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His 'n' Hers - featuring Dave and Judith O'Higgins

Friday 18 Nov 2022


Judith O’Higgins, tenor sax, Dave O’Higgins, tenor sax, Graham Harvey, piano, Jeremy Brown, bass, Joe Dessauer, drums.

His ‘n’ Hers was the title of the gig and of their excellent 2020 CD (rated 4.5 by Discogs and a full 5 by Amazon), from which they played five numbers. They played another 7, which all deserved the same high rating!

It was a splendid night with Judith and Dave vying with each other to produce the better solo on each number as well as beginning and ending most of them in superb unison.

They were brilliantly backed by the rest of the band, with Graham Harvey nimbly inventive, Jeremy Brown melodically supportive and Joe Dessauer driving them forcefully forward.

Dave is very good at explaining the origins of the numbers they played; the first was entitled “Los Bandidos Bogarolles” – from the His ‘N’ Hers album, which they recorded two days before the first Covid lockdown when Britons were scrambling for all the toilet paper they could find! That story and their playing fired the enthusiasm of the biggest audience of the season (so far) and the night remained one that they and the band enjoyed hugely.

Dave referred to the “Tough Tenors” (Johnny Griffin and Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis) when introducing “Save Your Love for Me” and it seemed to me, by the end, that the name suited them very well, too. “Soy Califa” by another tough tenor, Dexter Gordon, followed and allowed all the members of the band to show off their skills, with a stand-out solo by Judith.

Before the interval we had “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most”, with Dave and Judith playing harmonies to start and finish and an audience member describing the whole, to me, as “dreamy”; “Mr Magic”, Dave’s tribute to the style of Grover Washington (an early enthusiasm) was certainly groovy but not much to my taste and finally “I’ll Remember April” given an exciting up-tempo treatment which also showed how tight-knit this band is.

Their own modal-influenced “Fourth Dimension” began the second half and included a superb solo from Graham. Horace Silver’s “Gregory is Here” was entirely appropriate because Judith calls her car Gregory and it was ‘here’, in the car park! “Omicron” by Paul Chambers followed and featured a brilliant solo by Dave as well as an intro accompanied just by Jeremy; Graham, Jeremy and Joe also gave us excellent solos.

Then we had Dave’s exquisite rendition of “Dedicated to You”, arguably the highlight of the evening.

“Calypso Collapso” is another O’Higgins favourite to which they both contributed joyful solos before the evening ended with a much-demanded encore for which they chose “Oleo” (Sonny Rollins) which epitomised the musicianship and enjoyment that all the members of this superb band had given a delighted and happy audience.

Photos from the event

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