ANITA WARDELL, one of the UK’s most creative and best loved vocalists, presents Kinda Blue, her much anticipated second album on Specific Jazz.
"...the singer's mercurial musicality and acute sense of improvisation freedom can at times take the breath away." Jazzwise
After the amazing response that followed Noted, Wardell’s 2006 debut Specific Jazz release of vocalese arrangements of classic jazz standards – the Observer Review stated that, “The audacity and sheer cleverness of the best vocalese performances generate a special kind of euphoria and this is where Wardell succeeds brilliantly,” – the English born, Australian raised vocalist decided that she could take a different approach to the material for her next record. Instead of focusing on a particular style of singing, she instead turns to the word Blues and its many connotations for the theme of her second album.
“I wanted to do something completely different with this album,” explains Wardell. “Noted was made up of traditionally instrumental pieces, and I wanted to go back to songs again. I’ve always loved these tunes but I haven’t had the chance to perform them on record before. The songs themselves are very special to me. I’ve been listening to this music all my life and while they’re all popular songs a few of them haven’t been done very recently, like I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues or Loose Blues, so it was a chance for me to put my own stamp on them.”
Kinda Blue welcomes back Anita’s compatriots from Noted - Robin Aspland on piano, organ and Fender Rhodes, bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Steve Brown – and sees them joined by Adam Glasser on harmonica, Phil Robson on guitar and Tristan Mailliot alternating with Steve Brown on drums and percussion. “They’re such a great bunch of guys to have on the album, they’re so creative,“ says Anita. “I wanted to do a new arrangement for I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues. Robin took a fragment of a bass line I’d come up with and managed to turn it into the main melodic theme, it gave the piece a really fresh feeling.”
The pieces on Kinda Blue showcase Anita’s exceptional ability to make a song her own while respectfully retaining the inherent spirit of the originals. “For Loose Bloose I was able to take Jim Hall’s guitar solo and put lyrics to it as I’d done on Noted. Being able to connect to the music in this way, as it first appeared on record years ago, is such an important part of how I approach this material. I wanted the album to have a theme running through it and take my cue from the word Blues as an overall idea rather than as a strict musical form – these pieces aren’t exactly Blues. They’re just kinda blue.”