Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth
1998 - Spectrum
The king and queen of jazz come together yet again on this beautifully crafted and well recorded album. Their work has been highly regarded by most, indeed both Dankworth and Laine have an impressive back catalogue of grammy’s and CBE’s. For those of you who are perhaps unfamiliar with the jazz idiom then you can do no worse than check out this wonderful collection of jazz standards and Shakespearian-inspired tracks as a gentle introduction into the world of jazz.
Cleo Laine’s vocal range is outstanding and unmatched by many singers to date. Her effortless style works harmoniously with the gentle tone of Dankworth’s saxophone playing and is why the pair have worked so well and so frequently together. The pair married in 1958 and have performed together and separately for forty years and neither shows signs of slowing down!
‘The Lady Sings The Blues’ is a perfect example of both Laine’s and Dankworth’s effortless style of performing. Cleo’s perfect annunciation does not detract from the soulful singing, as it can do with more classical based vocalists. Rather the clear fluidity adds to the gentle style of the song and creates an atmosphere of longing.
This album has to be one of my favourites and one I always enjoy digging out just to be reminded of their musical abilities. Cleo for her unbelievable vocal range and tone and Dankworth for his great orchestration and compositional skills as well as his playing style. I know it may sound clichéd but this album is timeless. The sound remains fresh and the music ageless each time its replayed. A definite must have for jazz lovers and for those who just want to hear music performed by great musicians!
Written by Rachael for UKEvents.net
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