Here's to Love

Spotlite SPJ CD 578

Released December 2008

Track Listing:

1. No Moon At All

2. Easy To Love

3. The Nearness of You

4. Every Little Thing

5. Love Dance

6. Joy Spring

7. The Shadow Of Your Smile

8. Not Like This

9. Come Back To Me

10. Here’s To Life

11. Just Friends

What the critics say about Here’s to Love:

This classy new album of standards from Lee Gibson has a timeless feel. In fact you might think it’s something from a past decade – until you reach the smoky, Latin-tinged version of Sting’s ‘Every Little Thing’ (like all the album’s songs in an arrangement by Gerry Boyce) which comes as a contemporary surprise.

British vocalist Gibson is a musical singer with a subtle sense of swing and real rhythmic verve which she shows off in the opening number ‘No Moon At All’ – all playful scatty syllables. But it’s not just about the singer. Panayi delivers a boisterous flute solo here and doubles up on alto sax for other solos elsewhere. The rest of the band is outstanding too, tight in the ensembles and shining out in memorable solo spots.

The overall feel is sparky and cheery – particularly Gibson’s flexible vocal take on Clifford Brown’s bouncy, essentially instrumental ‘Joy Spring’, with its twisting key changes. She uses the words (retrospectively added) as a rhythmic vehicle and revels in the syncopations. Memorable too is her exuberant ‘Come Back To Me’, which is given an exciting rhythm backbone by Chris Dagley and a swinging piano solo by James Pearson.

That’s not to say there’s no downtime or reflection; Gibson smoulders a ‘;The Nearness Of You’ and her ‘Shadow Of Your Smile’ is dark and smoky, morphing into a heartfelt ‘Not Like This’ when she shows off her upper range. Then there’s her emotional, elegant performance of the Shirley Horn associated ‘Here’s To Life’.

This album reveals more and more subtlety on repeated listening.'

Emma Baker – ‘JAZZ REVIEW’

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