Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Amen to Awen: Ionawr - from the Ensemble - is track of the week

New in track of the week represents the first stirrings from the debut album of Awen Ensemble's Cadair Idris out in April. Leeds based, as previously mentioned, self-described as an ''alternative folk jazz collective'' the word ''Awen'' in their …

Published: 19 Feb 2024. Updated: 3 months.

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New in track of the week represents the first stirrings from the debut album of Awen Ensemble's Cadair Idris out in April. Leeds based, as previously mentioned, self-described as an ''alternative folk jazz collective'' the word ''Awen'' in their name means ''poetic inspiration'' in Welsh. Amy Clark's vocals on the initial track above lands somewhere between the sound of early period Christine Tobin particularly a song like 'Those Who Love the Lord' on Aililiu (Babel, 2001) and Lauren Kinsella in Snowpoet guise as on Thought You Knew (Edition, 2018) with Chris Hyson et al. Also in the band are Emyr Penry Dance on trumpet, Saul Duff on tenor sax, Samantha Binotti vibes, Ruari Graham on guitar, Glen Leach on Fender Rhodes, Joe Wilkes on bass and Eddie Bowes on drums and bodhran. Their album is to be issued on the New Soil label and takes its name from a mythology rich peak of Snowdonia. Dates coming up include Meadowbrook Community Centre, Shinner's Bridge in Devon on 20 April and Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on 28 April.

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Sarah L. King, Fire Horse, Peccadillo ****

Pure toned new to us singer-songwriter Sarah L. King is brilliant. Produced by Claire Martin of production house ECN who also provides backing vocals with Ian Shaw there are eight King originals - and the covers folded in include Oliver Nelson …

Published: 18 Feb 2024. Updated: 3 months.

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Pure toned new to us singer-songwriter Sarah L. King is brilliant. Produced by Claire Martin of production house ECN who also provides backing vocals with Ian Shaw there are eight King originals - and the covers folded in include Oliver Nelson classic 'Stolen Moments' and Billy Strayhorn's 'Lush Life'. Jim Watson is on piano and keyboards, he was last heard by marlbank playing live in Tessa Souter's band a year ago over in Chelsea, and accompanies beautifully particularly in the duo section on the Strayhorn. Welsh wiz Laurence Cottle on electric bass - hear Cottle deliciously at the beginning of 'Mystery Ride' - Jeremy Brown on double bass, good with his O'Higness Dave of the sax in recent years, the UK's top jazz drummer Ian Thomas, see list, and on his swinging time (ye gadds) keeping on 'Devil May Care,' the best of the standards, is another proof of why he can be seen as the Welsh Steve Gadd. By the way James McMillan is on flugelhorn and Chris Traves is on trombone - and yet the main focus is between the rhythm section, King and backing vocals. 'Show You The Way To Go' is pleasantly swinging - lyrics include best of all the turn of phrase on the reproachful you-let-me-down song 'Born Yesterday' that takes a different tilt to the nevertheless simpatico Sarah Moule register and sound. Plays Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho at lunchtime today, sold out; and at Piano Smithfield near the Barbican also in London on 19 April.