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Daniela Clynes

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Reviews of Daniela Clynes

 

01/03/2004 Philip Clark

ALBUM REVIEW - FROM JAZZ REVIEW MAGAZINE:

"London based singer Daniela Clynes launches her own label with this sometimes soulful, often ecstatic, always highly musical and imaginative collection of songs, recorded in London and New York during 2001. Even a casual glance at Clynes set-list suggested that I was in for something promising – “Kineret”? Not heard of that before. “The Midnight Sun” by Lionel Hampton and Johnny Mercer? Haven’t come across that in years. “In The Wee Small Hours” and “Lover Come Back To Me”? Fair enough because it’s in the context of such interesting and unusual material, and it’s great to see Clynes’s generous nod towards the contemporary British jazz scene with tunes by Iain Ballamy and Django Bates, and by Kenny Wheeler.

Of course none of the above would matter if she couldn’t sing, but Clynes’s ability to fuse a resourceful technique with her own distinctive sense of “this is me” is clear from the opening track. “Kineret” – as it turns out is a Jewish tune that Clynes has decked out with sonorous brass arrangement and a driving rhythmic groove that, because of the tunes modal tendencies, sounds surprisingly Coltrane-like. Jonathan Gee picks up on similar vibes with a solo that evokes McCoy Tyner, and throughout Clynes soars elegantly above the ensemble, intoning the rising contours of the tune with operatic panache. “Gentle Persuasion” is the theme by Bates and Ballamy which Clynes has added her own lyric, and the track shows more playful and wry side to her musical persona than the barnstormer opening. Clynes’s lyric is a charming piece of nonsense verse, reminiscent of Edward Lear, about a bird and a child who fly off into the sky together. She decorates the original line with deftly handled bird-like trills and puckish decorative turns that get underpinned by skittish figurations and spiky Latin percussion lines from the ensemble.

Of the standard material, “Lover Come Back To Me” is especially impressive, with Clynes incorporating adroitly borrowed Mark Muphysisms and a hearty belly-laugh into the flow. “Child Of Man” is intelligent pop, while the moody brass of Clark Clayton’s arrangement for “Midnight Sun” places Clynes in a knowingly cod-1930’s setting. However, Clynes leaves her most powerful statement to last. “Farewell” is a touching ballad to lost love, and mournful yet optimistic lyric is given added piquancy by a strangely contorted chromatic melodic line. I reckon that ballad performances couldn’t come much more honest than this, and this valedictory track ends an extraordinarily assured debut with emotional blast."

[March 2004 Jazz Review Magazine]


 

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