Caity Gyorgy, Featuring, La Reserve ****

There's a certain kind of a jazz singer whose natural habitat fundamentally is a small classic jazz club. Usually this type is retro, honed in classic sounds often of the 1940s, 50s and 60s and has about as much relationship to the 21st century as …

Published: 16 Nov 2022. Updated: 20 days.

There's a certain kind of a jazz singer whose natural habitat fundamentally is a small classic jazz club. Usually this type is retro, honed in classic sounds often of the 1940s, 50s and 60s and has about as much relationship to the 21st century as the Pyramids.

Canadian singer Caity Gyorgy who won Canada's top jazz vocals award the Juno this year for the wittily entitled Now Pronouncing is of English and Hungarian descent and has a terrific voice - think Stacey Kent a little at her most girl-next-door on a few of the early songs and Annie Ross far more so at her most unfettered especially on 'The Feeling Is Mutual'. She certainly fits in more than well in that classic jazz club milieu sense as Featuring is so textbook. And yet this vocalese wiz and standards fan is only in her early 20s and just finished her masters but certainly already sounds like an old soul and the definite article.

Most of the songs here are Caity's which is staggering in itself - the standards are a peppy 'It Might As Well Be Spring' and laidback ''Tis Autumn' - so she is obviously a very talented songwriter who can also inhabit classic material with flair.

''Jazz singer-songwriter'' is a different kettle of fish - that term even sounds wrong - entirely to a pop kind of the same usually because the jazz style is not so ego-centric and angst laden and often more literary and not embarrassed by that. This album is all positivity but not in a gush-laden way. With pianist Felix Fox-Pappas, bassist Thomas Hainbuch and drummer Jacob Wutzke plus alto saxist Daniel Barta cropping up, a generous range of guests include star saxist Christine Jensen on 'Cover Up' do not at all distract. The most fun song and bebop heavy number where there is a lot of joie de vivre breaking out all over is the scat fest 'It's Pronounced George' a reference to how you say the singer's surname and a demonstration in a few brief minutes as to just what an authentically true and convincing jazz singer this relative newcomer already is.

  • Click for our best jazz vocals albums of 2022 list that includes Featuring

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Tori Freestone wins in the jazz ensemble category at the 2022 Ivors Composers Awards

Saxophonist Tori Freestone is among the 12 Ivor Novello Awards winners at this year's Ivors Composer Awards. It was a Freestone first time win at the awards which were presented last night at the British Museum. The saxist won in the Jazz Ensemble …

Published: 16 Nov 2022. Updated: 21 days.

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Saxophonist Tori Freestone is among the 12 Ivor Novello Awards winners at this year's Ivors Composer Awards. It was a Freestone first time win at the awards which were presented last night at the British Museum. The saxist won in the Jazz Ensemble category for her work 'Birds Of Paradise' which was premiered by pianist Alcyona Mick at last year's London Jazz Festival.

'Birds of Paradise' was inspired by birdsong during the pandemic. The Ivors jury comments noted that the work is ''rhythmically alluring, energetic and brilliantly performed”. The awards will be broadcast during BBC 3's New Music Show on Saturday night at 10pm.

The other winners spanning classical and sound art were:

  • Chamber Ensemble – Brett Dean for 'Madame ma bonne sœur'

  • Choral – Joanna Marsh for 'All Shall Be Well'

  • Community and Participation – Liz Dilnot Johnson for 'When A Child Is A Witness – Requiem For Refugees'

  • Large Ensemble – Cheryl Frances-Hoad for 'Scenes From The Wild'

  • Orchestral – Rebecca Saunders for 'to an utterance'

  • Small Chamber – Laurence Crane for 'Natural World'

  • Sound Art – Hannah Conway for The Sound Voice Project: 'Paul, I Left My Voice Behind' and 'Tanja'

  • Stage Works – Thomas Adès for 'Dante'

  • Academy Fellowship – Judith Weir

  • Outstanding Works Collection – Sir George Benjamin

  • Innovation Award – Talvin Singh

Tori Freestone, photo: via the Ivors