Claire Martin, Gwyneth Herbert, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll, Luca Manning, Sara Colman - Heart of Mine: Songs of Ross Lorraine ****

Two songs are streaming ahead of the Heart of Mine release drawn from this Claire Martin-produced collection, one a 1970s-like number 'Pull You Back' featuring Sara Colman and the other deliriously upbeat album closer 'They're Playing Our Song' …

Published: 9 Jun 2022. Updated: 25 days.

Two songs are streaming ahead of the Heart of Mine release drawn from this Claire Martin-produced collection, one a 1970s-like number 'Pull You Back' featuring Sara Colman and the other deliriously upbeat album closer 'They're Playing Our Song' sung by Gwyneth Herbert.

A micro-galaxy of UK jazz singer royalty is involved on this feelgood album where words matter as they should but rarely do and who luxuriate to interpret the songs of theatre composer and jazz pianist Ross Lorraine, known for his work with jazz flautist Sarah Chaplin. Claire, Liane Carroll, Ian Shaw and Scottish star Luca Manning also feature backed by the highly intuitive rhythm section of pianist Rob Barron, guitarist Mike Walker, bass guitar don Laurence Cottle and drummer Elliott Henshaw. Backing vocals where applicable are by Martin, Herbert and Colman as per 'Play On'.

There is a strong jazz sensibility on the swinging Claire feature 'The Name of the Game' and that certain vibration sits alongside a period 70s mood held up in a parallel running and provided by Colman. Tearjerking is kept strictly to a minimum. Everyone will have their own highlights. There is certainly a feast available to choose from. Mine are the songs 'Play On' and 'They're Playing Our Song' featuring Gwyneth and those involving Luca (the philosophical surrogate requiem 'We Will Sing Again') especially.

The Lorraine lyrics throughout have a directness and strip away all tautology. 'Body Language' has an ambivalent edge that mischievously satirises smouldering jazz singer cliché and reclaims it in the protagonist's own terms bluesed up and fabulously scatted over by Claire with deftly deadpan response levered in by Mike Walker as a foil. For the ultimate bravura statement and tenderness trap Liane provides that frisson on the staggeringly beautiful anthemic title track 'Heart of Mine'. As for Barron he is very empathetic and best heard accompanying Liane on 'The Waiting Game.' SG

Out on 24 June

Donate

Tags: reviews

Afro-Cuban flavour to Ezra Collective's 'Victory Dance' released - as the London band sign to Partisan

Track of the day Playing Love Supreme on 1 July and South Facing opening for Kamasi Washington on 13 August 'Victory Dance' marks the new signing of Ezra Collective to the Fontaines DC and Beth Orton-rostered label Partisan Records. This new …

Published: 9 Jun 2022. Updated: 26 days.

Next post

Track of the day

Playing Love Supreme on 1 July and South Facing opening for Kamasi Washington on 13 August 'Victory Dance' marks the new signing of Ezra Collective to the Fontaines DC and Beth Orton-rostered label Partisan Records.

This new development announced just this week begins a new higher profile commercial record industry phase in the London band's career, an AfroCuban exuberant trumpet-dotted flavour to the track, pianist Joe Armon-Jones underpinning the horn line in the manner of Chucho Valdés and breaking out to solo before the horns in unison come back, marking the first output for the label.

Partisan's managing director Zena White quoted by Complete Music Update, says: “Having been fans of their world class musicianship for years, we are so happy to bring their music and message to our daily work and can’t wait to support them in the next years of their flourishing career.''

The London band borne out of Tomorrow's Warriors are led by drummer Femi Koleoso with TJ Koleoso on bass, Joe Armon-Jones on keys, Ife Ogunjobi on trumpet and James Mollison on tenor saxophone.

Influenced by grime, jazz and more they interpreted Wayne Shorter Adam's Apple classic 'Footprints' on 2020's best-selling various artists compilation album, Blue Note Re:imagined.

Ezra Collective above, top left-to-right: Ife Ogunjobi, James Mollison, TJ Koleoso, Joe Armon-Jones, Femi Koleoso

Donate