Carol Kidd - Dreamsville - BBC Online
20 October 2008BBC Online
Carol Kidd's first album in eight years also marks the 25th anniversary of her relationship with the Glasgow-based Linn Records. And what a partnership it has been - Kidd a faultless vocalist of impeccable stylistic credentials, and Linn a beacon of artist and audiophile quality for independent British labels.
A tellingly bittersweet and plangent affair, Dreamsville is a long overdue return to the fray after the death of her partner in 2003 and subsequent trauma-induced loss of voice. Although now into her 60s, Kidd's voice remains full of character and colour, an emotionally alert and expressive instrument she puts to perfectly-phrased, beautifully-pitched use with a crafted, lightly-worn elegance that continues to astound as it delights.
Two songs are new and self-penned (with guitarist Nigel Clark): 'There Goes My Heart' is a soft, lilting leave-taking, and 'Do You Believe' a hymning lullaby to love and second chances. A heartfelt cover of Harold Arlen's 'Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe' is offered as a tribute to the late Humphrey Lyttelton and benefits from Paul Harrison's softly measured piano accompaniment.
Indeed the four-piece band assembled here - Mario Caribe on double bass and Alyn Cosker on drums ably partnering Clark and Harrison - prove to be a crack outfit who seize a fabulous opportunity in Cole Porter's adrenalin-fuelled 'It's Alright With Me' to show off their virtuosic wares. Illustrating a more sensitive side, 'Stars Fell on Alabama' glints and sparkles with a hushed loveliness that makes much of Kidd's eloquent ability to hold and extend a note.
Familiar standards 'How Deep is the Ocean?', 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square' and 'Can't We Be Friends?' are set down with consummate and engaging ease while Kidd's signature song, 'When I Dream', newly arranged by Nigel Clark and producer Graeme Duffin, brings things to a glowing, finely delivered conclusion.
Related LinksCarol KiddDreamsville