The Vortex

Singer Georgia Mancio has always been notable for her ability to infuse everything she sings with freshness, intelligence and vitality, but on this, her third album, she has matured – courtesy of what sleeve note writer Brian Blain calls ‘countless small dates in wine bars’ – into a genuinely original jazz artist.

Such originality is apparent in this richly entertaining albums opening (title) song: a touching and subtle evocation of the retrospective musings of an old man, clearly inspired by Orson Welles’s masterpiece ‘Citizen Kane’ (“Rosebud!”)

The sensitive music to this is by the elegant pianist Kate Williams, but Mancio’s regular musical partner Tim Lapthorn co-writes much of the rest of the album, setting Mancio’s personal, thoughtful, understated eloquence to appropriately sensitive melodies.

With tunes also provided by Pat Metheny (a wary look at religious and political message-sellers) and songs by Tom Waits and Jobim, this is a refreshingly wide-ranging but emotionally homogeneous set, focused on the easy, natural and affecting voice of Mancio herself, but also tellingly featuring, in addition to the above-mentioned and core trio members Dave Ohm (drums) and Julie Walkington (bass), pianist John Pearce, guitarist Dave Colton, cellist Gregor Riddell, fellow singer Ian Shaw (two cuts) and – most memorably – the robust, eloquent flautist Gareth Lockrane. Recommended.