213

Debbie Winter Quartet: Red Song

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Debbie Winter Quartet: Red Song Classically-trained British vocalist Debbie Winter, formerly a member of Shifting Sands, makes her solo debut with Red Song. The recording may be brief, just 20 minutes, but in that time, Winter's quartet creates a rich and intriguing musical atmosphere with moments of breathtaking beauty.

Winter co-wrote the songs with pianist and arranger Aidan Shepherd, taking inspiration for the lyrics to four of them from Edward Hopper's paintings. Like much of Hopper's work, Red Song has a melancholy and often mysterious quality.

The musicians on Red Song are ideally-suited to these sensitive and articulate songs, showing empathy for the lyrics through their relaxed, atmospheric playing. Shepherd's piano is sparklingly light, bassist Laurence Garrett's rounded and full sound contrasts with Shepherd perfectly. Paul Robinson's expert drumming adds greatly to the moods and dramas of the songs—his years of work with Nina Simone and Van Morrison, as well as his membership of Shifting Sands, definitely bear fruit for this album.

Winter has a strong vocal technique and a rich, velvet, tone. At the lower end of her range she has touches of Dame Cleo Laine; higher up there are hints of American singer Whitney James, while at the top of her range her voice can take on a soprano saxophone-like quality. As a result, on "Red Song" or "Sunlight Waltz," her voice soars and flies over the trio's subtle performance, as if it were a fourth instrument.

On "Cinematic Dream"—inspired by Hopper's 1939 painting, "New York Movie"—Winter really pushes her voice into its upper limits, accentuating the loneliness and mystery of the lyrics. At the end of "Lost Melody"—based on Hopper's "Room In New York," from 1932—Winter achieves this same sense of loneliness and separation, by moving into wordless vocalese.

The brief but beautiful "Innocent Eyes"—inspired by Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes," from Speak No Evil (Blue Note, 1965), and written for Winter's daughter—is an object lesson in the combination of emotive and heartfelt vocals and restrained, subtle, musicianship.

Red Door is an emphatic solo debut from Winter. It marks her out, not only as a striking and affecting singer, but also an insightful, original lyricist and composer. An album-length recording seems like an obvious next step from this fascinating artist.

Track Listing: Debbie Winter: vocals; Aidan Shepherd: piano; Laurence Garrett: double bass; Paul Robinson: drums.

Personnel: Red Song; Sunlight Waltz; Innocent Eyes; Cinematic Dream; Lost Melody; Raven Sky.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Chromola CD/LP/Track Review Chromola
by John Eyles
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn CD/LP/Track Review Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Nature City CD/LP/Track Review Nature City
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin CD/LP/Track Review Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 23, 2017
Read This Is The Uplifting Part CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Mo' Puddin'" CD/LP/Track Review Mo' Puddin'
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "City Colors" CD/LP/Track Review City Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "The Beast" CD/LP/Track Review The Beast
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!