Jan Preston: Play It Again Jan (janpreston.com)

 |   |  1 min read

Lazy Boogie
Jan Preston: Play It Again Jan (janpreston.com)

Greymouth-raised singer/pianist and composer Jan Preston may have been classically trained but her career in New Zealand saw her best known as a member of the innovative Red Mole Cabaret theatre troupe, Midge Marsden's Country Flyers band and in Coup D'Etat alongside then-former Hello Sailor member Harry Lyon.

Her repertoire expanded from soundtracks and classical into boogie, jazz and blues, and after she'd moved across the Tasman she kept winning awards and acclaim for her film scores, albums and performances (in 2003 she won Australian Blues Performer of the Year).

It's a big story which might have come to a literal crashing halt when she fell in 2016 and broke both wrists.

It seemed she might not be able to perform again but, as the title of this new collection asserts, she is back and playing hot boogie woogie originals here alongside the great Hadda Brooks' Lazy Boogie and the classic Ida Cox song Wild Women.

With a small band recorded at the Boatshed Studio in Tauranga – Nigel Masters on upright bass, Mike Pullman (percussion), Ian Gilpin (drums) and acoustic guitarist Nick Charles – Preston sounds like she's thoroughly enjoying herself and (as the little amusing insert essay attests) very glad to be able to play again.

She touches the spirit of great New Orleans players like Professor Longhair and Chicago's Albert Ammons, nods to her home locale (Gold Coast Boogie) throws in a witty ragtime piece (Jan's Rag) and “I'll tell you about the 1970s Red Mole days in Wellington” on Wild Days: “Sunday night, queues around the block, the music never missed a beat . . . bouncer on the door, cops on the stairs . . .”

Although mostly an upbeat and entertaining collection, she touches a soulful place with Your Own Life and some swaggering Fever-like low blues on Scared of the Dark, its braggadocio undercut by the title.

Jan Preston tours soon and doubtless these songs – and her entertaining delivery – will be very well received.

jan_preston

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Julia Hulsmann Trio: Imprint (ECM/Ode)

Julia Hulsmann Trio: Imprint (ECM/Ode)

While few would deny the gentle beauty of these trio recordings (and, not incidentally, the impressive playing of drummer Heinrich Kobberling), this too often suffers the fate of some... > Read more

Dr Tree: Dr Tree (EMI)

Dr Tree: Dr Tree (EMI)

When this album came out in the mid-Seventies jazz-rock fusion was at its peak and many otherwise sensible jazz musicians were wooed to the dark side. Few came out with any dignity (they just... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

James Ray: Got My Mind Set on You (1962)

James Ray: Got My Mind Set on You (1962)

Pub quiz question. Who was the first Beatle to set foot in the United States? If you are thinking back to those famous images of them coming off that PanAm Clipper in February 1964 in New York... > Read more

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD looks at when genius gets the blues

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD looks at when genius gets the blues

The flawed and ultimately doomed genius Truman Capote once wrote, "When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation". When we... > Read more