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Saturday, May 13, 2017

CD Review: Polly Gibbons - Is It Me...?

Polly Gibbons (vocals); Tamir Henderson (piano/arr.); James Pearson (piano/arr); Shedrick Mitchell (B3); Graham Dechter (guitar); Kevin Axt (bass); Ray Brinker (drums); Willie Murillo, Vinny Dawson (trumpets); Bob McChesney, Andy Martin (trombones); Bob Sheppard, Brian Scanlon, Keith Bishop, Tom Peterson (reeds).
(Review by Lance).
Steve T suggests that all jazz singers should listen to some soul. Well, I don't know if Steve and Polly are acquainted but the latter is one lady who most certainly has, albeit not to the exclusion of other related genres. Before I'd read the notes my reaction upon hearing several of the tracks was Gladys Knight. Lo and behold, it turns out Gibbons was the support on the 2016 UK tour by Knight and George Benson.
On I Let a Song Go Out of my Heart the influence is Ella but, whether it be Gladys or Ella there's also a whole lot of Polly in there which doesn't mean she does it parrot fashion.
You Can't Just; Midnight Prayer & Is It Me...? are originals, co-written by Polly and James Pearson, that could become classic songs in their own right.
Pearson, house pianist at Ronnie's is also the guiding force behind the album, providing several arrangements and leading the core quintet augmented by 7 horns. Four of the horns, Martin; Dawson; Peterson & Scanlon, have a field day during You Can't Just - trust me they certainly can!
A surprise choice is Basin St. Blues arranged by Bill Cunliffe - it strides the decades and works. Murillo, Sheppard & McChesney solo effectively. Indeed Murillo is even more outstanding on Dr. Feelgood and I Let a Song which he also arranged.
The opening track, Ability to Swing, shows that Polly has that ability.
And much more!
The album, her third and her second on Resonance Records (RCD 1025), was released yesterday (May 12) and the launch is at Pizza Express, Soho, on Tuesday (May 16).
Listen/buy.
Lance.

1 comment :

Steve T said...

I can no longer recall where, but I did express some concern that, with the exception of Aretha, most emerging jazz singers don't seem to delve deep into the treasures of the classic soul songstresses of the sixties, seventies and eighties, in the way that their forebears of yesteryear would have, back when the same people listened to jazz, blues and soul.
I must confess that, with daylight struggling to gain entry to the house as a result of the ever increasing piles of CDs, I still haven't familiarised myself with this lady. No pressure though; I'm not expecting another Minnie Ripperton - I recall Corinna Bailey Rae's horror when Trevor Nelson compared them.
i will catch up with this lady soon, but I still hope that somebody somewhere may read this and wonder who this Jean Carn(e) lady is, or who are Linda Jones, Shirley Brown and Angie Stone?

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