Preview: Launch of Tom Norris Edge of the World CD
(The Forge, Camden, Tuesday 23rd February, 7.30pm.
Preview by Jane Stringfellow).
First things first, Tom Norris is a talented songwriter. All twelve tracks on his first CD as leader, which is being launched next Tuesday, are originals. His lyrics are poetic and his tunes are catchy. I found myself drawn into the songs and humming them after I’d heard the album.
He also sings on all tracks, with a warm voice, reminiscent of Al Stewart, and well- honed to bring out the emotional intensity of some of his songs.
Norris plays guitar, piano, jazz violin and viola on this album. He is a band leader who keeps things tight, not surprising given his other role as Co-Principal of the London Symphony Orchestra‘s second violin section. Perhaps his experience in the orchestra contributes to his ability to blend such a wide range of musical colour into his work.
What really makes this album exciting is the way he juxtaposes instruments and styles in his arrangements. Tom says he is influenced by many musicians – jazz, country, pop – and it shows up here. And there’s more on his Myspace
In the first track, Alibi, a riff on dramatic strings is followed by finger picking guitar and a saxophone solo, on Southern Sky, country pop is underpinned by a humorous base line on a tuba. Tom’s voice underpinned by menacing strings leads into flamenco guitar on Falling.
The string quartet and string section provide some of the most emotional moments on the album. But these are anything but clichéd lush arrangements: a very tight and accomplished section produces a surprisingly broad range of sounds.
The CD is available HERE
(Photo Credit: Nobby Clark)