It’s always nice to receive something you want in the post and this morning Wendy Kirkland’s latest album release, The Music’s On Me.., was that something. The eleven tracks on the CD are inspired by life on the road for a working musician and include a mixture of other people’s tunes with added lyrics and original compositions.
The line-up for the album is her standard quartet: Wendy being at the piano and providing the vocals; husband Gary Sprakes is the bands guitarist; Paul Jefferies plays both bass guitar and double bass with Steve Wyndham on drums. There are two guest musicians in Roger Beaujolais and Tommaso Starace on vibes and sax respectively. The standard of playing set by this band is high and it is quite clear that they have spent many hours playing as a unit.
Sprakes and Kirkland compositions open and close the album with some very interesting song choices in-between. Wendy said of the new album in an interview for London Jazz News:
“I wanted this one to be both a consolidation of the first album and something a bit different but not so different that it would alienate listeners,” she says. “It’s certainly not free jazz but it is a little more complex in its arrangements and some of the tunes might not be quite so familiar this time.”Wendy Kikland, London Jazz News, 24 June, 2019
In my opinion she has succeeded in her intention. Don Grolnick’s “Pools” (track 3) is not a tune I am familiar with but with the added lyrics written by Wendy it is one I shall constantly revisit. I also enjoyed what she has done with Michel Petrucciani’s “September Second”, which is a great tune to begin with, the new arrangement and lyrics bring something different to the listening experience.
I very much enjoyed Wendy’s 2018 album release Piano Divas, as did a number of jazz music critics and other highly respected jazz musicians, and I hope this latest release is at least as well received: it deserves to be.
The album launch will take place at The PizzaExpress Jazz Club in Soho Saturday, 27 July, 2019. I will be playing tracks from The Music’s On Me … on Sounds Like Jazz on the 19th July and many other dates thereafter.