Carol at Lauderdale House, London Jazz Festival

21st November 2013

by Brian Blain, London Jazz News

"Carol Grimes and her current, beautifully tight band - Dorian Ford (piano), Neville Malcolm (bass) Winston Clifford (drums) and Annie Whitehead (trombone) — put them all together and we had a feast of varied music and a totally sold out venue. Grimes is a true, charismatic artist, who can groove with her wonderful rhythm section, as on her old favourite Red Top, a King Pleasure version of a classic Gene Ammons solo on a Lionel Hampton blues, that had Clifford pushing to get in on the act with some brilliant scat, a briskish Round Midnight and the delightful opener All Blues, a Miles favourite with singers.

"But like many of the best contemporary singers she varied her programme with songs by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and others, including a touching Scars, by that fine songwriting team Fran Landesman and Simon Wallace. Annie Whitehead's trombone work really adds to the 'colour' of this band with beautiful plunger mute vocalisation,and a fine musical sense that made her counter lines and occasional pp endings to a song absolutely perfect.

"Allen Toussaint's joyfully upbeat ShooRah! Shoo-Rah! sent the audience home, faces wreathed in smiles and the band into a heartfelt team huddle, discreetly out of sight of the crowd, which spoke volumes about how much they all enjoy this collective music making. As Carol said 'This band likes to hug-a-lot.' Memorable stuff."