Gwyneth Herbert – Bittersweet And Blue

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Album Review by EDF

With the number of nu-jazz artists floating around at the moment, the latest to catch the ears of the major record labels is Gwyneth Herbert. This UK singer made an impression at the Soho Jazz Festival with her fine interpretations of the sort of songs that would not be most people’s obvious choice. Nevertheless, this debut album showcases Herbert’s almost effortless vocal abilities, where each song will draw the listener in and for once lyrics are paid a bit more attention.

While FEVER is a standard that countless other artists have covered before, the song’s arrangement makes the tune swing. While EVERYTIME WE SAY GOODBYE is stripped down to the bare essentials, Portishead’s GLORY BOX is turned into a lush lounge affair and quite good it is as well. The inclusion of Crowded Houses INTO TEMPTATION is a welcome surprise. The original penned tracks sit comfortably with the cover versions and even though at times the approach is more easy listening than jazz, you can almost forgive everyone involved.

4 stars