5

Jessica Radcliffe: Remembrance

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Jessica Radcliffe: Remembrance
It seems propitiously timely to be releasing an album commemorating the centenary of the end of the first world war in November 2018 but vocalist and composer Jessica Radcliffe actually began her Remembrance project back in 2014, developing it as a component of her final year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music And Dance where she graduated with First Class Honours in Jazz Voice. Later, the Remembrance Project received its premiere at the 2016 EFG London Jazz Festival.

It's obvious from the very start that this is an album of difference, when Radcliffe opens the title track by wordlessly singing "The Last Post." But it's the ensuing track "Dulce Et Decorum Est" which clinches it. She delivers Wilfred Owen's poignant poetry over an alternately pulsatingly rhythmic and looser score, speaking the lines rather than singing them, which is all the more effective. This technique, repeated in other numbers, is reminiscent of the poetry and jazz concerts of the 1960s instigated by poet Jeremy Robson and the late jazz pianist and composer, Michael Garrick.

Radcliffe again speaks her lyrics on "Mr Anonymous" but the words here are, at times, even more viscerally gory and shocking than Owen's, bringing home another perspective of the horrors of war, but the closing unison vocals in tandem with Tom Dennis's trumpet, leaven this paean to the dead. The simplistic sounding yet lyrically sombre nursery rhyme quality of "Little Boy Lost" contrasts with the longing heartache of "Jack-Jack" where Radcliffe's music combines with the words of a letter written by Amy Handley to Private John George Clinton (Jack). There are also some familiar tunes here such as Jerome Kern's "And When They Ask Us" (from Oh What A Lovely War!) and William Johnson Cory's "Eton Boating Song" which is sandwiched between some gloriously rumbustious bluesy piano vamps. In Remembrance, Radcliffe has produced an exceptional debut album combining beauty and pathos in equal measure.

Track Listing

Remembrance; Dulce Et Decorum Est; There’s A Long, Long, Trail; Mr Anonymous; Little Boy Lost; Jack-Jack; By A Bierside; I Would Rather Be A Rebel; Over The Top; And When They Ask Us.

Personnel

Jessica Radcliffe: vocals; Tom Dennis: trumpet; Sam James: piano; Joe Downard: bass; Will Glaser: drums. Plus guest Mark Lockheart (1, 2, 6, 8): tenor saxophone, bass clarinet .

Album information

Title: Remembrance | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Ubuntu Music

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Earth
Earth
Dave Liebman
Read Urban(e)
Urban(e)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra
Read Hiding Place
Hiding Place
Mark Murphy, Folk Artist
Read The Truce
The Truce
Markus Reuter
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.