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Matthew Ruddick

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Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 17 December 2016 16:42

Gg - Invisible Ink

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Limited edition vinyl release, now available for pre-order.

Invisible Ink is the new vinyl release from Gg on 33Jazz Records.  It is a release inspired by Gg's observations on life, feelings and her innate musicality, and is available for pre-order at her website here.

The opening track Hopskotch Heart opens quietly before developing a funky, swing beat, over which the vocals tell a tale of  the chemistry of love. Gg's voice is sultry, rich and the backing spot-on with some gorgeous sax workings under the driving rhythms. Daisy Chains is a snappy, classy, happy little number and is followed by Snow in March, which is a tale of loneliness and speaks from the heart of Gg the songstress.

Plan B is introduced by a glorious sax solo before the rhythm section introduce the funky beat and the vocals again tell a story about love, betrayal, realisation that all is not perfect and the need for alternative plans. The interlocking of the vocal lines, the backing music and the sax solo is worked well. Who That Girl Is is lifted from Gg's original EP released last year and it is still a great track, with the solo trumpet of Kenny Wellington, (Light of the World) and emotive vocals. A chance to hear again this very listenable number with the keyboards are lifted more in the production and the vocals spot on.    

Through Winter opens side 2 of the vinyl and Gg's voice introduces the track with just guitars under voice to set the theme. It develops into a deceptively gentle sounding track but the lyrics are dark, deep and tell the story of lost love, lost opportunity and memories.

Chipped Cup is sad, meaningful and enhanced by the use of bare, unenhanced voice over guitar. Short, sweet and emotive. Broken Toys is a well worked and expressive number with some great trumpet working in the background. This is followed by Just Remembering which is a beautiful track, heavier, darker musically and infused with a reggae-based rhythm over a polyrhythmic undercurrent, which makes it so much more than just another song. Lovely. Gg excels vocally on this number introducing a softer side contrasting with some pretty angry lines, sung with feeling.

Conversation is an easy on the ears number with some great lyrics, telling of Gg's discussion of love with herself and  is enhanced by a superlative trumpet line and some solid backing from the band. Perfect Stranger finishes the album and is driven throughout by a constant, funky rhythm over driving bass which powers the track. The bass line and the rest of the band over the top create a dark canvas into which the whispered "whisper a prayer" sets the theme for this tale of longing, desire and dangerous affairs of the heart. David Baptiste (Light of The World, Beggar and Co.) guests on the track and his sax adds quality, depth and  power to the number. The track plays out and we are left with the tick tick tick of the needle on the vinyl. 

What makes this record is the structure of the tracks and the strength of the musicians. Kenny Wellington (Light of The World) and David Baptiste ( Light of The World, Beggar ad Co.) add substantial weight to the instrumental solos and the backing work from the musicians is strong . Vocals from Gg are sumptuous at times, a little tentative at others but this actually adds to the emotive feeling on some of the tracks. The lyrics are narrative tales and this is where Gg shines, the art of story telling in songs is alive and well and Gg interprets her lyrics and emotive singing. 

Personnel: 

Gg: Vocals

Mark Harold, bass

Andy Goodaal, drums, 

Rob Blackham, guitar, keyboards

Michael Grant, saxes, flutes, keyboards and backing vocals

Becky Wood, backing vocals 

David Baptiste, saxophone, flute

 

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