International Music News at MUSIC-NEWS.COM, 'This Is The Life I Choose' album review, March 2017A truly superb band and this album shows off all their strengths – I really can’t spot any weaknesses to be honest.
Something about this band that really hits a spot. Guitar, Hammond and drums plus soulful and jazzy vocals and a bunch of well written and punchy songs. What is not to like?
This is their 4th studio album and you can hear the chemistry of the band in every passage, playing to each others strengths and creating a powerful and emotive sound that is rooted in classic R&B but has elements of New York jazz and the steamy vocal style of Peggy Lee.
Ms Schwarz is a vocalist with real depth and style but she is also one of the few vocalists around at the moment who could put over a line like “How do I know who to trust, Offering me a cup of tea and a crust” without trying to play up the darkness of the song (‘Broken’, the first single off the album) and overblowing the song. When it comes to sexy and sassy she hits it out of the park too – ‘I Want To Get Something Started With You’ swings like a panther’s tail and her voice just makes the song something other than cheesy and trite.
It helps that the rest of the band is top notch too. Rob Koral’s guitar playing is everything you could wish for playing a great jazz riff at one moment and then on to slide and Blues as well as melodic rock. He comes out of Blues origins but has been a stalwart on the jazz scene too for a long while. Pete Whittaker is ex-Wonder Stuff and Catherine’s Wheel and he has a classic approach to his Hammond playing with wonderful swells and rills – set alongside Koral’s guitar you get a sound that goes back to the likes of Quatermass and Atomic Rooster but as modern as you could wish for. Drummer Paul Robinson has a history few would grasp including a long stint with Nina Simone and sessions with Van Morrison and Eric Bibb.
A truly superb band and this album shows off all their strengths – I really can’t spot any weaknesses to be honest.
- Words by: Andy Snipper