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It Happens Quietly by Jacqui Dankworth

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Reviewed on 18th August 2011.


It Happens Quietly

By Jacqui Dankworth

Jazz music is something that for me has never gone out of fashion and the songs are timeless and this album is a testament to some songs that have stood the test of time. It is the Dankworth dynasty who has been at the centre of the British Jazz scene since its early arrival in the first half of the twentieth century. It was of great sadness that British Jazz lost its knight the great Sir John Dankworth last year and this album is a personal testament to his jazz greatness by his daughter. It Happens Quietly is a project Jacqui was working on with her father before his passing containing some of the most beautiful jazz standards in a modernised retelling in the hands of Sir John who arranged some of the tracks on the album. But one thing is clear, this is a Jacqui Dankworth record with her voice acting as the lynchpin for the emotion that this record is full of.

The album opens with what is possibly one of the most beautiful standards of all time 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square' this standard feels full of the British flavour of Eric Maschitz's lyrics. The arrangement sees the wonderment of extensive jazz harmony with tremolo strings unpinning a new harmonic idea to the original song to create wonderment and sense of turning the clock back to a better time. Jacqui Dankworth glides effortlessly over the melody with such a reminiscent motion that is easy on the ear and leaves you in awe of such raw musical skill.

We then face a change of mood on the album with a lovely almost Latin version of 'In the still of the night' with a drum part that screams Tony Williams on the 'Master Trio' album with extensive rim work and minimal fills. Following a seamless switch to a swing feel there is a saxophone then guitar solo one picking up after the other with a warm tone exploring a large number of diatonic and be-bop scale possibilities.

The album is a vocalist prominent record showcasing the vocal abilities of Jacqui Dankworth within a variety of gentile constructs, the album is soft and quiet even in the liveliest of contexts but the clue has always been in the title. This is certainly for fans of the British Jazz traditions around vocalists and is a record that proves the strength of Jacqui Dankworth as a vocalist who will always be at the forefront of the British output of good jazz records.



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