I’ve admired the wonderful singer Janice Day and pianist Martin Litton for some years now, in person, CD, and video. They are remarkable originals who evoke the jazz past while keeping their originalities intact. Martin is a splendidly inventive improviser, able to summon up the Ancestors — Earl, Fats, Jelly, Teddy — without (as they say) breaking stride. But he’s not merely copying four-bar modules; he’s so internalized the great swinging orchestral styles that he moves around freely in them. Janice is deeply immersed in the tender sounds of the Twenties and Thirties — from Annette Hanshaw forwards — and she is such a crafty impersonator that it’s easy to forget that she, brightly shining, is in the midst of it all.
Janice and Martin had a splendid opportunity, on September 19, 2018, to appear — as Janice Day with Martin Litton’s New York Jazz Band — at The Spice of Life, Cambridge Circus, London. The band is Martin Litton, piano and arrangements, Martin Wheatley on guitar, Kit Massey on violin, David Horniblow on bass sax, Michael McQuaid on reeds and trumpet. And here are two quite entertaining performances from the Annette Hanshaw book.
Here’s MY SIN:
and LOVER, COME BACK TO ME:
Just the right mix of wistful and swinging. Twenties authentic but not campy, and did I say swinging? I wish Janice and Martin and their splendid band many more gigs (and more videos for us).
May your happiness increase!