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Close to You

Artist: Kathleen Willison

Date of Release: 01/09/2004

Catalogue no: SRCD8-2

Label: Basho

Price: £5.50

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Close to You

5.04

2

 

Falling in Love with you

3.30

3

listen

Look for the Love in your Heart

7.13

4

 

Watch What Happens

6.16

5

 

Just in Time

2.57

6

 

Tenderness

6.30

7

 

A House Is Not a Home

4.34

8

listen

Life goes (On)

7.19

9

 

You Go To My Head

6.52

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Gwilym Simcock, Tim Whitehead

There are scores of jazz singers on the scene today, many of them pretty good at what they do. Kathleen Willison is not one of these. She is an extraordinary musician who has as her instrument a beautiful voice with remarkable range and emotion. She is also an able songwriter and lyricist. This new album “Close to You” (Basho Records SRCD 8-2) demonstrates her remarkable talents in a set which holds the listener spellbound. The heady mix of luscious and imaginative playing from the UK’s most outstanding young pianist Gwilym Simcock and the soulful sax of world class tenorist Tim Whitehead combine with Kathleen to create an album which is completely fresh, full of feeling.

 

Reviews

 

04/11/2005 Alyn Shipton BBC Radio 2

A singer I have really taken to......they breathe together, they think together, the empathy between them is really good

 

23/01/2005 Dave Gelly, The Observer

"Kathleen Willison is an amazingly gifted young singer. At times, she puts me in mind of the young Norma Winstone. As if that were not enough, on the evidence of the one-and-a-half pieces here that she is credited with composing, she can write songs that sound like songs, not jumped-up recitative. My only problem with this set concerns its format. Voice, piano and tenor saxophone make a tricky combination. It works most of the time because the saxophonist is Tim Whitehead and the pianist is the remarkable Gwilym Simcock, but there are moments when you just need to hear that missing bass. Nevertheless, one hearing of the extraordinary, high-speed unison passage on 'Just in Time' banishes all such reservations".

 

01/11/2004 Peter Quinn, Jazzwise Magazine

"Kathleen Willison was a central figure in The Homemade Orchestra’s 2004 album Inside Covers, a wonderfully affectionate off-the-wall homage to 20th Century popular song, which alone would qualify her for the keys to the kingdom. Joined here by pianist Gwilym Simcock and ex-Loose Tubes saxman Tim Whitehead (a founder member of the HMO), from the very opening track – an innovative and genuinely revealing cover of the Bacharach/ David classic – Willison’s debut album Close To You announces a singer with a keen musical intelligence and an indisputable sense of personality. Certain tracks ‘Just In Time’ perhaps most clearly of all, continue very much in the Homemade Orchestra vein, combining sly injections of humour with the enjoyment of going on a journey with the song. The self-penned, incantatory ‘ Look for the Love in your Heart’ illustrates that Willison is also a promising songsmith in her own right. Whitehead and Simcock play superbly throughout and must be a joy for any singer to work with”

 

05/05/2004 Tim Whitehead

“It is rare to come across a singer whose musicianship matches her singing qualities. It was my birthday gig at the 606 Club and I invited Kathleen to jam with the band. She sang the standard repertoire with an assuredness and poise that belied the fact that she'd just graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. Since then we've worked together on the "Let Her Rave" commission for the Teignmouth Jazz Festival and she has become a key member of both my sextet and quintet. She's as happy being another horn weaving her way through challenging arrangements as she is breathing a reflective stillness into "You Go To My Head", my favourite track on this album (CLOSE TO YOU).

In 2003 she joined composer Colin Riley and myself in the Homemade Orchestra and amazed us all with her ability to successfully interpret a diffuse array of contemporary classical and jazz song arrangements for the recent Inside Covers album. She devoured the challenges of moving from Fraser Trainer’s reappraisal of Human League's Love Action through Lennon/McCartney's Paperback Writer to breakneck unison horn lines in Just In Time (as on this recording) with her customary deadly accuracy and commitment.

It’s all in evidence on this trio recording with the young and extraordinarily gifted Gwilym Simcock on piano .Who could ask for anything more?”

 

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