Relaxed show, infectious fun
up for release and also performances in the jazz festival, so if you can get along, do because she really has a voice that you’ll want to hear again and again. Whether in ballads such as Tenderly or My Romance, or knocking out an up-beat standard like That Old Devil Moon, Bailey has a great voice and uses it well.
She showed excellent control on those long held notes (My Romance) and melodies were always embellished with a clear sense of style and purpose.
The format of each song was pretty much the same, with first Bailey, then a Rainey solo, finishing with them coming together again, but there aren’t many other combinations for a duo and for it to work you need a strong singer and an inventive pianist. I’ve covered this ground before, but I love Rainey’s improvising; hearing so many ideas and styles handled with such polish is always a delight. For example, the use of straight quarter-note chords in Tenderly was masterful, and surprising, but woven around that was singing and playing of – appropriately – exquisite tenderness. Rainey went into a more linear Bach invention mode in I’m Old Fashioned, and that just gave the song a whole new spin.
My ‘‘wow’’ moment came with Bacharach’s The Look of Love, a song I have never liked, in spite of it appearing in the Bond movie Casino Royale (the old, spoof one). Bailey converted me with a more heartfelt, soulful rendition than Dusty Springfield’s rather breathless version. The mooching accompaniment also added another dimension and I found myself actually liking the song. Wonderful stuff from two outstanding performers.
Jennine Bailey (jazz vocalist) and Tom Rainey (piano).