|L-R: Dave Newton,Alison Burns, Nora Germain|
Nora Germain and Friends
(Pizza Express Dean Street. 28th June 2015. Review by Sebastian Scotney)
Last night's show by the 23-year old California-based (Wisconsin-born) violinist/singer Nora Germain was the first ever show to be live-streamed from Pizza Express Dean Street. So rather than reading on, you could just press play and experience the whole show, as live...
Germain gets a lot done: she is about to record her fourth album, for which there is a Pledge campaign. The album release coincides with a the publication of a life-skills book (sic). John Altman, who had set up last night's gig, the first in London in which Germain has led the band, sets the bar high: "Nora Germain is the best jazz violinist in the world, bar none," he writes. Her jazz style is rooted in Stuff Smith and Stephane Grappelli,
The programme was, mostly, unashamedly digging back into jazz and the songbook from the period up to the 1940's. We had a blistering Airmail Special, a lively Swing 42, a langorous Sunny Side of the Street, the core vibe a gentle medium swing.
The band are the kind of London musicians who can put something like this together more or less on the spot. Dave Newton on piano was particularly spacious on A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Rob Luft on guitar, Lloyd Haines on drums, Terry Gregory on bass were discreet and everywhere they needed to be. Rhere were guests too: a Kenny Davern-ish John Altman on soprano saxophone, plus cameos from singer Alison Burns and drummer James Taylor.
An impressive debut as leader, and a name to watch.