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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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LAURA JURD

Human Spirit

Chaos Collective CC004

 

 

  1. Opening Sequence

  2. She Knew Him

  3. Brighter Days

  4. Prelude

  5. Pirates

  6. Blinded

  7. Human Spirit

  8. More Than Just A Fairytale

  9. Closing Sequence

Laura Jurd - Trumpet, piccolo trumpet

Lauren Kinsella - Vocals

Chris Batchelor - Trumpet

Colm O'Hara - Trombone

Mick Foster - Bass saxophone

Alex Roth - Guitar

Corrie Dick - Drums

When I first heard Laura Jurd's debut album Landing Ground, issued in 2012, I confess that I was full of admiration for this rising star of the trumpet. At the same time, I felt that it could best be described as contemporary music rather than out-and- out jazz. This new CD is much more unambiguously addressed to a jazz audience and it successfully shows off Laura's talents as a composer and lyricist whilst giving rather less space than I would have wished to her playing. She does, however, demonstrate exceptional range and control whenever the chance presents itself and there's no doubting the quality of her group either. It should be said that the album proves to be, in part, a showcase for Lauren Kinsella's distinctive voice and interpretive skills. This Dublin-born award winner, who is also involved in jazz education on Leeds Conservatoire's undergraduate programme, is a natural, blessed with excellent articulation and a quirky way with a lyric. She is a consistent vocal presence on the album. For me, there are shades of Diane Torto in her singing so we are talking about class!

There's not a track on the CD which lacks interest but four of them connected with me in a significant way. Brighter Day fairly swings along. Colm O'Hara gives a measured and fluent solo on trombone. Pirates is jaunty, even jolly, with O'Hara again shining as does Alex Roth on guitar. Blinded moves from a sombre opening into a lively theme. Kinsella carries the story faultlessly. More Than Just A Fairytale was the track I liked best, both engaging and inventive - Kinsella's voice used as an instrument, effortless trumpet from Jurd, with changes of mood and tempo to hold the attention. Excellent.

This is an enterprising and enjoyable disc from musicians who show great promise for the future but who are already delivering listening pleasure in the present.

James Poore



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