JENNY GREEN - ALWAYS AND FOREVER - CD REVIEWS

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1 June 2021
CD REVIEW by JIM BURLONG

JENNY GREEN - Always & Forever
Soup to Nuts Productions 2021

Jenny Green (vocal), Adrian York / Rob Barron (piano), Neville Malcolm (bass), Winston Clifford (drums), Chris Traves (trombone) 

Jenny Green is a major figure in the South East jazz scene and a catalyst for other musicians in the area. As a vocalist she has appeared many times at Ronnie Scott's Upstairs and Soho's Pizza Express Jazz Club among countless other prestigious venues. Renowned as a vocal coach, she also runs the highly successful East Grinstead Jazz Club which attracts many top line musicians to jam with her own band at their monthly sessions. Jenny also organises many other jazz events in the area and has been for a number of years the host of the popular " Jazz Mixup" on Meridian FM radio.

For this recording, the first since the critically acclaimed Caught a Touch of Your Love from 2014, she recruited top UK vocalist Claire Martin O.B.E. as producer alongside a well chosen band of high quality British jazz musicians. Collectively they have put together an entertaining and diverse set of numbers, many of which are rarely heard in a small group jazz setting. The piano role is evenly shared between the two keyboard artists who both also have a major role in the arrangements of each number. The group also benefits substantially from the presence of one of the UK's finest jazz drummers, Winston Clifford. Everything about the group sounds well rehearsed and tight, although space is allowed for inventive solo time where appropriate.  It is clear from the beginning that the vocalist is in top form, exhibiting as usual a very clear diction, a sense of swing, where required, plus a strong delivery of the sentiment that the composer was seeking on each piece.  Things do start off rather surprisingly for jazz, with a rendering of a pop classic by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, Don't Sleep in the Subway, which was a hit for Petula Clark back in 1967. However firmer ground is soon reached with a great low tempo ballad, Slow Hot Wind, from the pen of Henri Mancini, ideal for Jenny's voice and featuring Winstone Clifford in strong support. The album goes on to produce a number of outstanding highlights. When in Rome, from the ITV series "Plebs" is a case in point, great vocal on this one, plus fine bass and piano solo from Rob Barron. The wonderful Blue Prelude, with music by Joe Bishop and lyrics from Gorden Jenkins is another fine performance, taken at an unusually high tempo, with a pronounced level of swing and more outstanding bass work from Neville Malcolm. There are a pair of great songs from the thirties towards the end of the recording, The Touch of your Lips from Brighton's very own Ray Noble in 1936, fine trombone solo on this by Chris Traves and the Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler classic from 1931, both of which bring out the true jazz sensibility in Jenny's voice.

This album is a must for lovers of the jazz vocal scene and can be obtained through the artists website, jennygreensings.com or as a download from the usual digital channels including Bandcamp.

Reviewed by Jim Burlong

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1 June 2021
CD REVIEW by SAMMY STEIN

https://www.jazzviews.net/jenny-green---always--forever.html?fbclid=IwAR38hWazPinlTFZp4VSLg6tKIlqwJOTRpMCy5j6E2DxQs9TyVtNqMhiPAJY

JENNY GREEN - Always & Forever
Soup to Nuts Productions 2021

Jenny Green (Vocals); Neville Malcolm (Bass); Winston Clifford (Drums);Chris Traves (Trombone); Backing vocals & percussion Clare Martin and Winston Clifford
Adrian York Piano & arrangements on tracks 1,3,5,7,9 & 11
Rob Barron Piano & arrangements on tracks 2,4,6,8,10 & 12
Produced and recorded by Chris Traves and Claire Martin OBE

Jenny Green is a radio host and singer. She performs as a solo artist and with her band. ‘Always And Forever’ follows her critically acclaimed 2014 debut album ‘Caught A Touch Of Your Love’.

At the start of the pandemic Jenny was busy presenting her radio programme, running her jazz club and had a full diary of gigs. The sudden lockdown gave her time to reflect and think about releasing another album, this time with the help of Claire Martin producing. Martin was a great choice, as she and Green share a mutual respect. Martin also joins Jenny on the album singing backing vocals on a couple of the tracks along with Winston Clifford which adds a special touch.

Musicians include Winston Clifford on drums and Neville Malcolm on bass, both of whom played on Green’s first album. Add Chris Traves on trombone, Rob Barron and Adrian York on piano to Green’s voice and you have a recipe for a superb album.

Trant/Hatch’s ‘Don’t Sleep in The Subway’ starts the album off in the stylish mode in which it continues. A beautifully delivered track with crystal clear lyrics, delivered with emotion gives Green the chance to shine – and she does. A great opener with some sublime piano accompaniment and solo and steadfast ensemble support.

Gembel/Mancini’s ‘ Slow Hot Wind’ shows a different side to both ensemble and vocalist with a gentle, narrative exploration of the number. The arrangement allows Green to spot some high and deep chest notes, which she pulls off with aplomb. The modulation to a Latin-infused middle interlude is joyful, uplifting and includes some delicate percussive additions. The arrangement is superb on this track.

Martinez/Fagen’s ‘Do Wrong Shoes’ is bluesy and delivered with a cheeky take by Green, whose voice is perfectly suited to the short glissandos and little intricacies which make or break blues vocal numbers. Coupled with a swingy piano line and rippling percussion, clear lyrics and a suitably sleaze trombone solo, this is a lyrical picture of sassiness, ably painted by Green.

Leigh and Coleman’s ‘When In Rome’ is raunchy jazz at its best, with a great walking bass line in the background, set off by the resonance of the aptly placed tom echoes and a superb piano solo. This is followed by a brief interaction between drums and piano and, topped with Green’s vocal work, makes this an engaging number about finding new horizons.

Tom Wait’s ‘Temptation’ is given the Green treatment and tells the story of desire and giving in to temptation – and what it leads to when you can’t resist. ‘Dutch pink and Italian blue, He is there waiting for you, My will has disappeared, My confusion is oh so clear……. Temptation, I can’t resist one more drink.’ Beautifully backed by the band, who relish in the rolling swing rhythm with its Latin vibes and the piano backline and solo are just gorgeous. A stand out track.

Bennett and Underwood’s ‘Early To Bed’ is softer, gentle and an uplifting number telling us all to go to bed early, rise with the lark and the virtuous benefits of this practice – not that the central character of the song hasn’t had her fair share of late night adventures, which becomes clear as the song develops.

Temperton’s ‘Always and Forever’ familiar to Heatwave fans is introduced by intricate piano and Green delivers in low register, full of tone and resonance. A gentleness is present which fits with the lyrics, which are clear as spring water and just as pure. Green takes the disco hit and makes it more of a lyrical ballad – and it works. The final section with backing vocals is beautiful.

Bishop/Jenkins’ ‘Blue Prelude’ is familiar to Simone fans but here it is treated with respect, whilst parts are re-arranged to make it a subtler and clever number. The bass solo is extended and the piano then picks up the theme, improvising around the key and creating a pleasant interval before the equally pleasant vocals enter again and tell the rest of the story about that final trip before you leave.

Stonier/Teal’s ‘Messin’ With Fire’ is well worked by Green and the band with a great piano and drum interlude, into which the voice re-enters and appropriately delivers the verdict that we all get burned if we tell others how to live and mess with fire.

Noble’s ‘The Touch of Your Lips’ was written in the late 1930s but here Green show how a good song can work over 80 years later. The serene trombone adds atmosphere and Green follows this with vocalese, demonstrating another musical aspect of her performance.

Arlen/Koehler’s rollicking ‘Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea’ is about choices and again, Green has chosen to use a song written in the 1930s, here delivered with energy and including some great turns from bass, piano and drums all in just over two and a half minutes.

Bacharach/ Costello’s ‘Painted Form Memory’ is a wonderful song. I remember Costello introducing a Burt Bacharach and Hal David number ‘I just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’ with respect so it is good to hear his collaboration with one of them sung by a vocalist who does the number justice. Green’s range is used effectively in this arrangement and the narrative is conveyed well as Green sings of loss, deceit and heartache.

This is a highly engaging album with some great arrangements and production. Green’s vocals are something of a revelation and her delivery of a range of different styles with the emotion and clarity required to truly tell vocal stories is admirable. Those who know Green’s talent will like this and those who don’t – well, get to her soon.

Reviewed by Sammy Stein

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About Jenny Green Sings

From Jenny's early love of pop music, to big band, jazz and acapella, she has a wealth of knowledge, expertise, skill and experience and with her ever expanding repertoire, covering songs from the world of Jazz, swing, to soul Latin and popular standards. Jenny is in great demand as a function singer with her bands and is ideal for weddings & corporate events.