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Review: Books, Theatre, Movies, Albums & Gigs.

Jacqui DankworthJacqui Dankworth & Charlie Wood: Just You, Just Me

Liverpool St. George’s Hall Small Concert Room

March 5, 2016

Band: Ben Castle, Dudley Phillips, Pedro Segundo
Running Time: 2 Hours

At the risk of repetition, there are times when doing this reviewing thing that you can’t help but feeling truly blessed.

Saturday night at St George’s Hall Small Concert Room, watching the legendary Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Cook perform a selection of Jazz, Blues and Pop classics has to go down as one such occasion.

Oozing class and style, Ms Dankworth took a moment before beginning to remark upon the superb surroundings in which she was about to perform, before getting the ball rolling with a selection of such depth and balance it became astonishing, with Two to Tango, written and performed by Ray Charles and Betty Carter, setting the mood from the off.

This was a night dedicated to celebrating collaborative writing partnerships of the twentieth century, so no such night is ever going to be complete without recognising the massive contribution made by George & Ira Gershwin. With such a huge back catalogue to select from, choosing A Foggy day in London Town may not have been too high on the list. However, with the cool melodies of Dankworth’s vocals blending sublimely with Cook’s exquisite backing vocals and faultless piano playing, the song became a master-class in how things should be done: smooth, easy and rich, like homemade ice cream on a hot summer’s day and every bit as refreshing.

And all of this was aided and abetted by a trio of backing musicians who were every bit as faultless. Ben Castle on Saxophone was given free range to exhibit to the maximum why he is so highly regarded amongst his peers, whereas Dudley Phillips on Double Bass and Pedro Segundo on Drums steered the rhythmic ship perfectly, supplying solo segments of their own which only served to add to the evening.

The highlights were many, but standing out were a mercurial rearrangement of Windmills Of Your Mind, a foot tapping, upbeat Side By Side and a hauntingly moving version of Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger’s Roberta Flack’s  hit The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, which will truly live long in the memory.

What Jacqui Dankworth and her husband, Charlie Cook, served up at St George’s Hall Small Concert Room was a more than fitting performance in the beautiful surroundings of the venue and is one that it can only be repeated in the not too distant future.




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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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