Related Reviews
Jazzman
"Elle les aborde avec aisance sur une tessiture très large..."
more >>

...rapt hush punctuated only by applause
more >>

... so musically talented that hearing them verges on the sublime
more >>

...The delivery was charming, the vocals outstanding
more >>
LondonJazz
Manly's Nina Simone Songbook was a definite hit
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Singer's Singer - In Tune International
"glorious...utterly breathtaking"
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Newbury Today
...as good a set as we have heard
more >>
HiFi.nl
"Een ware ontdekking."
more >>
Vortex
"impressive throughout...Warmly recommended."
more >>
In Tune International
"Gill has a warmly evocative vocal style..."
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Record Collector
4 Stars
"a smooth performance"
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Atlanta Audio Society
"seamless vocal artistry"
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Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
"what a voice and delivery!"
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6moons.com
...sometimes a recording just transcends tastes and styles
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Sempre Audio (translation)
"And having reached the last page, leaves you wanting more . . . "
more >>
Sempre Audio
"Und am Ende angelangt, will man mehr davon..."
more >>
Home Theater Hi-Fi, Spirit of Change & Bay Area Reporter
5 Stars
"The voice...is adorable. You've got to hear this fabulous artist."
more >>
Jazzwise
Songs "sung with such intelligence and self-possession".
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Yorkshire Post
Manly is superb, her rich voice bringing the best out of the lyrics...
more >>
The Jazz Breakfast
5 Stars
"It's truly remarkable and truly inspiring to hear a "new" singer who is this good."
more >>
Sunday Post
"...a treat for lovers of top-notch jazz..."
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Scotland on Sunday
3 Stars
...a very feminine, feather-light voice, terrific control and - judging by the selection here - great taste in repertoire and musicians
more >>
Sunday Herald
...the spirit of Ella Fitzgerald is hovering close by
more >>
The Herald
4 Stars
Guy Barker is the trumpet foil here, on a set of songs associated with Ella Fitzgerald. You'd have to be good to pull that concept off, and Gill Manly sure is.
more >>
The Times
easily one of the best vocal efforts of the past 12 months
more >>

With a Song in My Heart - Gill Manly - Daily Mail


14 April 2009
Daily Mail
Bel Mooney

Here's a heartening little tale for Easter, because this is a time of renewal. Back in the Eighties/early Nineties I liked hanging out in jazz clubs, moody and groovy in equal measure, drinking and smoking until the early hours. (I'm a reformed character now, you'll be glad to know).

In those heady days I became friendly with a singer called Gill Manly: a larger-than-life wild woman with a voice that could melt your heart or set you rocking. I last saw her around 1995. You know how it is - you move, life gets busy, you leave the smoky nights behind. Once or twice I asked after her and was told she'd 'disappeared', given up singing, beset by multiple problems. . .

Fast forward: a couple of months ago I'm reading a newspaper and spot a rave review of a Gill Manly gig in London. Amazed, I find her website (gillmanly.com), send her an email, buy her new record online (called With A Song In My Heart and it's brilliant), find out when we can go and hear her.

So I find myself revisiting an old haunt - 606 Club in Lots Road, Chelsea - to meet up with Gill after 14 years. She's certainly changed; all the problems (think an abusive relationship, drugs, bankruptcy) have left their mark - but hearing that great voice again (very like Ella Fitzgerald), the years drop away and the lyrics trace patterns on my heart: 'We were young and foolish then/ Make it happen again' and 'Have I changed so much/ From how I used to be?'

And I rejoice that jazz singers improve with age - as should we all. There are many interchangeable popsicles (such as Lily Allen) who flare and fade. But the real human pain and courage you hear in Gill's voice doesn't depend on youth, glamour or celebrity. Far from it. It sings of survival, despite all the odds.

It proudly proclaims that you can conquer your issues and get your life together again. Gill Manly's story holds out hopes of a triumphant comeback for us all. If we keep trying.

 

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