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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Cleo Lane & Dudley Moore

Smilin’ Through

Q Note QNT 10103





  1. I Don’t Know Why/Love Me or Leave Me
  2. When I Take my Sugar to Tea
  3. I’ll Be Around
  4. Strictly for the Birds
  5. Before love Went Out of style
  6. Soft Shoe
  7. Smilin’ Through
  8. I Can’t Give You Anything but Love
  9. It’s Easy to Remember
  10. Play It Again Sam
  11. Be a Child

Cleo lane – Vocals
Dudley Moore – Piano
Ray Brown – Bass
Nick Ceroli – Drums
John Dankworth – Sop. Track 6

I did not know that this recording existed and it brought back very many memories for me. Maureen and I married in 1961 and spent the evening of our wedding day at the Marquee Club in London. On the bill that night was the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra supported by the Dudley Moore Trio. Cleo was not with the band that night, no doubt she was already on her way to super stardom! I think Joy Marshall did the vocal honours with the irrepressible Bobby Breen.

Dudley had just left the Dankworth band to develop a career that took him first to television and then Hollywood. As can be heard from this record, it was a shame that Dudley did not have the time to make more use of his amazing talent as a pianist. But then, no one expected him to die so young from a crippling regenerative illness. On this session was another superstar of the jazz world, bass player Ray Brown whom recently passed on after a long and illustrious career.

Cleo has one of the most amazing voices in jazz today and now that Ella Fitz and Sarah Vaughan are no longer with us, she must surely be the world’s No1 female vocalist. She has an enormous range, perfect intonation and diction and she tells a story with every song.

The tune selection is a nice mixture of the familiar and the new, the rhythm section is perfect in the accompanying roll, and Dudley even does a bit of Eroll

Garner at the start of I can’t give You anything but Love which is then taken up by Cleo and the remarkable Mr Brown.

The sleeve gives no clue as to whether these tracks have been released previously, but I am awfully glad to have caught up with them now. It must have been a monumental task to get Cleo, Dudley and Ray all to the studio at the same time, but a task that was well worth while. This record will remain on my turntable for some time; some of the tracks have a bitter sweet feel about them, which is most attractive. Husband Johnny Dankworth is around to play soprano on one track and Nick Ceroli plays his part admirably.

Don Mather


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