First published in 2013. Kent-born Mark Edwards has a strong reputation as a gospel and jazz pianist, often in demand on the acoustic modern-mainstream jazz scene, and began his professional career touring internationally with the Style Council. And it’s no wonder that he's so well regarded, when you listen to In Deep.
Along with trumpeter James McMillan, Edwards has arranged this collection of instrumentals and vocal tracks, with Jazz FM Award-winning singer Carleen Anderson and gospel singer Priscilla Jones-Campbell joining Liane Carroll and Claire Martin and a band that besides Ben Castle, Andy Cleyndert and McMillan also includes influential Spin Marvel drummer Martin France who excels on '2+2=5'.
Edwards played on Carroll’s superlative Ballads album earlier in the year, and Liane returns the favour by appearing to considerable effect accompanied empathetically by Edwards on opening track ‘Enough To Be on Your Way’, the James Taylor song that appeared on Sweet Baby James’ 1997 album, Hourglass. Clearly Carroll has found her pianist, the kind of sound Don Grolnick was so astute at capturing with Carly Simon.
On the ten-track In Deep, clearly a singers' album, recorded in Hastings and Brighton, Claire Martin performs a very fine, smokey, version of Rufus Wainwright’s ‘This Love Affair’, and Anderson is in her element with a highly nuanced take on ‘Superstar’, the Leon Russell/Bonnie Bramlett song made famous by The Carpenters. A beautifully recorded album, stocked full of delights. SG