Christine Tobin – vocalsm Phil Robson – guitar, Huw Warren – accordion/piano, Dave Whitford – double bass, Adriano Adewale – percussion
One of the great interpreters of modern popular song salutes the legendary Canadian singer, songwriter and poet. This night will be the CD launch of Tobin's 10th album, 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' her celebration of Leonard Cohen songs to mark the year of his 80th birthday.
A glowing review of Christine's show at the 606 Club from 6th Jan 2014 here:
Christine Tobin, the mellow-toned and poetic singer/songwriter, has often showcased one facet of her work at a time – as befits a prolific and independent creator of new projects. For her performance at the 606 Club in Chelsea, however, Tobin took a beguiling tour around some of her favourite musical haunts – Leonard Cohen songs and quietly probing originals of related persuasions, Broadway standards, WB Yeats poems, improv – with her regular band and some additional kindred spirits including pianist Liam Noble and cellist Kate Shortt.
Tobin was in a relaxed mood, casually balancing improv adventures against deep, purring expositions of memorable themes and haunting lyrics, and the musicians supported her with unobtrusive inventiveness and the warmth old friendships kindle. Her slow-burn delivery and subtlety at low registers makes her a compelling Leonard Cohen interpreter (her forthcoming album, A Thousand Kisses Deep, is a homage), and the opening Famous Blue Raincoat drifted over a dark landscape established by Phil Robson's lustrous guitar chords, percussionist Adriano Adewale's graceful brushwork and Dave Whitford's attentive bass. Dance Me to the End of Love was spun over a rising guitar-and-bass hook and taken far from its roots by Tobin's unhurried wordless improvising as well as a solo of startling twists from Robson.
Noble joined for a jubilantly swinging account of You Go to My Head (with Tobin's variations recalling the audacity of the late, great jazz diva Betty Carter and Noble in urgent post-bop mode). In the singer's own Brandy and Scars, her atmospheric lyrics were given a hypnotically distracted delivery to a blazing double-time guitar break and a closing Tobin quote from Eleanor Rigby. Shortt deepened the band's already rich sonorities on Yeats's The Wild Swans at Coole, from Tobin's Yeats-devoted Sailing to Byzantium album. A choppy, bluesy groover closed a set that confirmed how far this gifted, imaginative and honest artist has come in a career she has successfully steered by her own star.
As an exceptional singer-songwriter herself, Christine Tobin specialises in idiosyncratic, highly musical poetic vignettes with a strong sense of story, so it's no surprise she weaves such magic with the profound, sensual and mysterious songs of Leonard Cohen. In 2013 she won a 'Herald Angel Award' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for this show, adding to a long list of accolades which includes, a 2012 British Composer Award, two nominations at the 2013 Parliamentary Jazz Awards 'Best Musician' and 'Best Album', and also 'Best Vocalist' at the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards.
The Guardian writes 'Christine Tobin is inspiring on her own material. But she is in a class of her own singing Leonard Cohen.' They also say she possesses a '24 carat voice' and call her 'a jewel of the London jazz scene, streets ahead of the pack… She should be on a global stage, rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen.' Her programme will include new takes on Cohen classics such as 'Famous Blue Raincoat', 'Tower of song' & 'Suzanne'. Christine has performed and recorded with a list of diverse creative artists, including musicians Julian Joseph, Nigel Kennedy, Django Bates, Billy Childs, Carleen Anderson, Cleveland Watkiss, Liam Noble & Billy Hart, actor Gabriel Byrne, film director Mike Figgis and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon. She appears regularly on the international scene and her debut performance at the U.S. Rochester International Jazz Festival last year drew record audiences.
Other hit performances include, Shanghai Jazz Festival, Cork Jazz Festival and Berlin Jazz Festival. Christine has also presented programmes for BBC Radio 3 and RTE Lyric FM. Her stellar band features some of the U.K.'s most acclaimed musicians: Huw Warren accordion, Phil Robson guitar, Dave Whitford double bass and from Brazil percussionist Adriano Adewale.
"Tobin's new version of Leonard Cohen's Everybody Knows is stunning. The trio delivers more than the sum of its parts and there is a rapport between the players that goes beyond everyday musicianship, working on subliminal and emotional levels." The Guardian
"Sexy, gutsy, bluesy and beautiful."
Lionel Shriver, Orange prize-winning author of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin