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Matthew Ruddick

Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 09 June 2018 17:56

Fiona Ross - Black, White and a Little Bit of Grey

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The third album from the incredible Fiona Ross is original, soulful and full of passion.

Fiona Ross's third album, Black, White and a Little Bit of Grey follows previous releases Just Me (and Sometimes Someone Else) and A Twist of Blue. The latest addition to this congregation explores the story of a husband, a wife, and a mistress: a web of emotions, of desires, of regrets, of ecstasy.  Her talents are simply extraordinary as Fiona wrote, arranged and produced this fantastic album.

I appreciate the album was released at the latter end of 2017 and have no idea why it hadn't appeared on my 'jazz radar' or music radar. For this I must apologise. 

The genre may be categorised as jazz; however, the styles are juxtaposed between Latin, waltz, swing, contemporary and neo. All of which I am a fan of and there is music for everyone's unique taste. 

The mastering is of high quality with each individual timbre reproduced on the sound system. There is no need to rush out and purchase a Linn Klimax LP12; Bower & Wilkins 802 D3 speaker system or Marantz Premium PM-10 Integrated amplifier. No....an MP3 and headset will suffice.

This album was carved for the people by the people.

Nick Watson the Mastering Engineer is known to the music masses; having previously worked with Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple and Toshio Matsuura Group. 

A first-class line-up supports Fiona: Gibbi Bettini (guitar), Derek Daley (bass), Marley Drummond (drums), Kris Buzow (saxophone) and Simon Todd (congas). The reviews from other journalist have been encouraging, which I support, and I would like to see Fiona on the big stage. Perhaps a few international gigs promoting UK talent. 

Black, White and a Little Bit of Grey's dynamic vocals with thought provoking lyrics are compelling to say the least. This melody sits on top of a waltz's theme and the album title has a great riff; so, if you hear the song once, you will remember it forever.

I am a fan of the Latin genre and Touch Me, You Make Me Feel So is a strong, up tempo, vibrant dance track featuring catchy lyrics. The instrumental accompaniments are finely tuned as Chris Buzow blows that saxophone with the gust of a hurricane. So smooth! 

There are some memorable tunes recorded in a stairwell that include Mistress and I Broke The Rules. An imaginative use of environmental acoustics. A bold move that pays off.

Fiona's voice is unique, soulful and full of passion. A tonal range I have not heard since the days of a young Lisa Stansfield.

This album is currently in my top 10 playlists.


Label: Therapy Records

Genre: Jazz, Conmtempory, Soul

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Rob Mallows

London Jazz Meetup owner and fan of ‘plugged in’ jazz.

Simon Cooney

By day a full time Londoner in tv news. By night jazzaholic

Fernando Rose

I love my jazz and I bless the funk. I play percussion for all and sundry and go by @Mr Cool.

Grae Shennan

Laboratory scientist with a love of evolving music that defies boundaries. 

Hilary Robertson

Jazz-obsessed freelance writer and saxist.

Kim Cypher

Saxophonist, vocalist, composer, band leader and radio show presenter. Follows dreams and loves to celebrate great music and musicians.

Fiona Ross

Fiona is the founder of the award winning organisation Women in Jazz Media. She was the guest editor in chief for the 2020 edition of Jazz Quarterly and writes for many publications across the globe.

Wendy Kirkland

Jazz pianist and singer with wide musical tastes spanning latin through fusion to bebop and swing. Cat fanatic.

Elana Shapiro

From Manchester, currently living in Berlin. Lover of jazz, RnB, and soul inspired music.