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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

Black Box
Liz Fletcher

Live in the Park

black box BBJ1008

  1. Your Mind is on Vacation
  2. Sunshine
  3. Sugar
  4. Do You?
  5. Moanin’
  6. The Meaning of the Blues
  7. Day by Day/500 Miles High
  8. What Good is Spring
  9. (Life’s a Breeze) Pigs can fly
  10. You Don’t Need Nobody

Liz Fletcher – Vocals
Roy Babbington – Bass
Marc Parnell – drums
Will Parnell – Percussion
Mark Johns – Guitar
Robin Aspland – piano
Matt Wates – Alto

This album was recorded at the Ealing Jazz festival in 1998. Ealing has become a beacon in jazz festivals, both for the excellence of its programme and for the quality of the CD’s that have been released of it’s content.

I heard Liz Fletcher’s debut album only a couple of months ago and was impressed; my review is already on the Music Web site. This live album confirms to me that she is a jazz vocal talent to be reckoned with. This being a live performance, it has the exciting feel of the public performance about it. The band is also on top form,

Robin Aspland makes a great contribution on piano and is obviously helped by the excellence of the bass playing of Roy Babbington and the drumming of Marc Parnell.

Matt Wates on alto has that nice wistful sound that is reminiscent of Paul Desmond, without ever attempting mimicry. Mark Johns guitar work complements the other musicians and adds to the overall excitement of the session.

Apart from Moanin’, where I felt she would have been more comfortable in a different key, Liz carries this session off beautifully. She has accurate intonation, good diction, good control of vibrato and good selection of when to use it and most of all she swings.

The programme is a good mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar, a wide range of tempos and rhythms, but always delivered with conviction.

One minor grumble, why print a sleeve not in black on brown or brown on black. It is difficult to read and unattractive to look at. Here we have a high quality album in a package which does it’s best to put you off buying it. How strange!

Don Mather


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