Jazz Journal (Best of 2010 Albums)

★★★★

‘Originality’s the thing’, Lester Young once said. ‘You can have tone and technique and a lot of other things but without originality you ain’t really nowhere.’ Well nobody could accuse Georgia Mancio of ‘not being nowhere’, with two good CDS behind her and this new one, arguably her best to date. It offers a well balanced programme of new material and newly arranged older items, both of the highest quality and all lit up by Georgia’s personal vocal style. Her affinity with her pianists is another major bonus and she is well served here by three of the very best.

It’s always good to hear something fresh and invigorating on an old chestnut and I strongly recommend this version of Just in Time, a swinger, with singer and combo in lovely form. Finisterre is an evocative, rich melody, written and crisply sung by Ms Mancio and backed by Dave Ohm’s drums.  Silhouette benefits from a strong lyric, is beautifully sung and has a great arrangement and some flowing piano lines, both from Kate Williams. Pat Metheny’s Question And Answer has been given a lively Mancio lyric to become Question The Answer. Ms Mancio’s reflective, yearning vocal is a strong feature of Solace, written by Tim Lapthorn who supplies strong piano in accompaniment and a thoughtful, slightly sombre solo.

Some intriguing new material, new arrangements, a standard or two and a couple of guest with Ian Shaw make this a fresh and welcome issue at a timeworn there is a surfeit of rather uninspired and interchangeable vocal albums.