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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

CD Review: Gabrielle Ducomble – Across The Bridge

Gabrielle Ducomble (composer, vocals, piano, melodica; Nicolas Meier (guitars); Richard Jones (violin, viola); Nick Kacal (bass); Saleem Raman (drums) with special guests Fausto Beccalossi (accordion); Bill Mudge (keyboard).
(Review by Ann Alex)
I was so charmed by the opening track that I played it twice straight off. A lovely clear-toned voice with an enticing French accent, a well-written song about a young child’s afternoon spent exploring the forest and pretending to be a knight. The bass moves the tune forward in the forest, the tune rises when the moon is mentioned, and the viola provides an effective middle section. And so the music continues on the other tracks, songs with elements of jazz, French chansons, tango and Latin rhythms. The lyrics are skilled, concerning nature, art, justice and ideas. The instrumentation is superb, with cleverly interwoven solos from violin, viola, guitar and accordion, and the ensemble playing is rich and satisfying.

For instance, Where Is Home reflects on the migrant issue, with lines such as ‘What is home? a boat, a war zone, a suitcase dragged across a bridge, for one chance to live’, and the music has an agitated feel from drums and violin.
In contrast, Les Terrasses De Riz De Jatiluwih is a happy song about the simple life lived at an eastern temple - if my schoolgirl French has served to translate the lyrics. 

Like a Bridge Across Your Heart is a passionate tango, with accordion, and Circus gives us gypsy jazz and cabaret style music and some wordless vocals. Les Nympheas was influenced by Monet’s painting ‘Water Lilies’, which brought to mind our singer’s thoughts about nature and beauty. The Time Is Now is about the need to save the planet, featuring a driving feel from the band. Some songs are in English, some in French, and some are a mixture.

This CD is our singer’s third album. The previous CD’s were of Parisian-style jazz and tango, but Ms Ducomble has now branched out with original material on this CD.  She has performed at many top London venues including Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express in Soho. She has starred alongside such performers as Jacqui Dankworth and Tina May. She is at present touring with some of the band but the nearest venue to the North East is Birmingham. The CD is available on MGP Records, mgpcd020.
Ann Alex

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