Pianist Mark Edwards launches his new album In Deep tonight at Pizza Express Jazz Club in London in the company of a stellar line-up, including singers Claire Martin and Edwards' label-mate Liane Carroll, plus a band comprised of saxophonist Ben Castle, the album's co-arranger and producer trumpeter James McMillan, bassist Andrew Cleyndert, and drummer Chris Higginbottom.

Kent-born Edwards, who is in his late-forties, has a strong reputation as a gospel and jazz pianist, often in demand on the acoustic modern mainstream jazz scene, and began his professional career touring internationally with the Style Council, modfather Paul Weller’s groundbreaking soul band and later in the ambient indie outfit Cactus Rain who were signed to Virgin. With McMillan he has arranged the songs on In Deep.

On the album, released by Quiet Money Recordings this Monday (7 October), a mix of instrumentals and vocal tracks, Jazz FM award-winning former-Young Disciples jazz singer Carleen Anderson and gospel singer Priscilla Jones-Campbell join Carroll and Martin and a band that besides Castle, Cleyndert and McMillan also includes influential Spin Marvel drummer Martin France.

Edwards played on Carroll’s superlative Ballads album earlier in the year, and Liane returns the favour by appearing to effect on opening track ‘Enough To Be on Your Way’, the James Taylor song that appeared on Sweet Baby James’ 1997 album, Hourglass.

On the ten-track In Deep, recorded in Hastings and Brighton, Claire Martin sings a fine version of Rufus Wainwright’s ‘This Love Affair’, and Anderson performs a highly nuanced take on the Leon Russell/Bonnie Bramlett song ‘Superstar’ made famous by the Carpenters. Priscilla Jones-Campbell completes the vocals portion of the album reprising Over The Rhine’s ‘The Trumpet Child’. Other songs on the album include off-the-beaten-track material by Radiohead and Tom Waits.

Mark Edwards pictured. Tickets www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk

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