The Vortex

Taking its material as readily from Chilean folk music and Italian pop as from the samba tradition and Cuba plus a judicious sprinkling of Rodgers/Hart, Lionel Bart and the odd jazz classic and ending with a Portuguese-language visit to David Bowie’s plaintive ‘Life on Mars?’, singer Georgia Mancio’s second album is ambitiously wide-ranging but coheres courtesy not only of the intelligence with which she deals with a lyric (Bart’s ‘Where is Love?’ touching without a hint of sentimentality; ‘Never Will I Marry’ appropriately jaunty etc) but also of the sureness of her delivery and the cogency of the various songs’ arrangements.

Imaginative without being over-fussy, they deploy just sufficient musical forces to impress: thus John Pearce’s limpid-lyrical piano sets off the earnest purity of Mancio’s emotive delivery perfectly in their duo visit to the Bart; Gareth Lockrane’s flute blends intriguingly with Anselmo Netto’s mandolin on the Bowie; drummer Dave Ohm is subtly propulsive as necessary and bassist Dave Green is his usual impeccable self throughout.

All in all, this is a well-programmed, pleasingly varied set addressed with delicacy and aplomb by a singer whose classy but consistently approachable live act (and she’s touring various venues ranging from Ronnie Scott’s and the 606 to the Boxford Fleece and the Swindon Arts Centre in the coming months) is as thoroughly enjoyable as her albums.