Are we about to re-enter a phase where singers in jazz can be more "singer songwriters" again, and we get away from the singers who have to live by just performing jazz standards or similar. On Babel, Christine Tobin has been doing this all along, but it's frustrating that someone like her has not yet got the full recognition that she deserves. (Christine plays Margate Jazz Festival at the Winter Gardens with the BBC Big Band next week.)
I have heard other singers with such imagination around. I'm doing a new album by Lleuwen Steffan, and recently I have been in contact with Paula Rae Gibson. A bit of a renaissance woman, as she's a photographer and poet as well. She bravely uses her experiences in her writing, while she is proud of the strong influence of Keith Jarrett on her music. Her next gig is on Thursday at Momo's, off Regent Street.
Lleuwen is equally strong on using herself as the basis of her writing. "Cocaine kills, but so does love" - what a lyric! She'll be at the Vortex on 17 July. I hope that the album will be out in early Autumn.
I really can't understand why the music world seems to feel that standards and jazz singers as accessories are what counts. The musicians are thought incapable of having original thought?
Christine, Lleuwen and Paula prove this wrong.