1. Lassie Lie Near Me
2. Come Away Death
3. As I Roved Out
4. The Lads in Their Hundreds
6. Near But Far Away
7. Brigg Fair
8. Who Wants the Evening Rose
9. This is Always
10. A Tale from History (The Shooting)
11. All I Ask of You
June Tabor - Voice
Iain Ballamy - Tenor sax, soprano sax
Huw Warren - Piano
The folk singer June Tabor is probably as revered in her musical
world as Norma Winstone is in the jazz world. Huw Warren, who flits
seamlessly across different musical planes, has been her regular accompanist
for many years, leaving Iain Ballamy as the only outright jazz musician
in the trio on this CD. It's neither a jazz CD nor a folk CD - it's
just very good music.
Surprisingly, it was recorded as long ago as 2006. It's a puzzle why it has taken so long to be issued, but the good news is that the trio, having now
adopted the name `Quercus' (Latin for `oak'), are currently engaged in a series of live dates.
Most of the songs are traditional, the main exceptions being Teares, a Warren original solo inspired by John Dowland, folk poet Les Barker's Who Wants the Evening Rose, with Mack Gordon and Harry Warren's This is Always the only choice from the `Great American Songbook' (and
the only track on which Tabor sounds even remotely like a conventional jazz ballad singer).
Tabor's voice is pure, deep, warm and ideally suited to songs taken at a slow tempo or imbued with a hint of yearning. Warren's accompaniment is impeccably
unobtrusive while Ballamy's light, dry tenor sax sound fits perfectly with the mainly reflective mood.
My favourite tracks are Lassie Lie Near Me, This is Always and All I Ask of You (the latter is not the Lloyd Webber
epic, thankfully), but anyone with a good musical ear will enjoy most, perhaps all, of the tracks on this excellently-recorded CD.