Polly Gibbons: Is It Me…?

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Polly Gibbons
LABELS: Resonance Records
ALBUM TITLE: Polly Gibbons
WORKS: Is It Me…?
PERFORMER: Polly Gibbons (vocals), James Pearson, Tamir Hendelman (piano), Shedrick Mitchell (organ), Graham Dechter (guitar), Kevin Axt (bass) et al


Jazz has done well to hold on to young singer Polly Gibbons. Her soulful voice and telegenic looks put her on a par with media-friendly middle-of-the-road stars like Joss Stone and Adele. But Gibbons has stayed true to her jazz roots and this, her third album, is another real treat for purists – not least because the singer is accompanied by a fiercely swinging, tightly arranged big band.

It’s a choice programme, with high intensity interpretations of standards like ‘Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams’ and ‘Basin St Blues’, as well as gospel-infused belters like Aretha Franklin’s ‘Dr Feelgood’. Three smart originals, co-written with James Pearson, are surely strong enough to actually become standards themselves.

But Gibbons has got such a gorgeous sound, range and swinging sense of time that she could probably set the house on
fire with nothing more than a book of nursery rhymes.

Garry Booth


Listen to an excerpt from this recording here.