Had they called this Music For Saddos it would have said more than At The Cold Stores though I’m guessing it would still sell as this relatively young band – by now approaching if not actually in their 30s – seem to go from strength to strength, only eclipsed, to my knowledge by John Ruddick’s Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, whose members are obliged to leave once the hit 25.
This time around DFTC serve up a baker’s dozen of oldies ranging from 1927 (Stardust) to 1962 (More).
My sole reservations are the opening track, Harold Arlen’s The Man That Got Away, in which Katie Birtill substitutes jauntiness for intensity in a medium-bounce reading light years from the composer’s intention, and the last track, Stardust, which Callum Gillis walks through rather as if he’d been assigned it against his will. He also says, bizarrely, “beyond” instead of “beside” a garden wall. But this leaves 11 tracks that are out of the right bottle, possibly just edged for me by Hannas Castleman’s reading of Doris Fisher’s That Old Devil Called Love.
All in all this is yet another triumph for the “If-It-Ain’t-Broke-Don’t-Fix-It” school and one in the eye for the “Re-Imagining” crowd. Here’s to the next DFTC album.
The Man That Got Away; Mona Lisa; That Old Devil Called Love; More; Secret Love; Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps; Mr. Bojangles; When I Fall In Love; Day In, Day Out; I’ve Got You Under My Skin; Nature Boy; Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart (48.36)
Katie Birtill, Hannah Castleman, Callum Gillis (v); Alex Howgego (p); Charlie Pyne (b); Sam Ainslie (g); James Smith (d); Dae Hyun Lee (pc); Katie Edwards (as, f); Alex Western-King (as, cl, f); Jamie Hone (bar, cl); Max Fagandini; Simon Joyner, Luke Davies (t, flh); George Simmonds (tb, btb); Sophie Poteratchi, Sophie Belinfante, Alicia Berendse, Matthew Bethel, Rose Hinton, Emma McAllister, Phoebe Snelling, Kasia Zaminska (vn); Jordan Sian, Jennifer MacCallum, Martin Wray (vla); Lucy Andrews, Amelia Forster, Patrick Johnson, Bryony Moody (clo). The Cold Stores, Kent, January – September, 2020.
Down For The Count Records DFTC 007