Sarah McKenzie, Without You, Normandy Lane ****

Maybe Sarah McKenzie's most assured recording to date - she seems really at home in the world of Brazilian music and the singer-pianist's own songs in the mix are a good blend. Bookended by 'The Gentle Rain' and 'Modinha' lovers of Jobim will find …

Published: 4 Dec 2023. Updated: 2 months.

Maybe Sarah McKenzie's most assured recording to date - she seems really at home in the world of Brazilian music and the singer-pianist's own songs in the mix are a good blend. Bookended by 'The Gentle Rain' and 'Modinha' lovers of Jobim will find lots of comfort here - probably my favourite of all are the versions of 'Wave' and 'Dindi'. American based Australian McKenzie has a very pure and distinctive voice, she is blessed with great diction and has a fine easy swinging way with her reminiscent of Diana Krall. Weather Report great drummer Peter Erskine keeps immaculate time and McKenzie has surrounded herself with some other fine musicians in cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, guitarist Romero Lubambo, British bassist Geoff Gascoyne, percussion Rogerio Boccato and saxist/flautist Bob Sheppard. Highly recommended. It's been some 8 years since we saw her live - Without You certainly suggests hearing this fine singer needs to be heard live again asap. SG

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Angharad Jenkins and Huw Warren, Calennig ***1/2

Rather beautiful this album of Welsh concert music celebrating Calennig - New Year, drawing on the power and quiet majesty of the ancient Plygain carols of rural Wales. Performed by jazz pianist Huw Warren - known in recent years for his extensive …

Published: 4 Dec 2023. Updated: 2 months.

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Rather beautiful this album of Welsh concert music celebrating Calennig - New Year, drawing on the power and quiet majesty of the ancient Plygain carols of rural Wales. Performed by jazz pianist Huw Warren - known in recent years for his extensive work with June Tabor and Iain Ballamy - here with singer-violinist Angharad Jenkins I could imagine these quite easily fitting into an edition of BBC Radio 3 classical progamme In Tune. Not really jazz at all despite Warren's strong pedigree in the area but I am sure many jazz listeners as will anyone encountering the work be charmed by the ancient sounds carefully collected here and performed so evocatively by Jenkins and Warren. SG