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Review: The Annie Whitehead Quartet at the Lichfield Arts Blues and Jazz Festival

With a set list that ranged from African High Life music to space jazz, the leading trombonist and composer Annie Whitehead led her talented quartet through an exciting afternoon of music when she appeared at the Lichfield Arts Blues and Jazz Festival.

The Annie Whitehead Quartet

The Annie Whitehead Quartet

With the guitarist Jenifer Maidman and the rhythm section of drummer Roy Dodds and bassist Dudley Philips lending sterling support, they started with the feel-good African rhythms and melodic trombone of Haiba En Giza, a showcase for the band’s ability with a supple groove, and complex chordal harmony.

Pigeon Post was an original, full of exciting soloing and rock dynamism, while Chalk and Cheese was described as space jazz, but was a piece with two completely contrasting moods, that ranged from a delicate ambient opening to a full on coda with rock drums and driving bass and guitar.

Providing a massive contrast was the reggae feel of Valley Princes by Don Drummond, before the Chic-like Funk of Pebble showed how many rhythms, feels and genres this talented quartet had at their disposal.

ToDodo was a spiritual ballad that was full of pathos, grace notes, and a gently swinging rhythm, while Platform 1 was a bustling hive of drums, complex bass and guitar, before the set closer of Don Drummond’s Eastern Standard Time put jazz at the musical centre again.

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