Nicki Leighton-Thomas, The Secret of Silence, 33 Jazz ****

Track of the day and new in the 1 luv spot. A welcome return after a long absence to experience the highly playful voice of singer Nicki Leighton-Thomas and as you'd expect given her pedigree as a Fran Landesman disciple the singer's way with …

Published: 12 Sep 2022. Updated: 14 days.

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Track of the day and new in the 1 luv spot.

A welcome return after a long absence to experience the highly playful voice of singer Nicki Leighton-Thomas and as you'd expect given her pedigree as a Fran Landesman disciple the singer's way with lyrics set in a stripped back ostensibly acoustic jazz milieu is outstanding as is Simon Wallace's touch in piano accompaniment. Dave O'Higgins just about steals the show with his soprano saxophone touches but knows how to step back and Leighton-Thomas carves out more than enough space for the instrumentalists in a setting that allows the rhythmical urgency of guitarist Paul Stacey to inject significant pace. The track whets the appetite a whole deal for the full album out on 30 September. SG

Nicki Leighton-Thomas, top. Photo: Emma Hardy

Tags: 1 of 6 of the latest album and track reviews

Latest podcast - on jazz standard What'll I Do as a jazz singer plays a pivotal role in the latest episode of Adrian Dunbar drama Ridley

1920s Irving Berlin standard 'What'll I Do' is the latest jazz connection in addition to the presence of jazz singer character Eve Marbury played by Joanna Riding (Stella, Into the Woods) who ''singing detective'' Alex Ridley falls for and duets …

Published: 12 Sep 2022. Updated: 15 days.

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1920s Irving Berlin standard 'What'll I Do' is the latest jazz connection in addition to the presence of jazz singer character Eve Marbury played by Joanna Riding (Stella, Into the Woods) who ''singing detective'' Alex Ridley falls for and duets with on 'Swansong' the latest episode of the highly engaging ITV drama aired last night. Ridley is also vinyl hunting for John Coltrane's Impressions (released in 1963 on the Impulse label), the cover of which we see at a particularly dramatic moment.

'What'll I Do' is famously the theme song for the long-running Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran sitcom Birds of a Feather that you still hear even today in jazz clubs for instance by pianist Sultan Stevenson who with his trio was as recently witnessed rendering the standard as last autumn.

Versions over the years have included treatments by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Julie London. And Sarah Vaughan interpreted the Berlin classic in spectacularly jaunty fashion on 1964's Benny Carter-arranged The Lonely Hours.

Alex Ridley (Adrian Dunbar) and Eve Marbury (Joanna Riding) in 'Swansong'. Photo: ITV

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