Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

281

Jacqui Dankworth: It Happens Quietly

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
It Happens Quietly is an album of great beauty. Singer Jacqui Dankworth is at the top of her game, investing this collection of songs with superb technique and humanity. She's ably assisted by superb musicians, and by some of the loveliest and most creative arrangements to grace a jazz record for some time. There's an element of poignancy too, as this album is the last work undertaken by Jacqui's father, Sir John Dankworth, before his death in 2010.

Sir John was one of the UK's best-known and most talented jazz saxophonists, composers and arrangers. Jacqui followed her mother, Dame Cleo Laine, to become an accomplished actress as well as a fine singer while her brother Alec Dankworth took up the double-bass, and is also featured on this recording.

It Happens Quietly boasts some fine arrangements—written by Sir John with the assistance of Ken Gibson. Coupled with Jacqui's voice, these arrangements give the album a calm gentleness, a romanticism and a very human warmth. There's terrific musicianship, too. Harry Warren's "At Last" typifies all of these qualities; a superbly relaxed ensemble performance, Tim Garland's tenor solo adding a touch of urgency, and Jacqui's perfectly timed vocals creating a faultless reading of this beautiful song.

The highlights come thick and fast across all 12 tunes, but honorable mentions should go also to Karen Sharp's mellow tenor solo on "Ill Wind," Ben Davis' cello on "A Love Like Ours;" and Steve Brown's Latin-tinged drums and Chris Allard's fluid guitar on "In The Still of the Night."

Sir John appears on "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" and "The Man." He can be heard on both songs bringing the musicians together, counting in the tune. His single instrumental appearance is his alto solo on "The Man," one of his own tunes with lyrics by Jacqui. It's a light-hearted, even jaunty, song and Sir John's brief solo—actually taken from an earlier recording of the song for a music library project—fits elegantly into the arrangement.

Two stripped-down duo performances also stand out. On "Blame It On My Youth" Jacqui is accompanied solely by Malcolm Edmonstone's piano, on "The Folks Who Live On The Hill" she's joined by Allard on acoustic guitar. Such sparse, spacious arrangements could readily expose any imperfections. Here they serve to demonstrate Jacqui's absolutely exquisite vocals—controlled, crystal-clear, perfectly capturing the subtle emotional power of the lyrics—and Edmonstone and Allard's masterful skills as accompanists.

"It happens quietly" Jacqui sings on the title song, written by her father and lyricist Buddy Kaye, "because it's real." Her voice, the music, the arrangements, celebrate life; friendship, love, family, relationships; in its perfect, and not so perfect, moments. It Happens Quietly is one of the perfect moments.

Track Listing: A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square; In The Still of the Night; It Happens Quietly; I'm Glad There Is You; A Love Like Ours; My Foolish Heart; Make Someone Happy; Blame It On My Youth; Ill Wind; At Last; The Man; The Folks Who Live On The Hill.

Personnel: Jacqui Dankworth: vocals; Henry Lowther: trumpet; Barnaby Dickenson: trombone; Dave Laurance: French horn; John Dankworth: alto saxophone; Tim Garland: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Jimmy Hastings: flute, bass clarinet; Karen Sharp: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Malcolm Edmonstone: piano; Chris Allard: guitar; Alec Dankworth: bass; Andrew Bain: drums; Sally Herbert: violin; Everton Nelson: violin; Francis Dewar: violin; Alison Dodds: violin; Gareth Griffiths: violin; Peter Hanson: violin; Ian Humphries: violin; Tom Piggott-Smith: violin; Clare Finnemore: viola; Bruce White: viola; Ian Brurdge: cello; Chris Worsley: cello; Ben Davis: cello; Steve Watts: bass (2, 5, 7); Steve Brown: drums (2, 5, 7).

Title: It Happens Quietly | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Specific Jazz

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019
Read Rasif Album Reviews
Rasif
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 21, 2019
Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019