Sarah Ellen Hughes has been listening to vocalist Linley Weir’s new CD Desires, with Danny Keane (keyboards) Tom Fry (bass)and Brian Hedemann (drums). The album consists of standards, plus originals by Linley Weir with lyrics by Sal Burgess. Weir was born in Hammersmith and raised in Teddington but her roots are-far-flung: a Scottish piper father anf a Tongan, the two having moved together to London from New Zealand. Weir herself has toured extensively in Asia, and now lives, teaches and sings in London.
Here’s Sarah’s review:
From infectious piano grooves to intense bass riffs, ‘Desires’ charts a range of styles and emotions, expertly crafted by a stellar group of musicians.
Linley Weir is at the centre of this melange, as composer, arranger and conveyor. From the joyously swinging ‘I Saw Him Standing There’ (a brilliantly readapted Beatles tune) to the irresistible ‘A Certain Slant Of Light,’ her honesty shines through, unafraid to bare a little part of herself to each listener.
Bold and brassy, soft and sassy, hip and husky, Linley’s voice navigates through a range of styles. Some aren’t quite on the button – the outgoing interpretation of Afro Blue is a little too so for my liking, -I see this song as being more dreamlike – , and the charming ‘I Like you Too’ needs grittier colours and more bite.
That said, the musicianship shines through and the relationship between instrumentalist and vocalist is unanimously respectful, strong and impressive. Weir showcases a perfect amount of scat – understated, proficient and never over-indulgent.
The most memorable track, ‘Softly as in a morning sunrise’, captures the listener immediately: a magnetic piano riff, so satisfying when the seven-four erupts into swing. To finish, the beautifully understated ‘Desires’ is sung with hushed intimacy. It absolutely left me wanting more.
Linley Weir’s upcoming gigs: an early evening duo gig at the Grosvenor Arms in Mayfair on Thursday April 15th, and with the quartet at the Bulls Head on May 16th.
The CD is available from CDBaby, which also has samples
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