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Beautiful Love

Artist: Karen Lane

Date of Release: 25/05/2009

Catalogue no: 1643

Label: xxxx

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Softly As in a Morning Sunrise

5.39

2

 

Angel Eyes

5.03

3

 

Feeling Good

4.24

4

 

Beautiful Love

4.58

5

 

Meditation

4.18

6

 

Day in Day Out

3.17

7

 

We'll Be Together Again

3.54

8

 

Midnight Sun

4.19

9

 

More

2.52

10

 

Mood Indigo

4.40

11

 

Out of this World

4.14

12

 

I Thought About You

6.09

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews

 

14/06/2009 Ian Mann

Appearing on the Jazzizit label’s newly founded digital arm this new album from vocalist Karen Lane is a classy affair executed to the highest musical and technical standards. Like Jazzizit founder Trudy Kerr Lane also hails from Australia, Perth to be precise, and has eventually found her way to London following a spell in Sydney. Like Kerr she has a fine voice with a considerable talent for jazz phrasing and is an excellent interpreter of a song. She is also an accomplished songwriter and arranger. “Beautiful Love” is her fourth album following “Once In a Lifetime” (2002), the bossa inspired “Taste” (2004) and “I Can’t Help It” (2006) a duo recording with guitarist Paul Malsom.
For her latest venture Lane explores the Great American Songbook in the company of a stellar supporting cast consisting of Tom Cawley (piano), Andy Hamill (bass), Nic France (drums), Robin Fincker (saxophones), Dace Colton (guitar) and Julian Ferraretto (violin). Lane’s arrangements are uncluttered but imaginative and allow the musicians plenty of room for interpretation. The ensemble offer an impressively broad range of styles in their explorations of these classic songs and breathe new life into even the most familiar of material.

An intriguing take on “Softly As in A Morning Sunrise” opens the album, sung by Lane with considerable feeling and making imaginative use of Ferraretto’s violin. Hamill’s firm, melodic bass playing features in a brief solo. Indeed the bassist is excellent throughout the album, no more so than on the following “Angel Eyes” where he shadows Lane’s smoky, bluesy vocal in another innovative, slowed down arrangement. France’s deft, understated drumming and Cawley’s lazily bluesy piano solo are also worthy of note.
“Feeling Good” is also given a seductive, bluesy feeling with Fincker’s smoky, deceptively powerful sax joining Lane at at the heart of the arrangement. The sensual title track features Cawley in full lyrical flow on a stand out solo with Ferraretto’s violin adding additional colour to the piece.
Lane’s love of bossa is not forgotten with a splendidly slinky version of “Meditation” with Fincker ably filling the Stan Getz role.

“Day In Day Out” is playful and surprisingly funky driven by Hamill’s infectious bass undertow. Cawley takes flight mid tune with a rollicking solo. By contrast “We’ll Be Together Again” is suitably yearning and subtly bluesy. Ferraretto’s violin takes the solo honours soaring wistfully above Hamill’s bass growl and France’s delicate brush work.

“Midnight Sun” is a delicate ballad that demonstrates to perfection Lane’s abilities as a vocalist and interpreter. Cawley’s work on the track shows his considerable skills as an accompanist.

The brief but charming “More” is delivered as a bossa with a crystalline solo from Cawley, subtle guitar and violin colourations and a gently lilting rhythm.
Lane’s way with a blues shines out throughout the album, none more so than on a gorgeous “Mood Indigo” with Fincker’s sax again prominent in the mix.

“Outta This World” is given a surprisingly groove oriented delivery with Ferraretto’s violin being given plenty of room to sail and soar.

Finally comes a stately, blues inflected “I Thought About You”. At six minutes plus and taken at a leisurely pace there is plenty of opportunity for both singer and musicians to express themselves. Cawley is superb again here both as soloist and accompanist.

Lane’s assured vocal performance and imaginative arrangements ensure that this a well above average album despite the familiarity of the material. The empathic support she receives from her colleagues helps immeasurably, the accompaniment is sympathetic, the soloing cogent and pithy. The mix of styles and approaches ensures that the listener’s attention is consistently engaged.

This is as accomplished a vocal offering as I’ve heard all year.

 

25/05/2009 Chris Parker

Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Karen Lane has been singing jazz and soul since the early 1990s, and has been a London resident since 2000; this is her fourth jazz album. Previous recordings have featured bossa nova (2004's Taste) and acoustic duo music (2006's I Can't Help It with guitarist Paul Malsom), and Lane does briefly touch bossa base on this recording ('Meditation' and 'More'), but in the main on Beautiful Love she concentrates on infusing standards with new life, considerably assisted in this endeavour by a crack band: pianist Tom Cawley, bassist Andy Hamill, drummer Nic France, augmented by guitarist Dave Colton, saxophonist Robin Fincker and violinist Julian Ferraretto.

'True spontaneity' is the quality she is after, and her versions of the likes of 'Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise', the lovely yearner 'Angel Eyes', Duke
Ellington's 'Mood Indigo' and the Mercer/Van Heusen evergreen 'I Thought About You' are indeed great showcases for her unfussy but affecting delivery, which is emotional without being over-dramatic, intimate, stylish and sophisticated enough to incorporate a dash of soul into familiar jazz songs without compromising their lyrical subtleties. As a consequence, she doesn't have to trawl the outer reaches of standard land to make her mark; she is (justifiably) confident in her own ability (and that of Cawley, in particular, who adds welcome fresh wrinkles to all he plays) to put her own soulful, personal stamp on everything she sings, from 'Feeling Good' (a song now so famous that even Muse have had a crack at it) to 'Day In Day Out'. A thoroughly likeable album from a class act.

 

01/06/0009 Peter Quinn - JAZZWISE

Released on the purely digital arm of Jazzizit Records, Karen Lane's fourth album pays loving homage to the Great American Songbook. Framed by first rate interpretations of "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise" and "I thought About You", the 12 track collection presents and engaging confluence of varicoloured moods and tender lyricism. The singer's unfailingly intelligent and immensely subtle arrangements provide fresh perspectives on even the most well worn standards, whether it's the funky bass ostinato that underpins "Day in Day Out", the gentle 6/4 lilt of "We'll Be Together Again" or the surprisingly hard driving take on "Outta This World".
With a backward glance at her 2004 bossa- infused album "Taste", Lane's utterly infectious vocals wrap themselves around two delightful bossa novas, "meditation", featuring a heart- warmingly Getz like solo from Robin Fincker and the swooningly romantic "More". Violinist (and fellow Aussie) Julian Ferraretto and guitarist Dave Colton are on hand to supply additional textural colours.

 

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