LIVE REVIEW: Jazzical – Todmorden Town Hall – 30th March 2019

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Many classical composers used to improvise, so are jazz and classical music connected? This concert, in aid of Calder Valley Search and Rescue and Music for the Many, was an attempt to demonstrate that they are.

The Daniel Bath Trio, with Daniel Bath on keyboard, Adam Medlock on bass, and John Shepard on drums, opened. Bach morphed into “How High the Moon” and Purcell into “My Funny Valentine”.

Next came singers Leighton Jones and Marie Claire Breen, with Leighton Jones on keyboard. Their songs evoked various moods, from the slow but catchy “Last Train from Paris” to a romantic song about dancing.

The Ariana String Quartet played as one musician. They started with Mozart, went on to a beautiful slow melody by Dvorak, and finished with Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t she Lovely”.
Munch Manship led a vigorous performance of jazz classics such as “Strike up the Band”. His main instrument was the saxophone but in his hands the flute also sounds jazzy.

The final part of the concert featured all the musicians, and foregrounded the beautiful voice of Marie Claire Breen. It included three of the loveliest songs ever written for soprano voice: Purcell’s “When I am Laid in Earth”, Gershwin’s “Summertime” and Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”, and concluded with another Gershwin song, “I Got Rhythm”. The audience was swept away.

Do jazz and classical go together? How about having them all back again so we can think about it some more?