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Carol Kidd - Carol Kidd - LP Magazine

01 October 2007
LP Magazine (Translation)
Andrew Bonner

During the first few moments, she appears almost too bright, too pristine, almost crystal clear, which is at odds with the image of a jazz singer, who ought have a dark timbre and ought to sound raunchy and of jazz clubs and twilight.  However, this first impression quickly evaporates when you listen to Carol Kidd for a bit longer.  Is it her miraculous technique which fascinates so?  A technique, which allows her to switch register effortlessly and to change from head to sonorous voice - and back just as easily?  Is it the incredible presence or the improbable control over her voice?  No!  Technique cannot capture the listener to such an extent! Technique can impress, but it targets the intellect, not the heart.

Luckily, Carol Kidd also has the ability to evoke feelings in us.  The British singer presents thirteen ballads from the Songbook that are performed less frequently.  Her interpretation is characterised by a big plus: humour!  She successfully teases out ironic subtleties from between the lines, for instance in "It Isn't So Bad".  Ms Kidd pursues the smallest nuances, the most subtle movements and translates them audibly for the listener.  The singer lives the drama and embodies the lyrics with every fibre in her body.  The result is a degree of authenticity that many listeners will no longer be used to.

One of the highlights is "Never Let Me Go", which her excellent band elevates to a true listening experience once again.  The piano intro to "Waltz for Debbie" is masterful - and it is picked up by Carol in a tender, fragile, even transparent manner.  Her glissando deserves just one word: fabulous!

This reissue by Linn is of superb audio quality and the pressing matches the standard of the overall package.  Just one point of criticism: neither on the cover, nor in the booklet is there any mention of the titles' composers.  Admittedly, many will be familiar to the jazz enthusiast - however, not every last one.  And it is also a matter of respect towards the creators of these gems, which entertain us over the course of two records.  And then all over once again!

A must for every jazz enthusiast.  An insider tip, which must not remain such!

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