Monday, December 27, 2010

Flavors of the British Isles - Bob Stewart

Norma Winstone was long considered Britain's most distinctive jazz singer when, in 2007, she was honored as a Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. She began her recording career in 1977 with the group Azimuth, and has appeared on discs by Kenny Wheeler and Eberhard Weber. Since the mid-'80s, she has been a recording artist in her own right. From the beginning of her life in jazz, Winstone has wanted to be part of the ensemble, rather than a frontwoman. She uses her voice "instrumentally" to interweave improvised lines with her partners and to participate in the blossoming harmony. "Stories Yet to Tell" is the newest release from her British-German-Italian trio.

The brainchild of Nova Scotia-based trumpeter Paul Tynan and baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington from the San Francisco Bay area, the Bicoastal Collective is a select grouping of musicians from across the U.S. and Canada. "Chapter Two" finds the ensemble in a quintet setting exploring improvised music inspired by the British Isles. England's eastern coast folk melodies and their treatment in composer Ralph Vaughn Williams' early 20th-century works, are adapted by Lington into a suite, and Tynan adds three compositions inspired by his own Irish roots.

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