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Darning the Dream

Artist: Sarah Ellen Hughes

Date of Release: 15/03/2010

Catalogue no: SAYSO01CD

Label: SaySo Records

Price: £10

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

That's All

3.51

2

listen

On a Misty Night/Misty

5.27

3

listen

Afro Blue

3.38

4

listen

Devil May Care

4.22

5

listen

Darning the Dream

5.22

6

listen

Love for Sale

4.11

7

listen

Workin Hard

4.15

8

listen

You Go To My Head

6.09

9

listen

When Sunny Gets Blue

4.36

10

listen

Some People

4.53

11

listen

But Not for Me

3.35

12

listen

A Hymn for Janet

2.24

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Dave O'Higgins, Jim Hart

The first offering from Sarah's fantastic jazz quartet, this exciting and varied work features guest appearances from Dave O'Higgins, Jim Hart and Ian Shaw.

 

Reviews

 

01/07/2010 Just Jazz Magazine - Barry Clare

The recent problems faced by NYJO with funding have been well publicised. With this new CD, we hear one good reason why it is worth ensuring that NYJO survives. Sarah Ellen Hughes was a notable member of NYJO for seven years, as vocalist and flautist, from 2001-2008. I would venture to suggest that the benefit of being with such a fine band is here to see. Would she have had the confidence and technical skill had she not had such a fine apprenticeship? Maybe, but the evident skill and maturity in the work of one so young are rare indeed.Sarah’s own backing group is normally piano, bass and drums. On several tracks on this CD it is augmented by the addition of Dave O’Higgins, Jim Hart, and the voice of Ian Shaw. That Sarah is a musician first and vocalist second is very evident. She understands the dynamics of improvisation and has a sympathetic ear (when singing) for the direction the instrumentalists take. Her talents also extend to composition. Two tracks written by her, the blues, Some People, and Workin Hard, a more funky number containing the line I never thought I’d hear, ‘It’s Tesco value all the way’! The fifth track, Darning the Dream, uses a vocalise variation, by Sarah Ellen, based very obviously on Darn That Dream. Indeed, the track ends as she reverts to the original. The set concludes with a beautiful rendition of a hymn, Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go, which was the favourite of Sarah’s mother. For the purpose of the CD, Sarah has called it A Hymn For Janet (which I assume was her mother’s name.) The choice of songs is wide-ranging. The standards are there alongside her own work, and her approach is both conventional (when the song demands it) and entirely adventurous on other numbers. Take, for example, the duets with Ian Shaw, where the harmonising demands, and gets, real skill.Sarah Ellen Hughes is a real force as a jazz vocalist. Since leaving NYJO, she is setting out on a certain path to become one of our top jazz vocalists. The confidence, maturity, and sheer class, is astonishing in one so young. The release of the CD coincides with a tour by her of the UK. However, by the time this review is published (the July edition), the tour will have concluded. Nevertheless, I would recommend that you keep your eye open for Sarah if she performs near you. It should be worth a listen. Her website is www.sarahellenhughes.co.ukThis is a notable recording of a fine musician with a great future.

 

01/05/2010 Peter Quinn

This wonderful showcase of Sarah Ellen Hughes’s multifarious talents kicks off with a joyously freewheeling ‘That’s All’, the great Alan Brandt/Bob Haymes song first introduced by Nat King Cole. The singer’s three-year stint as NYJO’s principal vocalist has served her well, not least in the compositional department. ‘Workin Hard’, the first of two classy originals, offers a salutary survival-on-a-shoestring tale of Tesco value meals and cycling to gigs which doubtless rings painfully true for many of her fellow jazz artists.

Other highlights include a coruscating duet with Ian Shaw on ‘Devil May Care’, a head-nodding ‘Love for Sale’ underpinned by Andy Hamill’s ‘Chameleon’-inspired bass riff, and a dreamily floating ‘You Go To My Head’ in which Jim Hart beautifully colours the vocal line. A bravely imaginative vocalise reworking of ‘Darn That Dream’, based on Dexter Gordon’s version from the Blue Note Ballads compilation, is the only song that suffers from some slight infelicities of tuning. The album closes with the serenely moving ‘A Hymn for Janet’, a piano/vocal arrangement of the nineteenth-century hymn ‘O love that will not let me go’ by George Matheson, sung in memory of her mother. Hughes’s 19-date Jazz Services album launch tour runs until the end of June. Well worth checking out.

 

01/05/2010 Jazz Journal - Bruce Crowther

After singing and playing flute with NYJO, Hughes shows in this solo debut that she has developed a nicely understated vocal style. She is ably backed by the core trio in which on some tracks Andy Hamill sits in for Farmer. Interestingly, Hughes offers vocalese passages on some songs: But Not For Me, On A Misty Night/Misty, Darning The Dream, the latter based on Darn That Dream, on all of which she is joined by vibraphonist Jim Hart. Other guests are saxophonist Dave O’Higgins (Afro Blue) and vocalist Ian Shaw (Devil May Care). Additionally, Hughes has composed music and lyrics for two songs hereon, Workin Hard and the bluesy Some People. If all this were not enough, Hughes also teaches music. Clearly a talent to look out for and she tours the UK in May and June this year.

 

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