With a song in my heart - Gill Manly - Sunday Herald

There's a subterranean nightclub vibe to jazz singer Gill Manly's first album in more than a decade. The lights are low and the spirit of Ella Fitzgerald is hovering close by, particularly on American songbook standards from Duke Ellington and Rogers and Hart. But Manly is her own woman, even when she launches into an Ella-style rendition of Love For Sale and lets loose with her vocal gymnastics. Such is the precision of her diction and the perfection of this recording that every whisper is like a kiss blown in your ear. If this all sounds a bit too easy-listening and not "jazz" enough, then head to A Night In Tunisia, with its buzzing trumpet solo by Guy Barker. The album ends with I Keep Going Back To Joe's, done here as a duet with Mark Murphy; as an encore it deflects attention, for surely Manly deserves to keep every bit of our applause for herself.

01 February 2009