It’s a brave singer who opens her album with a drum solo, and Georgia Mancio does just that on Trapeze. Georgia’s second album doesn’t focus simply on vocals, it’s packed full of instrumental interest too.
With a nod to her South American and Italian genes, Georgia luxuriates in the mix of Latin tracks here. She sings convincingly in four languages, and the fragile, diaphanous quality of her voice – similar to Bebel Gilberto’s – really suits the intricate tongue-twists of the Brazilian songs, O Morro Nao Tem Vez and Doralice.
There’s an upbeat feel all the way through Trapeze. Where Mercedes Sosa’s version of Gracias a la Vida was about nostalgic reminiscence, Georgia’s is a celebration of the present. A summery, laid back vibe comes through in Senza Fine, while perky vocalese versions of Long As You’re Living and Sugar give the album a seriously jazzy edge.
The amount of airtime Georgia gives her band on Trapeze is striking and every combination of voice, flute, piano, bass and drums is explored on the twelve tracks. Gareth Lockrane’s flute is a feature on the album and complements Georgia’s airy vocals, though in Bowie’s Life on Mars, sung beautifully in Portuguese, the intertwining mandolin and flute lines don’t quite gel. My Heart Stood Still (accompanied by just bass and drums) is sublime though, with Dave Ohm weaving pitter-patter percussion around Dave Green’s luscious deep bass.
The award for the most goosepimple-inducing track goes to Where is Love?, an understated duet with John Pearce on piano. It’s here that Georgia’s voice comes across at its tender and innocent best.
She may not have the vocal power of a Claire Martin or a Clare Teal, but Georgia Mancio’s a force to be reckoned with. On Trapeze her musicality and inspired choice of material mark her out as an instrumentalist’s vocalist, and one to watch.