(Lauderdale House. 21 November 2013 – LJF. Review by Brian Blain)
Carol Grimes and her current, beautifully tight band – Dorian Ford (piano), Neville Malcolm (bass) Winston Clifford (drums) and Annie Whitehead (trombone) – put them all together and we had a feast of varied music and a totally sold out venue. Grimes is a true, charismatic artist,who can groove with her wonderful rhythm section, as on her old favourite Red Top, a King Pleasure version of a classic Gene Ammons solo on a Lionel Hampton blues, that had Clifford pushing to get in on the act with some brilliant scat, a briskish Round Midnight and the delightful opener All Blues, a Miles favourite with singers.
But like many of the best contemporary singers she varied her programme with songs by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and others, including a touching Scars, by that fine songwriting team Fran Landesman and Simon Wallace. Annie Whitehead’s trombone work really adds to the ‘colour’ of this band with beautiful plunger mute vocalisation,and a fine musical sense that made her counter lines and occasional pp endings to a song absolutely perfect.
Allen Toussaint’s joyfully upbeat ShooRah! Shoo-Rah! sent the audience home, faces wreathed in smiles and the band into a heartfelt team huddle,discreetly out of sight of the crowd, which spoke volumes about how much they all enjoy this collective music making. As Carol said ‘This band likes to hug-a-lot.’ Memorable stuff