Album Review: Blues Matters Magazine Dec 2014/Jan 2015 Issue 81Exposed (33WM150)- 33 records 2014
"What is exposed for all to hear in this superb album is the love and devotion of Zoe and her partner Rob, the heart and soul which they put into their music and a band which performs in complete synergy to produce an awesome and unique sound." (soundbite)
This is the band's third album in less than three years and it reflects the rapid progress made by Zoe and all of the musicians during that time. Exposed is quite simply breathtaking, epitomised by the oping track Angel Of Mercy with its clever tempo and mood changes as it reaches one crescendo after another. Like Beatitudes from the Good Times CD, Schwarz and guitarist Rob Koral have come up with a song that will be regarded as a classic in years to come. The lyrics are pure poetry, 'The candle of my life that burned so bright, It flickers in my final twilight, Dancing in the shadows, dancing in the half light, From my lips, my heart and soul." Indeed, all 13 tracks here are original, dynamic, beautifully arranged and expertly produced and mastered to achieve a crystal clear sound quality. The blues underpins the track list, with the up-tempo Let Me Sing The Blues and Broken Heat Blues plus the earthy I Wonder Who My Next Man Will Be. The trademark Billie Holiday influences include Fifteen Days and Let's Explain whilst contemporary jazz is represented in Heroes with lyrics and melody by the talented chanteuse and composer Sue Hawker. Zoe sings with honesty, emotion and intensity; Rob's guitar solos are compelling, tasteful and interspersed with memorable blues and rock riffs; Pete Whittaker's sublime, melodic Hammond organ infuses the entire sound; harpist Si Genaro adds flair, charisma and reflective interplay with the vocals and other instruments whilst Paul Robinson's drums maintain precise rhythm and timing. What is exposed for all to hear in this superb album is the love and devotion of Zoe and her partner Rob, the heart and soul which they put into their music and a band which performs in complete synergy to produce an awesome and unique sound. Fortunately for all jazz and blues enthusiasts this is one Commotion that will not go away but continues to grow and develop.
- Words by: The Bishop