Friday, 10 March 2017

Norma Winstone - Somewhere Called Home (rec. 1986, rel. 1987)

One of ECM's finest releases of the 80s, and a jewel in the crown among its entire vocal jazz canon, this album was justifiably included in the label's 'Touchstone' series of essentials that were reissued about ten years ago.  English vocalist Norma Winstone had previously appeared on ECM from the late 70s onwards as part of Azimuth; for her first solo venture on the label Winstone retained fellow Azimuth traveller John Taylor (1942-2015) on piano, and brought in Tony Coe on clarinet and tenor sax to perfectly colour the sound.

From Winstone's own English-language arrangement of Egberto Gismonti's Café onwards, the repertoire is perfectly chosen, creating an extended meditation on nostalgia, love and belonging.  A further two ECM legends feature among the writers - the late Kenny Wheeler on the beautifully impressionistic Sea Lady, and Ralph Towner on Celeste, both given a new dimension by Winstone's lyrics.  Her words for Bill Evans' Prologue are another memorable high point on an album full of them; perfect mellow vocal jazz for a spring weekend. Enjoy.

Curtains floating through an open window, in a café's warmth that draws us closer

2 comments:

  1. thanks for the music, here's something you might enjoy. my own recording of the cabo san lucas mexico surf w/ enoesque ambient music playing alongside. http://www76.zippyshare.com/v/dmrUP974/file.html

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    1. thanks very much for that, just gave it a whirl this Sunday morning and it hit the spot. almost jazzy in one place and quite dark-hued in others, great balance over the extended length!

      folks - recommended - grab link above.

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