Live reviews

REVIEW: Rosie Frater-Taylor – On My Mind album launch at Kansas Smitty’s

Rosie Frater-Taylor
Photo credit: Pat Pascal
Rosie Frater-Taylor On My Mind album launch
(Kansas Smitty’s, 4 October 2018. Review by Lauren Bush)

Rosie Frater-Taylor is a new, young voice on the jazz scene, but her surname may not be completely unfamiliar: both of her parents are well-known jazzers, and she has been well brought up to follow in their footsteps.

Her album launch at Kansas Smitty’s in Hackney was full of family and friends there to support her accomplishments. At 19, Frater-Taylor’s confidence quickly spread throughout the room and she soared through her two sets of music with a poise that was unexpected of someone at the beginning of her career.

Frater-Taylor currently attends The Royal Academy of Music with some of her band members; others are down the road at the Guildhall School of Music. They packed the tiny stage with piano, bass, drums, trumpet and two background singers.

Frater-Taylor started the night off with a few of the new songs from her debut album, On My Mind, which feature her stellar lead guitar playing along with her soulful lyrical phrasing. Her singing floated above the accompaniment as she lilted comfortably through all the textures of her voice. Even on the cover songs that she chose to include in the set, she was able to hold her own; showing elements of singers like folk legend Joni Mitchell and R&B divas Alicia Keys and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Frater-Taylor’s impressive ability to scat-sing and improvise fluently on the guitar at the same time showed off her exceptional musical prowess. The original tune, Umami (reminiscent of the Freddie Hubbard tune Red Clay) laid the foundation for some seriously funky solos from Ella Hohnen-Ford (vocals) and Laurence Wilkins (trumpet). In the second set, Frater-Taylor invited her main collaborator from the album, her dad, Steve Taylor, (playing drums and doing most of the recording and mixing of the album), up to the stage to play a tune with the band.

The final tune of the night was yet another pleasant layer of this young talent when Frater-Taylor unleashed her true jazz roots and powerful vocal chops in the Lambert Hendricks and Ross inspired tune, Centrepiece: one last opportunity for these fresh young musicians to impress their audience. Keep an eye out for these names on the scene as they are sure to go on to big things.

Rosie Frater-Taylor: lead vocals and guitar
Ella Hohnen-Ford and Luca Manning: background vocals
Matt Carter: piano
Hugo Piper: electric bass
Laurence Wilkins: trumpet
Steve Taylor: special guest on drums.

Rosie Frater-Taylor will be at Jazz New Blood ALIVE! on 24 November at Waterloo Creatives, 20 Carlisle Lane, London SE1 7LG as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival
The programme starts at 2pm. DETAILS

On My Mind is available from Rosie Frater-Taylor’s website

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