Out now is Stories & Rhymes, the debut EP from London based (via the lake district and Wales) singer songwriter Jasmine Power. Already her Jazz stylings have attracted the interest of the likes of Gilles Peterson, and on the evidence of the record, the increasing hype is totally justified. Comparisons inevitably can be drawn to Amy Winehouse, but this is Frank era Amy, with the Jazz more pronounced and the delivery more fluid, almost improvised.
Title track Stories & Rhymes sets things off with this double bass laying down the groove, with Power’s vocal soon joined by the smokiest of trumpets. As it unfurls so the drum set starts to propel things onward, and the piano adds some thickness to the texture. It’s firmly in the jazz field, with just that nod towards soul, but the strands intertwine to make something that wraps itself around you, each element taking a turn to impress, and more importantly add to the track.
Follow on Modern Century’s Stage follows a similar theme, Power’s heartfelt lyrics while piano led jazz fills the accompaniment, with some splashes of considerable drum set chops splash around underneath. Late hours is this laid back, almost melancholy number, as if caught in a smoky club under the tube stop in late night London. Power’s vocal is more circumspect, duetting at times with the trumpet as these piano lines cascade downwards underneath. EP closer Man or a boy treads dangerous waters close to show tune territory, but pulls it back and ends up as this quiet, simple and fitting closing to Stories & Rhymes. A jazz voice to sit up and take notice of.
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