Feature/Interview

Jenny Green (new album ‘Always and Forever’)

Always and Forever is the new album from jazz singer Jenny Green. It will be launched at the club which Jenny runs in East Grinstead on 1 July. Interview by Peter Jones

LJN: How did you meet Claire Martin, and why did you choose her to produce Always and Forever?

Jenny Green: I remember first seeing Claire with Gareth Williams in a club in Brighton. At the time I was singing in dinner dance bands along the south coast, being based in Brighton myself. She was singing Black Coffee and I was taken by her smoky voice. Later on I enrolled on one of her singing workshops.

Claire was an obvious choice when doing the album as she has an amazing background from pop to jazz and I knew she’d bring out the best in me.

LJN: How did her input as producer affect your performance as a singer?

JG: Claire has a lot of recording experience – something I aspire to learn. She gave me the confidence to relax and enjoy the process and I think this helped to deliver the vocals. She also sang backing vocals along with Winston Clifford on a couple of the arrangements!.

LJN: Your choice of songs is mercifully free of the obvious standards. Some of these I’ve never heard before. Where did you come across Do Wrong Shoes, Early to Bed, Blue Prelude, The Touch of Your Lips and Painted from Memory?

JG: Yes this was important for me. Claire came up with the idea of Donald Fagen’s Do Wrong Shoes and Richard Rodney Bennett’s Early to Bed, which was great as I wanted a couple of fun songs on the album. Blue Prelude was a song in my repertoire written by Gordon Jenkins. I loved the version by Peggy Lee and George Shearing and I think we’ve kept close to the original .

LJN: You’ve used two pianists. What differences did you find between the playing of Adrian York and Rob Barron? Did that affect which songs each one played?

JG: Ah yes two great pianists both bringing their own uniqueness. Adrian is my resident pianist at the jazz club I run in East Grinstead . I wanted Adrian on the album for the more poppy arrangements and he has done a brilliant arrangement of Don’t Sleep in the Subway with a cool solo.

LJN: Why include trombone rather than the (more common) sax or trumpet?

JG: Why not? I love trombone and Chris Traves, who mixed and mastered the album, suggested it as he is a trombone player, so I was delighted.

LJN: Has preparing foryour radio show every week opened your ears to a wider range of jazz?

JG: Most definitely – in particular instrumental jazz and some of the new and emerging artists. For instance, new to me is the saxophonist Alex Bone. Whatever it is, if I like it I’ll play it. I get sent a lot of albums to listen to, with a view of featuring them on the show.

LJN: Your jazz club is now back at the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead. How has it been opening the club up again?

JG: Wonderful, and I can’t wait. I have lovely loyal supporters that come every month and along with our new followers, the club is getting bigger. Everyone at Chequer Mead has been very supportive and they have coped with the Covid restrictions brilliantly. Next month, on 1 July, will be my album launch and fingers crossed we will be at full capacity.

LJN: What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 music-wise?

JG: I’m hoping all my gigs will resume. Some were in the diary before the pandemic. And it would be lovely to do a couple of jazz festivals with the band on the album – the songs need to be heard. I’m looking forward to all our guests booked for the coming year and I’m also thinking of running a jazz festival at Chequer Mead for spring next year. I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner

Peter Jones is a jazz singer and author

Always and Forever is released on 6th June and is available from Bandcamp.

Jenny Green’s Jazz Mix-Up radio show on 107 Meridian FM goes out every Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm.

East Grinstead Jazz Club reopens tonight Thursday 3 June with The Genius of Duke Ellington, featuring guests Sarah Moule and Simon Wallace.

Categories: Feature/Interview

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