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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

Field of Blue

Black Box BBJ2017


  1. Ain't necessarily so
  2. Tell me who you are
  3. Fruit tree
  4. Day after day
  5. Feather
  6. Change your mind
  7. The blues don't really care
  8. Journey to your heart
  9. Every dog must have his day
  10. Free falling
  11. Still not ready

Jacqueline Dankworth - Voice
Harvey Brough - Voice, Piano, Psaltery and Guitar
Mark Johns - Guitars
Anthony Kerr - Vibes and Marimba
Julian Siegal - Double Bass and Saxes
Roy Dodds - Drums and Percussion
Also on tracks 5,8,9, and 10
John Miller - Keyboard
Mike Bradley - Drums
Roger Carey - Bass
On track 10
Gerard Presencer - Flugelhorn

This album contains one standard (track 1) and the remainder are compositions of the group. Jacqueline Dankworth seems to be the main contributor, although many are joint works with other members.

This is a very professional group and their original compositions are all interesting and variable in texture and sound. You cannot categorise this music, it has overtones of jazz, rock, pop, latin and it is all the better for that. The musicians are all exceptional, I particularly liked the Vibes playing of Anthony Kerr, both his solos and his contribution to the ensembles are outstanding. Mark John's Guitar playing adjusts brilliantly to the mood of the melody and Julian Siegal makes a very significant contribution on Alto Sax. The overall balance and the 'feel' of the group is very good, every number has obviously been given great attention to detail in order to produce a very polished product.

Jacqueline Dankworth has a beautiful voice, which has a superb evenness throughout its enormous range, her intonation is perfect. Could it be that she is denied some of the recognition she richly deserves, because her repertoire covers such a range of musical genre? If this is true it's a great pity; this is a very good album, by a very good group.

For anyone like me who did not know what a psaltery is, it is a subtype of the zither family, consisting of a set of strings, one for each note, stretched over a horizontal sound board. It was popular in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Don Mather

Don Mather is a tenor sax player and bandleader in Coventry UK

I see that Jacqui Dankworth has decided to revert to Jacqueline. I heard her live at the Stables (the Dankworth home) and as a result bought another album of hers simply called Field of Blue (Hubba HUBCD001) with its haunting opening track "All Life Long". As Don has noted the songs show great variety but are recognizably unified and I think they all stem from that same tour and the two albums therefore complement perfectly and are quite different from First Cry (EFZ1010) and  New Perspectives (the Houseman album [Spotlight SPJ-CD 559])

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

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