Review: Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – Live – I’ll Be Yours Tonight

Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015

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Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – Live – I’ll Be Yours Tonight

(33 Records: 33WM151)

The fourth album from Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion finds the band captured live – and as the notes explain – a release that was not planned, but came to fruition when the opportunity arose unexpectedly! “I’ll Be Yours Tonight” captures Zoe and band on fine form, recorded at Richard Dunning’s “Tuesday Night Music Club” last November.

The full band comprise of Zoe Schwarz (vocals), and a most experienced group of musicians in the shape of Rob Koral (guitar), Peter Whittaker (Hammond organ) and Paul Robinson (drums) – they are augmented on some tracks by Si Genaro (harmonica & backing vocals), Ian Ellis (tenor saxophone) and Andy Urquhart (trumpet) . . . together they create a most enjoyable mix of jazz, blues and rock over the course of twelve tracks – all Schwarz/Koral originals, bar one cover.

They kick-off in tough style with the ‘rocky’ “Your Sun Shines Rain”, with nice guitar from Rob Koral and some delicate keyboard flourishes from Peter Whittaker, and of course Zoe Schwarz’s excellent vocals; the timeless Billie Holiday tune, “Fine & Mellow” – nicely arranged by Zoe and Rob – takes the pace down, it being a jazz classic – that man Whittaker shining again, as indeed, he does throughout the album.

“Let Me Sing The Blues” fairly gallops along, with some lovely harmonica form Si Genaro, who also contributes backing vocals on this homage to some blues and jazz greats; a guitar ‘flurry’ from Rob Koral starts “Smile” – a hard-driving funky blues, featuring the horns of Ian Ellis and Andy Urquhart, with again, another impressive vocal from Zoe Schwarz.

The jazzy ballad, “We’ll Find A Way” is a stand out, with impassioned vocal from the lady herself; and the band hit a soulful groove on the uptempo “Say It Isn’t So”, with the horns again to the fore, and driven by Rob Koral’s guitar and Peter Whittaker laying down the bass on the Hammond, and Paul Robinson’s drums.

The lengthy “I Believe In You” again switches the mood of the set – another moody, jazz number with ‘breathy’ vocal from Zoe and again fine performances all-round from the band; the album ending in a rocking way with the guitar-led “Take Me Back”, with more fiery leads from the guitar of Rob Koral . . . a nice end to a most enjoyable release from this fine British outfit.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.bluecommotion.com

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