Concert Review – Fret and Fiddle

Now extended to a quintet, the former duo Fret and Fiddle played a wide range of classic and modern jazz, with the occasional foray into other genres of music when they appeared at Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival.

Led by the charismatic violinist and vocalist Sally Minchin, and guitarist Andy Bole the band received exemplary support from keyboard player Rich Hughes, double bass player Simon Smith and drummer Steve Street. The music ranged from serene ballads to rambunctious displays of musical invention from guitar, keyboards and violins.

The set started with Duke Ellington’s well-known Jazz standard, Caravan, whilst the French Waltz of Indifference was a display of gentle, filigree music making. All Bowley’s Close your Eyes was delivered as a slow burning torch song, the famed Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grapelli Minor Swing was delivered at a faster pace, but Autumn Leaves delivered a sense of melancholia. Nat King Cole’s Nature Boy closed the first half, with its adventurous arrangement adding depth to the delivery.

The second half featured music that went well outside of the Jazz idiom, with Tom Wait’s Chocolate Baby, the traditional piece Misserlou and The Penguin Café Orchestra’s Music for a Found Harmonium being particular highlights.

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