The best straight-ahead jazz singer on the scene today is Anita Wardell, the winner of the prestigious BBC Jazz Award last month, and Noted is one of the most impressive displays of vocal jazz and vocalese in many years. Backed up by her usual working trio of pianist Robin Aspland, bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Steve Brown (along with guest saxophonist Alex Garnett), Wardell delivers knockout performances of well-known jazz classics and less familiar works that she has updated using her own unique swinging style.
The album starts off with a rousing rendition of Jon Hendricks' vocalese to ...read more
Anita Wardell is one of England's best-kept secrets, but with talent like hers she won't be a secret for much longer. Possessing a natural swing and scatting ability like Kitty Margolis but with the sensuality of Julie London, Wardell is the complete jazz singer. Her sidemen are extremely gifted soloists in their own rights, and hearing this album should make North American jazz fans with the wherewithal want to hop the next plane to Ronnie Scott's when Wardell's quartet plays there the next time.
Until the Stars Fade contains only standards, but they are all performed with new ...read more
Great Britain has long been a fertile ground for singers and an awesome lot they are. Among the better known are Norma Winstone (the grande dame of English jazz singers), Carol Kidd, expatriate American Stacey Kent, Clair Martin and Jan Ponsford. Susannah McCorkle's career also blossomed there. Now we have Australian born Anita Wardell cutting her first album in England for the British record company, 33Jazz. I wish I could report that Ms Wardell belongs in this select group. But based on this recording, she is not quite there yet. The major problem is that she tends to get a ...read more