Jazzwise Review Emma Smith at Pizza Express

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Jazzwise magazine reviewed last night’s gig at the Pizza Express launching “The Huntress” …

“Her opening song, the CD title track, set the tone of the evening. The melody soared and swooped, imaginative lyrics unfolded a dramatic narrative, sung and recited, before releasing into a fine piano solo by Matt Robinson. ‘Stolen Child’ combined Smith’s own lyrics with those of WB Yeats in a pleasing musical setting inspired by English folk music. Her compositions reveal an adventurous mind, prepared to depart from conventional song forms and harmonies and to explore melodic ideas reminiscent of Kenny Wheeler or Norma Winstone, while her treatment of standards can be iconoclastic with an up-tempo Latin arrangement of the ballad ‘Don’t Worry About Me’ and a subtly re-harmonised ‘Old Devil Moon’. Along with Matt Robinson, bassist Tim Thornton and drummer Andy Ball complete a first-class rhythm section, one can that deliver the tempo changes, accurate rhythms, dynamic variations and the driving swing that Ms Smith’s music demands. In exchange she offers plenty soloing space for all three to display their individual musical voices…”

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