Paul Cherrie releases the timely ‘Up Jumped Spring’

Paul Cherrie is an English/Trinidadian artist who has been a full time professional musician and bandleader for over 30 years. He plays and sings with his own UK steel band, Solid Steel, and runs a management company that has represented some of the best ethnic and Global i.e. World Music artists in the UK.

Up Jumped Spring is vocalist Paul Cherrie’s debut jazz album with music taken from the Great American Songbook. The album kicks off with Toots Thielman’s ‘Bluesette’ (lyrics by Norman Gimbel) featuring the trumpet of Lester Brown and piano of Bill Mudge. Paul’s vocal delivery is clipped and punchy, which I rather like. The vocals flow smoothly on ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most’ and Paul makes good use of his range in the storytelling that goes with this tune – great bass playing behind the piano lines on this number.

With fourteen tracks on Up Jumped Spring I do not intend to comment on all the music available, in part because this is yet another interpretation of ‘The Great American Songbook’ but also because it would make for a very long post. What I will say is that the arrangements are good and despite the number of musicians involved the album never sounds over crowded. Paul Cherrie has a distinct vocal approach, which I like, and has avoided going down the crooner style route, thereby, giving his interpretation of the songs selected a different sound.

Front Cover Photo: Helen Cherrie
Album Artwork: Darío González

I did enjoy ‘All The Things You Are’, its tempo, the excellent rhythm section, and the way the sax of Roberto Manzin was used. ‘Jazz in a Calypso Way (My Little Suede Shoes)’ features some nice guitar work, which contrast very well against the sax lines, and, of course, the steel pans bring a Caribbean brightness to the number. ‘Up Jumped Spring’ is a joyful number with the trumpet leading on the melody. ‘It Could Happen To You’ is one of the standout tracks for me: good bass and piano lines, crisp drumming, and wonderful vocal delivery with touches of lived experience in the storytelling. ‘My One And Only Love’ makes use of the steel pans, which I was not expecting on this tune, that makes for a very interesting contrast with the sax sound.

Paul has got the structural balance of this album just about right with its mix of styles, tempos, and arrangements. There are plenty of very good tracks here but I do feel that the album might have benefited from a musical pruning – do we really need another cover of ‘A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square’, for example. I did enjoy the arrangements, and the musicianship on display, to my ears, sounds very good indeed. I also liked Paul’s jazz vocal style and delivery and could easily imagine him being a very good live performer. I should like to hear more from this singer but with different material, ‘The Great American Songbook’ is revered with good reason but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Musicians: Paul Cherrie – voice; Bill Mudge – piano; Mark Rose – double bass; Andy Ball – drums & percussion; Roberto Manzin – tenor sax; Dominic Grant – acoustic guitar; Lester Brown – trumpet & flugelhorn; Thomas Alleyne – tenor steel pan; Douglas Redon – alto steel pans; Tom White – trombone; Mark Rose – electric guitar.

Up Jumped Spring is available as a digital download or on CD via Bandcamp.

Tracklist: 1. Bluesette. 2. Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. 3. There Will Never Be Another You. 4. April In Paris. 5. I Get Along Without You Very Well. 6. All The Things You Are. 7. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square. 8. Jazz in a Calypso Way (My Little Suede Shoes). 9. Up Jumped Spring. 10. If Ever I Would Leave You. 11. It Could Happen To You. 12. September In The Rain. 13. My One And Only Love. 14. You Must Believe In Spring.

All songs arranged by Mark Rose except:

‘Up Jumped Spring’ arranged by Mark Rose & Paul Cherrie

‘Jazz in A Calypso Way (My Little Suede Shoes)’ arr. by Paul Cherrie & Andy Ball

‘September In The Rain’ arranged by Paul Cherrie & Bill Mudge

‘You Must Believe In Spring’ arranged by Paul Cherrie & Dominic Grant

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