London Jazz News
Scott Willcox Big Band with Georgia Mancio
The Bull’s Head, 13 December 2017
Review by Andrew Cartmel
The Journey Home was an original written by Georgia Mancio and Alan Broadbent and presented by the singer with just the rhythm section. Mancio’s voice was fresh and vivid, richly delivering the lyrics. For Bud was an opportunity for Ben Hazelton to solo on his bass with singing musicality. On Listen Up, a Willcox composition, Andy Gibson led the brass in, Sam Eagles playing a beguiling figure with sustained concentration. Georgia Mancio’s vocals see-sawed with the sax section, then traded places with muted trumpets. Eagles’ alto was pulsing and brooding, giving way to a glittering wail of a solo by Gabriel Garrick. Mancio’s voice floated lightly through the lines of the ensemble playing, like a bird through evening trees …
… The Water is Wide was another folk song setting, with an aching lyrical intro by the tenor saxes and Andy Gibson on trumpet. Then Biscoe’s alto and Georgia Mancio’s vocals offered a heart-ringing refrain. When Dave Frankel’s piano and Gladdish’s trombone came in, the piece opened like a flower in sunlight. Gibson soloed with great taste and judgement and Frankel played with the lightest of touches. The combination of voice and large instrumental unit was at its most memorable on this evocation of an ancient, simple ballad. Among the many pleasant astonishments of this evening was the revelation that this was the first time Georgia Mancio had sung with these musicians. It’s unlikely to be the last.