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AAA Music | 20 May 2024

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Lizz Wright + Jasmine Power – Live @ Cadogan Hall

| On 18, Nov 2016


Saturday 12th November, London

As an enthusiastic child Lizz Wright regularly listened to gospel music at a church in a small Georgia town where her father was a music minister. Later, at Georgia State University, she studied voice and also went to the New School in New York. In 2003 she achieved an extraordinary international breakthrough with her debut album Salt.

At this EFG London Jazz Festival performance, her first headline London show for some time, she was supported by Welsh singer, songwriter and composer Jasmine Power whose talent was recognised by Gilles Peterson and Jamie Cullum after the release of her debut EP Stories and Rhymes. Her love for jazz and soul is quite clear. Here Jasmine’s set included the fresh, catchy and relaxed title track of her EP together with a delicately pleasing ‘A Man or a Boy’.

Lizz Wright‘s acclaimed album Freedom and Surrender in 2015, produced by Larry Klein, is mostly original songs and it was from this album that she performed the captivating title trackFreedom’ and ‘The New Game’ with its soulful and spiritual feel. The sensual and enigmatic  ‘Somewhere Down The Mystic’ seduced an excited audience and a graceful cover of Nick Drake’s ‘River Man‘ had great charm and beauty.

Lizz sung a distinctive accapella version of  ‘The Nearness of You’ , the ’30s standard by Hoagy Carmichael and classic ‘Nature Boy’, first recorded by Nat King Cole, had warmth and intimacy. ‘Coming Home’ , a powerful and emotional song, came from her much praised third album The Orchard and a version of ‘Old Man’, written by Neil Young, was quite stunning. ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ , by Ewan MacColl, once again demonstrated the excellent depth and richness of her vocals.

Lizz Wright has her roots in folk, jazz, blues and gospel music and boldly explores  themes of life, death, nature and religion without any pretentiousness. She has an earthy, assertive personality and is loved by many for her honest, classy and romantic songs.

Anthony Weightman