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Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar


Artist: Tania Grubbs Quintet
Label: Tania Grubbs Quintet
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 20 January 2020

Tania Grubbs Quintet release their new album Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar, a love letter to dear friend and namesake for Maureen's Jazz Cellar, Maureen Budway...

Sadly, I found Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar to be a bit of an odd mix of songs and jazz styles. I was also surprised how poor the production values were. While the mix and recording is fine, Tania's vocals are not on form for the majority of the album. If this was a one-off show then I suppose any recording of it is better than none, but if there was the opportunity to record more than one night then I'm surprised that some of these songs made the cut.

'Bird on a Wire' sees Tania struggling to stay in tune. Meanwhile in 'Love' Tania and her band seem to be singing/playing different songs... I know this is how jazz is sometimes perceived, but it just feels a little off here. And she totally murders 'Wichita Lineman', which is a huge shame.

Another rather odd element is that the audience don't really seem to know when to applause... sometimes coming in just as Tania is about to start up again. I know they're clapping the band's instrumental breaks but it breaks up the songs in a rather odd place.

It's a shame, because when they hit their stride, like on 'Hope is the Thing with Feathers' and 'Harvest Moon', they really deliver something magical. Sadly, for the most part this is a little bit sloppy.


Nick Smithson

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