The live album opens with verve with a distinctive and instantly recognisable sound and then Zoe’s vocals hit the airwaves and you can only be listening to the Blues Commotion’s jazz, funk and soul inspired blues that has hints of rocky fire as on the opening number Your Sun Shines Rain. The band creates a sound that zings and every instrument has a role to play creating a carpet of tonal textures for the vocal clarity that is Zoe with a voice that caresses the music making it bend to her emotional will. This is their fourth album, and to ring the changes a live album recorded by Richard Dunning at Tuesday Night Music Club; was this the result of months of careful planning… no it was a snatch opportunity so this lively performance can be enjoyed by the many rather than the lucky few who were at the London club on a November night.
As with any live performance we hear songs that have been recorded in the studio and tonight is no different with Angel Of Mercy, Smile, Let Me Sing The Blues from the acclaimed Exposed album and Liberated Woman, Your Sun Shines Rain, I Believe In You from The Blues Don’t Scare Me.
There is no argument and this album nails it Zoe and the band adore playing live and there is a fluidity in the delivery that can be missed when being recorded in the studio. The rendition of Billie Holiday’s Fine and Mellow; the arrangement by Zoe and Rob Koral slows the pace and adds the jazz to the proceedings that suits Zoe’s approach to singing. Not one of the tracks is just about the vocals the interludes from Peter Whittaker on Hammond are wonderful lightening up the verve as seen on many of the tracks then another layer of six-string magic from the stylish guitar tones from Rob with Paul Robinson on Drums laying down a deep groove that allows everyone to explore the musical map they are creating and have fun. The addition of Si Generao on harmonica ad tenor saxophone from Ian Ellis and trumpeter Andy Urquhart means that around every musical bar there is a gem of sweet blues.
This is Zoe and The Blue Commotion sharing the music they love and connect to and the crowds enjoyed every moment we know because the warm applause can be heard reflecting the warm deep emotional tone that Zoe brings to every song she sings coming towards the end of a balanced live album is Beatitudes that is full of gospel soul driven emotion that will always make you sit up and listen.
Live music has that special edge and you can have Zoe and her band playing live where ever you go with this album that captures the heart and soul of the blue Commotion.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion ~ I’ll Be Yours Tonight – 33 Records
1. Your Sun Shines Rain (Koral/Schwarz)
2. Fine and Mellow (Holiday arr. Koral & Schwarz)
3. Let Me Sing The Blues (Koral/Schwarz)
4. Smile (Koral/Schwarz)
5. Angel of Mercy (Koral/Schwarz)
6. Liberated Woman (Koral/Schwarz)
7. We’ll Find A Way (Koral/Schwarz)
8. Say It Isn’t So (Koral/Schwarz)
9. I Believe In You (Koral/Schwarz)
10. I’ll Do Anything (Koral/Schwarz)
11. Beatitudes (Koral/Schwarz)
12. Take Me Back (Koral/Schwarz)