Review: Seaming To

Seaming To
Seaming To
(Ronnie Scott’s, August 13th 2011, Part of Britjazz Festival. Review by Sarah Ellen Hughes)

Seaming To, a British singer-songwriter of Chinese descent, who has worked in collaborations with musicians such as Matthew Bourne and Marc Ribot, presented her new album at Ronnie’s last week as part of the Brit Jazz Fest. To, who is a dab hand on the piano and celeste as well as vocals, was accompanied by synthesisers and the Villiers String Quartet in a highly orchestrated programme.

The set was crammed full of little ditties – she managed to pack 12 tunes into a mere 50 minutes. It was all very pleasant, but nothing really had a climax. The music washed over me a little, like the soundtrack to a black and white movie, perhaps, or incidental music from a Weill opera.

I’m afraid I didn’t quite get it. One of the songs was about the positions one lies in when one goes to sleep. Not that this content wasn’t neatly written or poetic, it’s just that it didn’t move or amuse, or even impress.

What did impress – vastly impress – was the brilliance of Seaming To’s voice. Effortless and limitless, it was packed full of emotion and expression, with a luscious depth and impossible flexibility up high. Highly accurate, mellow and beautifully articulate, there was no faulting the vocal delivery, which was the thing that kept me glued to my seat. As a vocalist she was delightful.

Her recitative style of delivery clearly has clearly a large world/classical music influence -but barely any detectable jazz influence – in the writing. Nevertheless, the artistry was highly professional; the singing sublime.

Seaming To is an artist who takes musical risks, experiments with music freely, and delivers an accomplished performance. She will be performing at the Forge Venue in Camden in the London Jazz Festival in November.


Categories: miscellaneous

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