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Connections

Artist: Julie Edwards

Date of Release: 02/02/2004

Catalogue no: EPUK003

Label: Eden Productions

Price: £11

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Devil May Care (Dorough, Kirk)

4.51

2

 

How Insensitive (Jobim, arr Dearden)

6.12

3

 

Connections (Dearden, Edwards)

4.49

4

 

Round Midnight (Monk, Hanighen)

6.04

5

 

Caravan (Ellington, Mills, Tizol, arr Dearden)

5.15

6

 

It Might As Well Be Spring (Rodgers, Hart)

5.58

7

 

O Pato (Silve, Teixiere, Hendricks)

3.44

8

 

The Nearness Of You (Carmichael, arr Dearden)

5.03

9

 

Looks Like Destiny (Dearden, Edwards)

4.59

10

 

My One And Only Love (Wood, Mellin)

5.42

11

 

Well You Needn't (Monk)

5.18

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Kevin Dearden

Musicians: Julie Edwards - vocal; Kevin Dearden - saxes, flute, electric bass; Edward Barnwell - piano; Nigel Chapman - piano; Curtis Shaw - guitar; Ken Marley - acoustic bass; Jake Newman - acoustic bass; John Perry - drums; Chris Sykes - percussion

 

Reviews

 

01/03/2005 Musician Magazine

'Yorkshire based singer Julie Edwards teams up with sax and flute supremo Kevin Dearden to present a work of great sophistication and taste. Their smooth and thoughtful partnership has made for extremely enjoyable listening and it highlights her particularly delicate vocal stylings, especially on Jobim's 'How Insensitive' and the self-penned title track. Great care has obviously been taken in song selection, bringing to the fore supporting players such as guitarist Curtis Shaw.'

 

01/11/2004 Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal International

'In my review of this couple's debut CD, 'Eden', I remarked that she was a singer to listen and watch out for. Well, if you haven't had the opportunity to follow this recommendation in the past year, now's your chance. Among the qualities that set Edwards apart from many in the still-growing throng is her continuing musical relationship with Dearden. As accompanist, soloist, arranger, he provides a secure base upon which the singer is able to build her interpretations and their interplay is a delight. This is not to downplay the important contributions by the other instrumentalists on hand; but clearly singer and saxophonist have an enviable empathic relationship. Although still best known in the north of England, Edwards's reputation is steadily spreading. This new CD suggests that she will achieve her aims, and the jazz singing scene will be all the better for it. Most of the songs are familiar but thanks to the care and understanding with which they are approached and the relaxed and nuanced manner in which they are performed, they all come up fresh and delightful. On this showing, Edwards, fluid and commanding, has clearly joined the front runners in the world of the female jazz singer, and a very welcome addition she is too. Good sound and a brief note by Mike Pinfold round out the package. I recommended the previous CD and I unhesitatingly do the same with this one.'

 

01/11/2004 Pete Martin, Jazz UK

'Singer Julie Edwards and saxophonist Kevin Dearden are fast becoming one of the top attractions on the club circuit. Mostly familiar standards, yet treated with such care and attention that there's a real vitality. Guitarist Curtis Shaw and Kevin Dearden on flute enhance it , and the smoky mystery of 'Round Midnight' balances the exuberant swing of 'Well you Needn't'. Check.'

 

01/04/2004 Nick Lea, Jazz Views

'After the highly impressive ‘Eden’, the musical partnership between Edwards and Dearden has continued to flourish, and the fruits of this labour are clearly audible in this new release. They have carried on the work laid down on the previous album, whilst managing to build on its strengths and continue to develop and take the music forward, in a way that is wholly satisfying and repays careful listening and attention to detail. So what are the major forces at work here? Well, as has been evident for sometime now, Julie Edwards is a vocalist who has worked hard at her music, and has a voice that is strong and confident in all registers. She swings mightily on the up tempo numbers and has a thoughtful and delicate approach to ballads. Sax playing partner, Kevin Dearden is an ideal foil, always putting the overall performance ahead of any flashy pyrotechnics, and keeps his contributions straight and to the point with his solos, and adds some telling and deft asides when accompanying the vocal line. There is also a huge step forward in the arrangements, with the addition of guitar and percussion giving the group a lighter sound, as is evidenced on a light and nimble ‘Caravan’ (making good use of overdubbed soprano sax) and ‘’Looks Like Destiny (Little Samba)’ one of two fine originals in the set. Dearden has an ear for a good hook within the fabric of the tune, and arranges with a restraint that allows the song to breathe rather than being overwhelmed. A point in question, listen out for the guitar line in ‘The Nearness Of You’ (which is perhaps my favourite track on the disc), and the delicate touch to Jobim’s ‘How Sensitive’. Other strong cuts include ‘O Pato’ with delightful lyrics by Jon Hndricks (and some nice flute from Kevin), and the other original ‘Connections’ with some bluesy alto sax, and a nice take on Monk’s ‘Well You Needn’t’; but for my money it is the ballads that really stand out. The aforementioned ‘The Nearness Of You’, a feature for Kevin’s soprano on ‘It Might As Well Be Spring’, and a beautiful ‘My One And Only Love’ are all exemplorary.
This is an album that you will want to return to often, and if you have heard Julie and Kevin live or have bought ‘Eden’ you will wish to add this to your collection. If you have yet to sample the delights, then ‘Connections’ is an excellent way to make your acquaintance.' Jazz Views featured 'Connections' as one of their top ten CD choices for 2004.

 

01/03/2004 Ron Simpson, Jazz Rag

'The opening track of Connections typifies the whole album in many ways. for a start, the song, 'Devil May Care', though well enough known, is anything but hackneyed, and provides its own challenges of performance and interepretation. The interpretation it gets here begins with Ken Marley's bass, then Julie Edwards' opening vocal chorus, brightly expressive, over bass and drums. By the time Kevin Dearden cuts into his sax solo, things have built towards a climax, only for a relaxed bass and drums interlude to take us to Julie's freely swinging last chorus. In other words, it's a thoughtful, intelligent performance without unnecessary complications, Julie Edwards' sensitivity to lyric and melody backed by plenty of instrumental opportunities. The singer even takes a rest on 'It Might As Well Be Spring', a delicate reading with Kevin Dearden's soprano sax and Curtis Shaw's guitar prominent, neatly contrasted with the sheer fun of 'O Pato' that follows - a good example of the canny programming of the album. Unlike many singers, Julie Edwards has actually moved more firmly into jazz territory with her second album: a couple of Monk tunes, for intance (a subtly adventurous 'Round Midnight' outstanding), and a no-holds-barred 'Caravan' with added percussion and Kevin Dearden in full snake-charming mode. And there's always a gently intense 'My One And Only Love' - just voice, guitar and later, alto sax.'

 

02/02/2004 Mike Pinfold, 'The Singers & Their Styles'

"Julie Edwards is an artist who I admire. Not just because of her indomitable spirit and cheerful determination, but also because of her innate understanding of the subtle relationship that exists between tune and lyric and the skilful way she injects vocal improvisation without unsettling that relationship. Kindred spirit, the multi-talented Kevin Dearden, has never sounded better. Contributing to the overall success of this CD is Kevin and Julie's adventurous use of originals and unhackneyed Latino and Song Book material. Listen and enjoy."

 

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