Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

13

Sarah Moule: Songs From The Floating World

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Class will out, as they say. It's certainly true on this album—class bursts out of Songs From The Floating World. From Sarah Moule's sophisticated, cool, vocals and the stylish playing of the cream of British jazzers, through to Simon Wallace's music and arrangements and Fran Landesman's inimitable lyrics, everyone involved with this fine album is a class act.

Moule is a leading interpreter of Landesman's songs: her understated approach heightens the impact of the lyrics and ensures that every nuance and subtlety is communicated. Wallace (who is married to Moule) is Landesman's most prolific collaborator, working with her until her death in 2011 at the age of 83. His arrangements add depth and richness to the melodies through the use of bass clarinet and shakuhachi as well as the more usual piano, guitar, bass and drums.

It's not all Landesman: songs by other writers include an atmospheric reading of Crolla and Prevert's "Cri De Coeur" and a torch song take on Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin." There's also "Lots Of People Do"—music by Wallace, lyrics by writer and journalist Julie Birchill who was once Landesman's daughter-in-law. However, Landesman's lyrics are at the heart of Songs From The Floating World—funny, romantic, satirical, cutting or dramatic, they're never dull or clichéd. Ten of the songs on this album are co-written by Landesman and Wallace: the best of them, such as Landesman's own favorite "Scars," are deservedly achieving the status of standards.

There's a blues feel running through much of Songs From The Floating World—not just on the obvious tracks, such as Willie Dixon's "My Babe," but also on "Lord I Wanna Be Good," "Lots Of People Do" and "Don't Fall In Love With Me." Much of the credit goes to Nigel Price, whose guitar playing is always a joy—Wallace's Hammond playing also captures the feel.

Six of the Landesman/Wallace songs are receiving their debut recordings. "If You Believe That" swings slinkily and still manages to make a few salient points in a humorous way. "Lord I Want To Be Good" offers a short, pithy, philosophy that might well be close to Landesman's own—Moule sings three times, with heartfelt sincerity, "Lord I wanna be good," before adding the caveat "not right away."

"Did I Break Your Heart?," a piano and voice ballad, is beautiful—and as heartbreaking as the title suggests. It may well be one of the finest of all the Landesman/Wallace songs, another standard in the making, Moule's superbly-judged vocal giving the tale of a long-ended relationship added poignancy.

"Everybody's got scars" sings Moule on Landesman's favorite song, ..."it's the way we keep score." Album reviews, on the other hand, got stars. Songs From The Floating World gets five.

Track Listing: Lord I Wanna Be Good; Men Who Love Mermaids; Lots Of People Do; Scars; Cri Du Coeur; I've Got You Under My Skin; My Babe; Hell's Angel; Don't Fall In Love With Me; Love's Eyes; Looking For A Boy; Stranger; I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl; Noir; If You Believe That; Did I Break Your Heart?

Personnel: Sarah Moule: vocals; Simon Wallace: piano, Hammond organ, accordion; Mick Hutton: bass; Paul Robinson: drums; Nigel Price: guitar; Gary Hammond: percussion; Clive Bell: shakuhachi; Yori Silver: bass clarinet; Tim Hodgkinson: bass clarinet; Warren Zielinski: violin (5); Mark Hodgson: bass (7).

Title: Songs From The Floating World | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Red Ram Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Compass" CD/LP/Track Review Compass
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by John Kelman
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Roll On" CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor