Laila Biali, Out of Dust

Laila Biali is a top award winning singer in Canada and has a technically excellent and pretty strong soulful voice but one that verges into almost Celine Dion-like territory on 'The Monolith' and 'Glass House', two of the early tracks here. Great …

Published: 28 Feb 2020. Updated: 2 years.

Laila Biali is a top award winning singer in Canada and has a technically excellent and pretty strong soulful voice but one that verges into almost Celine Dion-like territory on 'The Monolith' and 'Glass House', two of the early tracks here. Great if you're a Celine Dion fan.

Out of Dust (ACT) falls overall in an uncertain territory that values a wholesome slick professionalism more than most and the band backing her (including Glenn Patscha on organ plus a string of guests including star altoist Remy Le Boeuf on reeds and flute and of course strings on a range of tracks) are not exactly stretched.

Biali's songs, most of the tracks are hers or co-writes involving her pen, are the sort of thing if the label were to get very lucky you'd hear on daytime BBC Radio 2 when the mass market station veers away from the pop charts and yet you might never hear them anywhere else.

A Middle England kind of record. Oh, and covering Gregory Porter's 'Take Me To the Alley' is a bit soon, isn't it? The album from which it was taken came out less than four years ago. I know which version I'd prefer and it isn't Biali's. Would I recommend this when it comes out next month? Er no. It is far too bland. RATING: THREE STARS

Stephen Graham

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Isle of Wight Jazz Weekend Line-up

At a glance: Wednesday, 27th May 2020 Urban Nomads Quay Arts Centre Newport Thursday, 28th May 2020 It's Trad Dad Quay Arts Centre Newport Thursday, 28th May 2020 Jamie Safir Trio Newport Minster Friday, 29th May 2020 IW Youth Jazz Weekend Jazz …

Published: 27 Feb 2020. Updated: 2 years.

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At a glance:

Wednesday, 27th May 2020 Urban Nomads Quay Arts Centre Newport

Thursday, 28th May 2020 It's Trad Dad Quay Arts Centre Newport

Thursday, 28th May 2020 Jamie Safir Trio Newport Minster

Friday, 29th May 2020 IW Youth Jazz Weekend Jazz Orchestra with special guest Pete Long Quay Arts Centre Newport

Friday, 29th May 2020 Nigel Price Quartet - Wes Re-imagined Newport Methodist Church

Friday, 29th May 2020 Sara Dowling Quartet Newport Methodist Church

Saturday, 30th May 2020 Pete Long's 'Benny Goodman' quintet Newport Methodist Church

Saturday, 30th May 2020 O’Higgins and Luft play Trane and Monk Quay Arts Centre Newport

Saturday, 30th May 2020 Derek Nash Quartet Newport Methodist Church

Saturday, 30th May 2020 Saturday Night at Strings Strings Newport

Sunday, 31st May 2020 Barnes and Newton Northwood House Cowes

Sunday, 31st May 2020 Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra Trinity Theatre Cowes

Sunday, 31st May 2020 Tony Kofi's Portrait of Cannonball Northwood House Cowes

Full details: Festival Website. Tony Kofi, pictured, top