18

Mark Jennett: Everybody Says Don't

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Jennett: Everybody Says Don't
On Everybody Says Don't, his second album, London-based singer Mark Jennett joins a bunch of top flight instrumentalists, including producer Geoff Gascoyne, on a collection that takes in an impressive array of songs, composers and moods. Great songs, interpreted with style.

Jennett opens up with Stephen Sondheim's "Everybody Says Don't," taken at speed. Gascoyne's acoustic bass and Sebastian De Krom's drums move the song forward with swing and precision, Jennett's vocal is suitably emphatic and Rob Barron's swift and percussive piano solo is all-too-brief.

The pace drops for a ballad reading of Cole Porter's "Just One Of Those Things": sadly, a little too slowly to retain interest, but it's a brief drop in quality. Rogers and Hammerstein's "You've Got To Be Taught" follows on: a bright, up-tempo, rendition that sparkles with energy. Andy Panayi solos on tenor and flute; Hammerstein's lyrics have a very contemporary message; it's a fine ensemble performance. "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" gets a stripped-back, blues accompaniment (Barron's outstanding again, this time on electric keyboards), Jennett trading the optimism of the Sweet Charity version for something less hopeful.

On Joe Bushkin and John DeVries' "Oh, Look At Me Now" accompaniment is supplied by Gascoyne, on acoustic bass, and De Krom, sparingly but once again with swing. Jennett responds with one of his best performances. Two Bacharach and David songs, beautifully performed, offer stark lyrical contrasts. Jennett captures the singer's suspicion and anxiety on "Are You There (With Another Boy)"—the tale still resonates, even if internet streaming might now replace the radio. The melody of "Wives And Lovers"—performed here in 5/4—is still gorgeous, but reminders to the wives to look their best to keep their husbands from straying ("men will be men" after all) don't sit comfortably today even if David may have been less than serious.

Two of the finest songs could be said to come from the New American Songbook. For Paul Simon's "Train In The Distance" Jennett is tender and romantic. Gascoyne adds a touch of glockenspiel to Randy Newman's "Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear," highlighting the song's odd, fairytale, storyline. Jennett sings with such honest acceptance of the tale that it's not hard to imagine the vocalist wandering into London's finest establishments alongside his hirsute (and potentially fierce) companion.

Altogether, Everybody Says Don't stands as a fine showcase for songwriting, music production and performance. Jennett is a singer who understands and immerses himself in the stories the songs are telling: it's a talent that shines through on this enjoyable album.

Track Listing

Everybody Says Don't; Are You There (With Another Boy); Wives And Lovers; Some People; There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This; How Long Has This Been Going On; Just One Of Those Things; You've Got To Be Carefully Taught; Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here; Oh, Look At Me Now; Train In The Distance; Mixed Up Guy/Magic Garden; Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear; Slow Boat To China.

Personnel

Mark Jennett: vocal; Martin Shaw: trumpet; Andy Panayi: tenor saxophone, flute; Rob Barron: piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, organ; Geoff Gascoyne: acoustic bass, electric bass, glockenspiel, organ, synthesizer; Sebastiaan De Krom: drums.

Album information

Title: Everybody Says Don't | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Jazzizit

Post a comment about this album

Listen

Tags

View events near London
Jazz Near London
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.