Review: Joe Stilgoe – I Like This One Launch

Joe Stilgoe – I Like This One Launch
(Schott Music, Great Marlborough Street, April 14th 2011, Review by Jeanie Barton)

There are few performers who can rock a library but, in essence, that is what Joe Stilgoe ’s trio did last night. At an intimate launch in the basement of Schott Music’s bookshop near Oxford Circus, whatever dust there might have been was blown clean off the shelves by their mini-set of hard swing and sassy shuffles.

We lucky few were first treated to glasses of vino as well as sweets (popping candy and flying saucers among other classics.) Once we were sugared up, Joe, clad in a sharp light grey three piece suit sat at the baby Steinway grand, which was probably more accustomed to classical recitals, to play the sparky upbeat number You Can’t Catch Me Out.

With Sam Lasserson on double bass and John Blease on drums (both in waistcoats loaned by Joe) they looked and sounded the epitome of suave. This song reminded me a little of Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby and Joe’s gutsy yet clear vocals cut clean across his meaty piano style wherein he dropped a couple of quotes from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue during his solo. This was quality stuff and no longer did the space feel stuffy.

Next came I Like This One, which was this evening’s celebrated single release. An unashamedly commercial sounding jazz swing/shuffle; it was recorded as a big band arrangement but I actually preferred their live rhythm section version which gave off sparks – the smoothly produced and mastered recording I find a little too tidy and safe to convey the sleazy edge to the lyrics.

“Later on” (to quote them) we were treated to a preview of a new composition based on a line in the film The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine; That’s How it Crumbles Cookie-wize, this song relaxed into a Norah Jones-esque Latin groove and was truly romantic. The chilled vibe continued with a re-harmonised version of Waterloo Sunset holding us back with lots of sus 4 tensions and a stunning bass feature with bang on upper register detail.

Joe and co bought the show to a close with a Louis Prima style number that modulated like Mack the KnifeWe Should Kiss was a real crowd pleaser. They rounded off with a reprise of I Like This One, and we sure did; we were encouraged to join in and continued to sing it all the way home!


The single “I Like This One” is available from iTunes

Categories: miscellaneous

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