CIRCUMFLEX - by Ingrid James & John Reeves
Award-winning jazz singer Ingrid James and UK pianist John Reeves have recorded a duo album of contemporary and classic standards as well as material from the Beatles to the Beach Boys. The approach to much of the recording was inspired by 'live' performances where so often trying something for the first time delivers a unique arrangement and special qualities. They work as an organic unit, weaving melodies, textures and rhythms to express a personal interpretation of these songs and the endless possibilities they present. Circumflex is a stunning vocal and piano duo album full of live energy, warmth and deep emotion.
"Think of a warm, assured style that hankers back to the jazz 'cool' of an Anita O'Day and Chris Connor and other like stylists, Think of a voice that can use dynamics in a subtle, delightfully restrained, way, think, lastly, of a singer who, expertly backed by regular accompanist-pianist John Reeves, puts her own unforgettable stamp on everything from Cole Porter to Lennon-McCartney and you'll want to hear more from this new Ingrid James' CD."
Neville Meyers, Jazz Writer/Lecturer in Jazz Styles and Innovation, Queensland Conservatorium of Music Griffith University.
Few jazz singers attempt nor succeed recording with solely piano accompaniment but James's areabile tone and precise pitch hits the mark with a mixture of classics, jazz standards and contemporary tunes, given unfamiliar treatment in both tempo and accented phrasing; Yesterdays finale recalls Betty Carter's sublime bent about notes; Just one of those Things rapid tempo is a lesson in agility and breath control while Devil May Care is one of the finest I've heard. Weaker material like Eric Clapton's Strange Brew and Brian Wilson's God Only Knows receive undue credibility and thoughtful backing with tasty filling from UK pianist John Reeves.
Peter Wockner (ABC Limelight Magazine June 2009)
As a Jazz Presenter you are always awaiting a CD that is "Different, Daring" and most importantly, "Enjoyable".
A few days ago, Mark Goring from Newmarket Music, sent me such a CD."CIRCUMFLEX". A VOCAL/PIANO DUET by two of Australia's finest musicians,
Ingrid James and John Reeves. Ingrid had told me she and John were preparing, rehearsing and finally recording.
I had not heard any tracks previously so I was unprepared for what was to follow.
As I was playing the opening track "Slow, Hot, Wind" I knew this CD was different, daring and enjoyable.
Let Ingrid's voice MELT you with "Yesterdays", Lennon/McCartney's "And I Love Him" and then be amazed as Ingrid uses her voice as an extended instrument
in Charlie Haden's "First Song for Ruth". and then. More Surprises? .Oh yes, an up tempo version for Porter's "Just One of Those Things" and
Mulligan's jazz standard "Line for Lyons". The versatility of Ingrid's voice is again verified with her bewitching versions of "Gentle Rain" and "Beautiful Love".
I have not forgotten John. Those rich left hand chords in contrast to the soft delicate chords and single right hand trebles - a perfect accompanist.
Ingrid and John have been playing music together for a couple of years. They have developed understanding, respect and musical affection for each other's capabilities.
"CIRCUMFLEX" beautiful word with several meanings. This CD is aptly titled, Ingrid and John perform in the true meaning of the word.
"CIRCUMFLEX" a CD that is Different, Daring and Enjoyable. Thank you Ingrid and John for many hours of musical pleasure.
BRIAN FANE Jazz Presenter - Noosa Community Radio FM101.3
"From sweetly normal renditions to surprising creative artistry, brimming with colour, nuance and fine musicianship. This is a superb album. Warm, gorgeous vocals with deft rhythmical piano "a superb duet feel".
Sharny Russell, singer, pianist, composer, music teacher
"The fabulous Ingrid James has done it again. This time she has teamed up with John Reeves which shows Ingrid has impeccable taste when it comes to choosing a musical partner.
Henri Mancini's Slow Hot Wind sets the pace for what is an exciting musical journey of thirteen tracks that aren't usually in a jazz singer's basket of goodies. I will leave others to praise the dynamics, the arrangements and such, and just say Ingrid and John make a great team and this is a "must have' disc."
Carole Hayes Shoalhaven Radio, Nowra.
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Released nationally by Newmarket Music in Feb 2009