Carol Grimes has been singing and performing across venues in London for over 50 years. From the moment she heard Ella Fitzgerald singing Every Time We Say Goodbye, Grimes had wanted to be a singer. Later, hearing the great British blues singer-guitarist Jo Ann Kelly and Julie Driscoll, who was in the front line of Steampacket with Rod Stewart and John Baldry at the time, inspired Grimes further. And before too long she got to follow their example by selling out London venues including the Marquee, Klook’s Kleek and the 100 Club.
In the last few years, she has been working with the pianist Dorian Ford, doing live work and composing, and her band has now grown to an octet. The band has been exploring different sound territories, from more reflective and fragile to big band stomp, jazz, blues and roots, as well as new compositions. One of Carol’s ongoing projects is The Singer’s Tale, based on her own life story and described as “a show with a difference” and an “invaluable document”.
Line up: Winston Clifford (drums/percussion), Dorian Ford (keyboard) and Alison Rayner (double bass).
Date: 29th September 2016, 7-10pm.
Venue: Book and Kitchen, 31 All Saints Road, Notting Hill W11 1HE.
Tickets: £10 in advance, £15 at the door. (Advance sales end at 5pm on the day of the event.)
Large slices of British jazz history are disappearing. The music itself is documented, but the accounts of how it was made and the world for which it was performed are fading because they exist only in the frailest of formats – memory. So when an event like Carol Grimes’ The Singer’s Tale comes along, it forms an invaluable document.
For anyone who lived through the period from the early 60s on the London jazz scene, it will recall events, venues and people long gone, but which form ldquo;names to conjure with”, summoning up memories and recreating events and feelings with a that power goes way beyond nostalgia into reliving. For anyone who didn’t live through it, here is an account of the life of a talented but uneducated woman and mother who did not fit easily into musical categories. Documents on women in British Jazz and Rock – and of their treatment by the almost exclusively male scenes where they were often treated as props rather than musicians – are rare, and this sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious look at life is probably unique.
Carol Grimes, the “Edith Piaf” of British music, is singing about her extraordinary life in The Singer’s Tale at St James Theatre’s studio next Monday evening.
Part dramatisation of her life story, part jazz gig, she’s singing with her collaborator/pianist Dorian Ford, fabulous trombonist Annie Whitehead, bass player “Level-Neville” Malcolm and leading drummer Winston Clifford.
In the prologue to his Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote: He could sing songs make and well endite. (more…)
Preview/Interview: The Singer’s Tale
London Jazz News, 13th February 2015
Carol Grimes was one of the very first performers to appear at St James Studio (preview from 2012). In this new interview with Sebastian, she talked about the first outings of her new autobiographical project “The Singer’s Tale,” for which she will return to St James Studio with performances on Feb 9th and 26th 2015.
LondonJazz News: What does the show consist of?
Carol Grimes: Songs, little beat poetry, it’s a tale interlaced with songs, a lot of them written by Dorian Ford and myself. It’s in two halves with an interval. Maggie Ford is directing. Neville Malcolm is on bass, Winston Clifford drums, Annie Whitehead trombone and Dorian Ford piano.
LJN: And the title?
CG: I nicked it from Chaucer – he never wrote a tale about a singer, but he travelled through South East London, knew it, trod the same paths I trod.
Listen to Carol on Midweek (BBC Radio Four) with Libby Purves. First broadcast on 18th February 2015.
The Quarterhouse Women’s Choir: 12th March 2016
For the second year running, Women Of The World comes to a close with a night of uproarious music featuring female artists (full line up to be announced) alongside the Quarterhouse Women’s Choir. The Quarterhouse Women’s Choir, led by Carol Grimes, started at WOW 2015 and focuses on the work of female song writers.
Saturday 12th March 2016, Folkestone Quarterhouse.