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Honor Heffernan

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Reviews of Honor Heffernan

 

22/11/2005 Jackie Hayden

Hot Press review November 16th 2005

If you're looking for proper grown-up jazz singing, rather than what the marketing boffins have latterly tended to pass off as jazz, then you need this, Honor Heffernan's third solo album. Here, without the benefit of studio trickery, Ireland's leading exponent of the genre pours her art and soul into a carefully -selected bunch of songs that bring out the best in her deeply expressive vocal. You may have thought you could do without hearing yet another version of hackneyed songs like "The Shadow of your Smile" or "Nature Boy" or "Good Morning Heartache". If so, think again, for Heffernan just doesn't sing them, she has lived in them and even moves the furniture around.Her interpretation of Jobim's "How Insensitive"is full of casual subtlety. She's every bit as comfortable on Joni Mitchell's "Blue" from which she distils the essence with panache, as on Duke Ellington's wistful ˜all Too Soon ˜. The production is impressively honest, allowing Heffernan's artistry room to breathe above the tasteful piano trio backing. The sparkling brilliance of pianist Barry Green is a constantly reassuring presence on most tracks, especially ˜How Insensitive and he gets generous support from Jez Brown on bass and Stephen Keogh on drums.

Jackie Hayden

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sunday Tribune review Dec 4th 2005

Many singers like to sing jazz songs, but few are real jazz singers. Honor Heffernan is one of the latter and has few serious rivals in Irish jazz. Given all that, she has been quite on the recording front thus far in her career, so her many fans will be delighted to learn of this new album, recorded in London with an excellent trio of musicians, including long - time associate Stephen Keogh on Drums.The repertoire ranges from Duke Ellington to Joni Mitchell and the results range from good to nearly sublime.

Cormac Larkin--


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Irish Times review October 14th 2005

Heffernan has been the best of home-based singers for so long that perhaps she’s been a bit taken for granted. Not after this. In what is probably her finest ever album, backed by an excellent trio in Barry Green ( piano), Jeremy Brown ( bass) and Stephen Keogh ( drums), Heffernan puts her own stamp on well-chosen material. There are authoritative interpretations of Joni Mitchell’s Be Cool and Blue and Tanya Kalmanovitch’s sophisticated Temperance St; poised renditions of All Too Soon and Good Morning Heartache; while Some Other Time, a great song gets a vocal and instrumental performance to match. Even the familiar How Insensitive is surely her best recording of this tune. One to cherish.


Ray Comisky



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Sunday Independent review November 13th 2005

“Ireland’s first lady of jazz” has made surprisingly few Cds, so this one is all the more welcome. The title is a quote from Joni Mitchell’s tongue - in cheek Be Cool.

The apparent simplicity in her style hides a mature precision in which every word and note has just the right meaning at the right moment. Her feeling for ballads brings out the gentle melancholy in All too Soon and the rueful resignation of Good Morning Heartache. Other delights include Tanya Kalmanovitch’s jaunty Temperance St and a Jobim bossa nova. The trio, led by the self-effacing Barry Green, provides unobtrusive support. Brown’s plucked and bowed bass adds drama to Nature Boy while Keogh uses the brushes to admirable effect.

Grainne Farren







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