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Album Review: R2 Rock'n'Reel Magazine Nov/Dec 2014 Issue 48

Exposed (33WM150)- 33 records 2014

A runner-up in the British Blues Awards female vocalist category, Zoe Schwarz leads Blue Commotion's third release, exploring further the fertile no-man's land between blues, rock and jazz.

Exposed exudes honesty.  There are no overblown vocal histrionics (usually a sign of someone trying too hard to be Janis, although that does not stop Zoe from getting inside the songs.  There's an almost polite, English quality about her jazz-delivered delivery that seems carefully chosen on all thirteen tracks, to match the song, ranging from the rock swirl of 'Angel Of Mercy' to the student and pleading minor-key blues of 'Heroes'.  Other standouts are 'Smile' with its jazz phrasing and driving Northern Soul rhythm, and the energetic r'n'b attack of 'Let Me Sing The Blues'.

Both band and singer, though, seen most at home where should and jazz naturally embrace. 'Let's Explain (Blues For Billie)' is pleading, late-night, adult, soulful jazz of top quality, matched by the sensuous 'You Knock Me Out'. 

  • Words by: David Innes