Dick Pearce started the evening off with a set of British bop, beginning with Stella by Starlight played on flugelhorn. The original composition Airships In A Cloud was a Coltrane-style waltz which suited the powerful drumming style of Mark Fletcher. The standard It’s You Or No One was a fantastic vehicle for some really cooking hard-bop playing from both pianist John Donaldson and the trumpet of Dick Pearce. They ended their set with a fantastic Art Blakey style blues with some great soloing by bassist Simon Thorpe.
I first saw Liane Carroll perform in Brighton in the mid-1990s when she was just getting to grips with playing the piano and singing at the same time. She had a keyboard that could transpose into different keys. As she started to sing a well-known standard, she realised that she had forgotten to transpose her keyboard. The result was her shouting the F-word, before realising that there was a small child in the audience (accompanied by a horrified mother).
She then said ‘oh shit, sorry about the swearing. Bollocks, I’ve just done it again. I’ll shut up now’.
For this gig, a fundraiser celebrating eight years of Hastings Jazz, she sat down at the piano and said, ‘I hope there aren’t any kids here, ’cos there’s gonna be some fucking swearing tonight’.
Liane had been in the studio that day with the other members of the group BLINQ and brought with her the vocalists Brendan Reilly and Ian Shaw, together with flugelhornist James McMillan. All were fantastic, with Ian Shaw showing his vocal skills and Brendan Reilly going to town with his vocal gymnastics and soulful singing on the ballad You Don’t Know What Love Is.
Liane sang the beautiful ballad You’ve Changed, which was then followed by a group rendition of the Carole King classic You’ve Got A Friend. The evening ended with a rousing blues, Centrepiece, to end a great evening of music. A good amount of money was raised and a good time was had by all.
Review by Charlie Anderson.