Leland Whitty, Glass Moon, Innovative Leisure ****1/2

A symphony in miniature as saviour, savour the varnish and what a magisterial sax line to boot from Leland Whitty after the detailed hard digging of the impressionist wash is set up. The drum line (the work of Lowell Whitty, Leland's older brother) …

Published: 16 Nov 2022. Updated: 2 months.

A symphony in miniature as saviour, savour the varnish and what a magisterial sax line to boot from Leland Whitty after the detailed hard digging of the impressionist wash is set up. The drum line (the work of Lowell Whitty, Leland's older brother) is appealingly hyper as it turns out - and there's a grandeur too. So you enter further beyond the virtuosity of the whole production into the storytelling domain which is part of the point of music making surely beyond all abstraction.

Leland Whitty by Raven Shields

The sonic texture is soft and velvety without being too flash in the engineering from the BadBadNotGood ace as he embraces the panorama of composition sounding far jazzier (not a word used lightly) than normal. Drawn from Anyhow out on 9 December of which the dream-like idyll 'Awake' is also streaming and just as convincing. Whitty also dubs in guitar, synthesiser, woodwinds and strings on the album while BadBad muchachos Matthew Tavares, Alex Sowinski and Chester Hansen also figure. Fantasy DJ time for the set(t) down the Badger and Scratcher cueing David Axelrod's 'London' next and probably eventually lots of Deodato and Gil Evans - would that be so very wrong? Answers on a napkin please - ideally not signed in green ink, without any need for a parcel of accompanying emu dung or old signed photos of Mantovani - to the usual address.

Leland Whitty, photo: Raven Shields

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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: 2 months.

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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