With a Song in My Heart - Gill Manly - Jazzwise

London-based jazz singer Gill Manly releases a well-received debut Detour Ahead way back in 1994 and then, for personal and professional reasons, completely dropped of the radar. And that, so it seemed, was that. Conceived as a personal reflection on the work of Ella Fitzgerald, With a Song in My Heart marks a stunning return to the recording studio. Coaxed out of retirement in 2007, and now signed to Linn Records, Manly's interpretations glow with a sense of rediscovery.

In contrast to the empty mannerisms of some jazz chanteuses, it's a joy to hear classics such as ‘With A Song In My Heart', ‘A Night in Tunisia' and ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most' sung with such intelligence and self-possession. As her take on ‘Lush Life' demonstrates, Manly is a singer who exquisitely balances clarity of line and emotional nuance, all wrapped up in her characteristically lustrous timbre. A terrific duet with her friend and mentor Mark Murphy, ‘I Keep Going Back To Joe's', fittingly brings the collection to a close.

26 February 2009