A significant classic jazz-vocals highlight this autumn is the release of The Heart Wants new from Jo Harrop on 8 October first listens strongly suggest. A stellar personnel, including the presence of one of the world's most iconic bassists and bandleaders, the uber-Pettifordian Christian McBride join the very fine London via Chester-Le-Street singer, long since in her prime, on a number of tracks led off by the very bluesily-soulful 'The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants', McBride a stately presence, 'All Too Soon' and 'Wise Words' (begun with chords like you'd hear on Billy Taylor's 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free)'. The great Welsh trumpeter the Kenny Dorham-ite Andy Davies is also on the record as is ex-Jeff Beck UK jazz piano icon Jason Rebello who like the Philadelphian McBride has also worked extensively with Sting.
To be issued next month on Mayank Patel's Hampstead-based Lateralize label ahead of Harrop's appearance in Cadogan Hall on 5 November songs are Harrop originals. Tony Bennett-influenced Jo, an abiding influence on her jazz sensibility that goes back to hearing the 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco' icon play live in Newcastle, was on sparkling form recently at the Hampstead Jazz Club performing songs mainly drawn from The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album for a Jazz FM radio recording broadcast last month. “These songs,'' Jo says, ''feel timeless, but they also reflect where we are here and now, caught up in life’s bittersweet journey. Music has been my whole world for as long as I can remember; it has always had the power to transport me and to move me deep inside, and I want to create the same emotional connection with people who hear my songs.” The Heart Wants cover art, above