121

Shifting Sands: Velvet Mantle

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Shifting Sands: Velvet Mantle Velvet Mantle, by the British duo Shifting Sands, explores a richly atmospheric, bluesy mid-tempo territory of jazz sounds. Deborah Winters is the vocalist; Jo Landers sits in the piano chair. Both musicians are classically trained, and their delivery, given that training, has the high polish one would expect, while still sounding organic and spontaneous.

The duo's obvious classical training is tinted by their jazz influences. For vocalist Winter, it's Ellington, Miles Davis, Patricia Barber, Kurt Elling and Mark Murphy. The purity of tone, voice-as-an-instrument and glowing resonance suggest the Kurt Elling influence primarily—a rich, mellow tone, with full control, clarinet-like (as opposed to Elling's flugelhorn-like sound) in its fluid movement from note to note, with a remarkable range. Lander found that the calls of Miles Davis, Bill Evans and John Lewis drew her to jazz. Her style is economical and understated, sometimes quirky, and it's this study in contrasts that makes the duo's sound such a success.

The fourteen tunes are all originals, Winter/Lander-penned, and they fit together with a seamless cohesion. The second tune is entitled "Haunting Melody," and you could call that sentiment the theme for the disc. These is hauntingly pretty music, the interplay of voice and piano joyously simpatico.

Velvet Mantle is cool-toned, pared-down music. It would be interesting to hear the duo expand to a quartet with bass and drums.

Track Listing: Velvet Mantle; Haunting Melody; Ocean Sound; Aurora's Flame; Persephone's Darkness; Pieces; Sculpture; Cerulean Blue; Beauties of the Past; Kaleidoscope; Woman in White; Let It Go; Feather; Magadi.

Personnel: Deborah Winter: vocals, backing vocals (9,10,14); Jo Lander: piano, backing vocals (2,7,8,12).

Title: Velvet Mantle | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Swong" CD/LP/Track Review Swong
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!" CD/LP/Track Review Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Marseille" CD/LP/Track Review Marseille
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "A Room of One's Own" CD/LP/Track Review A Room of One's Own
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.