Concert Review – Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Woods – Lichfield Guildhall

Review and photos by Ben Macnair

Jazz music in all of its various forms was on the menu when the critically acclaimed singers and musicians Jacqui Dankworth and her husband Charlie Wood played a series of spell-binding duets at Lichfield Guildhall.

With everything from jazz standards, to songs by Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and Carol King, with blues, jazz and soulful interpretations of the great Jazz songbook there was something for even the most purist of jazz fans.

As a widely respected pianist Charlie Wood’s nimble accompaniment and gravelly tenor were more than an able match for his partner’s dazzling display of vocal dexterity. Much of the music were duets, but one of the highlights was Jacqui Dankworth’s solo reading of Ewan McColl’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, or the complex version of Windmills of your Mind which skipped through many more moods and time signatures of Michel Legrand’s original.

The set opener, Two to Tango showed the duo’s strengths, whilst When Something is wrong with my Baby featured unison singing of the highest order. Famous jazz songs such as It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing mixed well with original interpretations of You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King and James Taylor, whilst the encore of Paul Simon’s The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) showed the wide range of interests, and talents that these two performers at the top of their game bring to the concert stage.

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