Gig @ Bonington Theatre

Thursday, 24th April 2003
8:00 pm

Jazzsteps presents The Deirdre Cartwright Group

Time: On stage 8pm
: ?9, concs. ?7

Outstanding contemporary guitarist Deidre Cartwright returns to touring in this country after a three year break with an exciting new line up. The music explores the bluesy expressive guitar/organ retro sound mixed with influences from Latin, swing and modern club culture.

  • Deidre Cartwright (Guitar)
  • Janet Mason (Piano & Keyboards)
  • Alison Rayner ( Electric & Double Bass)
  • Carola Grey (Drums)

Adding a further dimension to this performance will be the imaginative, live, interactive images, provided by visual artist Anne Robinson and especially created for the music to form a project aptly named ?Looks like Jazz? Not to be missed!


?Cartwright is a melodic, funky and hard swinging guitarist?

John Fordham. The Guardian

Having heard the CD associated with this superb group I was well equipped to appreciate Deirdre?s new outfit before the event. In no way was I disappointed; the music was always melodic and accessible and the four musicians were absolutely impeccable throughout the whole performance. The Anne Robinson associated with this group was by no means its weakest link, in fact her unique visualisations provided striking kaleidoscopic images, blending in with the quartet?s ambient soundscape constructions.

Guitarist Deirdre Cartwright, making her first trip to Nottingham for more than four years has developed a rich mature sound; her ensemble work, including fluent chords as well as single lines, was flawless.

Alison Rayner, who has been associated with Deirdre since their days in the all-girl group Guest Stars, played double bass and bass guitar with power and conviction despite a painful injury to the little finger of her right hand. She had an altercation with a loft ladder earlier in the day crushing the finger, which had required surgery.

The group?s drummer Carola Grey, from Germany, was just a mere slip of a girl, but she commanded the rhythm section with quicksilver reactions and ice-pick sharpness. Her solos were absolutely amazing. Janette Mason produced a whole plethora of sounds from her keyboards, from a funky Hammond organ sound, to deep resonant piano and a whole range of special effects.

Deirdre opened with a number from the past ?Spartia?, featuring her long, flowing lines and fuelled by powerful backing from Janette?s piano. A brand new number, as yet untitled, had Alison battling gracefully with her string bass before Janette?s Hammond organ sound added a funky feel. Each musician played a duet with Anne Robinson?s visuals, producing striking kaleidoscopic images, blending with the sounds. The Oasis number ?Wonderwall? found Deirdre playing her other guitar with a warm, wrap-around sound.

A film made up of Anne Robinson?s busy imaging techniques highlighted by Deirdre?s penetrating guitar and a beautiful blend of sounds from piano and bass accompanied the title track from the group?s new CD, ?Precious Things?.

?Smells Like Jazz? was brittle and funky, Janette?s Hammond producing a tremendous swing.
In the second set ?Cold War? was another busy theme with Deirdre?s long output foiled by busy electronics from Janette.

Alison Rayner?s ?Hyperbubble? reminds me of Herbie Hancock?s ?Headhunters? with its bubbly bass intro. Deirdre once again combined with Janette?s Hammond effect to produce an exceptionally warm sound. Rolling bass guitar from Alison and superb backing from Carola?s drums. The encore, ?Minor Aberration?, made rapid use of high register guitar combined with sweeping statements from the piano?s huge sound. A great gig by a Jazzhouse favourite. Let?s hope she?s back soon.