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Friday, May 30, 2014

CD Review: Alice Zawadzki – China Lane.

(Review by Debra M).
China Lane is the debut album of singer, violinist, pianist and composer Alice Zawadzki. The project’s diversity is signposted in the opening track ‘Ring of Fire’, where her bright pure voice and plucked violin introducehe debut album of singer, violinist & pianist  a modern folk song, which ultimately transforms into a funky jam with scat, bluesy guitar and Kit Downes grooving on Hammond organ. The fantastical ‘Cat’ has a rockier yet soulful groove, a fitting  backdrop to the dark fairy tale of the lyric.
A striking change of style follows in the next two tracks of traditional Sephardic songs, forcefully and meticulously delivered by Zawadzki, both with strong percussive arrangements, and with outstanding strings on ‘Dicho Me Habian Dicho’. In contrast, ‘Low Sun: Lovely Pink Light’, inspired by winter on a Danish island, is ethereal with layered voices and a restrained guitar solo by Alex Roth. But this wordless revelry is soon disturbed by the extended tale of obsessional love in ‘You As A Man’. Finally Zawadzski finishes her musical journey with the affectionate, lyrical and  most conventional piece of the collection, returning home to Manchester in the eponymous China Lane’.  The album was recorded over an extended period of five years, and in so doing captures the distinctiveness and breadth of Zawadzki’s musical endeavours in her career so far.
China Lane will be released in the UK on 16 June (Whirlwind Recordings – WR4647).
Debra M.
Alice Zawadzki (voice, violin, piano); Alex Roth (guitar); Andreas Lang (double bass); Kit Downes (Hammond Organ); Jon Scott (drums); Shirley Smart (cello); Emilia Martensson, Fini Bearman (voice); Eva Thorarinsdottir, Steven Proctor (violin); Lucy Nolan, Tanah Stevens (viola); Peggy Nolan, Rosie Toll (cello).

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