Jack – 1933-2017

John Jack was one of those figures who seem to...

Read More.....
Liane Carroll, Miles Mosley and Seal for Jazz Voice’s tenth anniversary at EFG London Jazz Festival

Liane Carroll, Miles Mosley and Seal for…

The names have been revealed for this year's 10th edition...

Read More.....
Video Exclusive – 'Forlane' from VEIN Plays Ravel

Video Exclusive – 'Forlane' from VEIN Pl…

Swiss piano trio VEIN release their latest album, VEIN Plays...

Read More.....
Denys Baptiste, Mike Gibbs and ICP Orchestra for Turner Sims autumn/winter programme

Denys Baptiste, Mike Gibbs and ICP Orche…

Southampton's Turner Sims concert hall has a bumper crop of...

Read More.....
Nubya Garcia lines up for Steve Reid Innovation showcase – video preview

Nubya Garcia lines up for Steve Reid Inn…

This year's edition of the Steve Reid Innovation showcase will...

Read More.....
Tom Millar Quartet takes Unnatural Events on tour

Tom Millar Quartet takes Unnatural Event…

Pianist and composer Tom Millar starts his autumn tour this...

Read More.....
Hats off for Stetson's big blowout at Brighton's Duke of York

Hats off for Stetson's big blowout at Br…

  Colin Stetson has enough draw to fill this arthouse cinema...

Read More.....
A show of hands for percussion legend Giovanni Hidalgo at Jazz Cafe

A show of hands for percussion legend Gi…

Some of the UK's leading percussionists will be gathering at...

Read More.....
Walter Becker 1950-2017

Walter Becker 1950-2017

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen may have been two against...

Read More.....
Robert Glasper, Jaga Jazzist and Aron Ottignon added to EFG London Jazz Fest 25th anniversary Line-Up

Robert Glasper, Jaga Jazzist and Aron Ot…

This year's momentous 25th EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs...

Read More.....
Legacies live on as Sidewinder and Coltrane hit silver screen

Legacies live on as Sidewinder and Coltr…

  September can be a quiet month for music fans, after...

Read More.....
Metropole Orkest Modernise Mingus On Prom Night

Metropole Orkest Modernise Mingus On Pro…

Charlie Mingus famously encouraged musicians to play without charts, creating...

Read More.....
Nick Duckett talks about the Harry South The Songbook – “…a British Quincy Jones”

Nick Duckett talks about the Harry South…

Pub conversations can get you in a world of grief...

Read More.....
Obituary: Sue Steward

Obituary: Sue Steward

One of Songlines' founding contributing editors, and Jazzwise writer, Sue...

Read More.....
John Abercrombie 1944 – 2017

John Abercrombie 1944 – 2017

The final two recordings by guitarist John Abercrombie for the...

Read More.....
Mansur Brown and Yussef Dayes go supernova with the Jimi Hendrix Songbook

Mansur Brown and Yussef Dayes go superno…

Rising star guitarist Mansur Brown and exciting drummer Yusef Dayes...

Read More.....
Omar Puente and Melt Yourself Down get Canary Wharf Jazz Fest moving

Omar Puente and Melt Yourself Down get C…

The Canary Wharf Jazz Festival has been successfully putting on...

Read More.....
Video Exclusive for Sam Braysher’s ‘Dancing In The Dark’

Video Exclusive for Sam Braysher’s ‘Danc…

Emerging UK sax talent Sam Braysher releases his intimate new...

Read More.....
Dhafer Youssef and Get the Blessing get Gaume grooving

Dhafer Youssef and Get the Blessing get …

  When Get the Blessing call for audience participation, they're startled...

Read More.....
Kinch and Carroll cap Sligo capers

Kinch and Carroll cap Sligo capers

The combined festival and summer school in Sligo have had...

Read More.....
Southampton Gets Ahead As New Jazz Venue Prospers

Southampton Gets Ahead As New Jazz Venue…

  (Pianist Jason Rebello guests on the Talking Heads stage with...

Read More.....
Edwards and Castle pursue chaotic pulse at The Verdict

Edwards and Castle pursue chaotic pulse …

  'Crossover' is a word much employed by critics when talking...

Read More.....
Mark Guiliana makes mark as Jazz Middelheim's artist-in-residence

Mark Guiliana makes mark as Jazz Middelh…

Jazz Middelheim is a great jazz fest situated in front...

Read More.....
Marius Neset, Nils Landgren and Tonbruket light up Ystad Jazz Fest

Marius Neset, Nils Landgren and Tonbruke…

Now in its eighth year the Ystad Jazz Festival (not...

Read More.....
Hyelim Kim and Alice Zawadzki get K-Music kicking

Hyelim Kim and Alice Zawadzki get K-Musi…

This year's edition of the London Festival of Korean Music...

Read More.....
Binker & Moses 'Fete By The River' – Video Exclusive

Binker & Moses 'Fete By The River' –…

  Clap your pies on this vid exclusive from award-winning London...

Read More.....
Steve Lehman and Pat Metheny Lead The Moldejazz Pack

Steve Lehman and Pat Metheny Lead The Mo…

Flying north-west from Oslo on a propeller aeroplane, the first...

Read More.....
Redman's Rhythmic Reveries Live The Dream At Manchester Jazz Fest

Redman's Rhythmic Reveries Live The Drea…

Joshua Redman (top), looking super svelte in suit and dicky...

Read More.....
Anoushka Shankar, Hiromi and Shabaka and the Ancestors get Jazz à Juan jumping

Anoushka Shankar, Hiromi and Shabaka and…

After the terrible events on the Promenade des Anglais on...

Read More.....
Vote Now for 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

Vote Now for 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awa…

This year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards will take place on 10...

Read More.....
Wayne Shorter Goes Large At Gent Jazz Jamboree

Wayne Shorter Goes Large At Gent Jazz Ja…

As expected, the Gent Jazz Festival performs its characteristic trick...

Read More.....
Buck Clayton Legacy Band bounce with Billie at Pizza

Buck Clayton Legacy Band bounce with Bil…

There's said to be a minor resurgence in swing in...

Read More.....

ABJazzWise


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Chris Barber Big Band keeps on swinging at Cardogan Hall https://t.co/Ygj2f5Jh0L https://t.co/SEUY5VwCwS
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@frozenreeds and by the time you've seen Shabaka Hutchings for the 50th time you might want to do someone damage wi… https://t.co/zwjzscsQ1W
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter

 

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA