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Yots.K

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Reviews of Yots.K

 

31/03/2009 Peter Bacon

Yots K brings Greek and South African influences to her jazz singing and songwriting, but living and working in London enhances her eclecticism even more.
Fire & Water has a Cuban bolero, a great, funky reworking of Love For Sale, songs by Tom Waits and Abbey Lincoln, Noel Coward’s Mad About The Boy, Cry Me A River and a self-penned title track.
The band, completed by Larry Bartley on bass and Enzo Zirilli on drums, is clearly a strong working quartet.
Yots’s singing, stronger in character than technique, is better suited to the non-standards and her reading of Nick Cave’s Into My Arms is particularly affecting. So too is Abbey Lincoln’s Throw It Away, which is well suited to her direct, dramatic style. Fresh and not risk-averse.

 

01/02/2009 Chris Parker

'Vibrant vocal swing with attitude' is how Yots.K's music is described on her press release; she herself is 'an Afro-Grecian living in London … with a rich mix of influences to draw on – from the Greek rembetika, so close to the American blues, to latin and African pulsations'. On this, her debut album, she dips into rock (Nick Cave's 'Into My Arms', Tom Waits's 'Chocolate Jesus'), standards ('Love for Sale', 'Cry Me a River'), slightly more esoteric jazz fare (Abbey Lincoln's 'Throw It Away', Jesus Rodrigues's 'Sugar Man') and – in an intriguing pairing balancing the earlier juxtaposition of Cave and Waits's decidedly secular hymns – the gay anthems 'Mad About the Boy' and 'I Will Survive'.

This unusual selection of songs (prefaced by a powerful version of Havana-born legend Isolina Carrillo's classic 'Dos Gardenias') is addressed with considerable panache: backed by Jonathan Gee (piano), Larry Bartley (bass) and drummer Enzo Zirilli, Yots.K imbues almost everything she sings with a pungent bohemian raffishness, discernibly immersing herself in a persona (whether it be prostitute or jaded salvation seeker) suitable for the delivery of each song, and the result is a fascinating album that promises much from her live act.

 

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