Thoughts on Sara Dowling: The Jazz of Judy Garland – 12 January 2022

Sara Dowling: The Jazz of Judy Garland - 12 January 2022

I have written in the past about the joy of seeing singers who tell stories, and there are many that have graced our stage. Sara Dowling is a superb example of this,  body, research and soul. Couple that with a great voice and a fine backing trio, it was a totally delightful gig.

Chris Ingham’s piano trio, with Dario De Leche on bass and George Double on drums, led us off. Their rendition  of “Come Rain or Come Shine, (Arlen/Mercer) showed us how exciting a piano trio can be.  

The songs all had a reference to Judy Garland. Every song that Sara sang was a clear story to hear and see. Ballads were sung with intensity and clarity. Up tempo numbers were joyous and at times raucous and hilarious. She sent her husband Dario up something rotten in their duo of Rick Astley’s “Wonderful You”.

I liked the programme. The instrumental combinations were varied, with lots of duos between Sara and piano, bass or drums, as well as with the trio. She left plenty of space for the trio to blow. Chris’s solo on “Falling in Love with Love”(Rogers) was beautiful, and a lesson in ‘less is more’. Sara scatting with Dario on Walter Donaldson’s “You’re Driving Me Crazy” was great. George’s solo on “Get Happy”  (Arlen) was a treat.

It was a lovely gig, for me from sound check to   gig to putting stuff away. She is a delightful person to work with and she must come back to us soon. 

The next gig is on January 26, and it will be a doozy. John Etheridge on a stage full of guitars, Pete Whittaker on just one Hammond Organ, and George Double is back on lots of drums. Try hard not to miss it.

Take care