World-renowned jazz singer Norma Winstone launches her second album “DISTANCES” with Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German saxophonist Klaus Gesing in March 2008 on the prestigious ECM label. This revelatory new album from England's finest jazz singer Norma Winstone, her first for ECM in a decade, leading an inspired trio with German reedman Klaus Gesing and Italian pianist Glauco Venier, both in their label debuts. In 2007 Norma Winstone received the MBE in recognition of services to British jazz, but the influence of the London-born singer has been much more than a regional affair. In the 1960s Winstone was a pioneer in vocal improvisation in important collaborations with musicians including Joe Harriott, John Stevens and Mike Westbrook. She came to ECM in the mid 1970s with the group Azimuth (with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler) whose five albums set new standards in improvised chamber music. She also appeared on ECM under leaders Wheeler (Music for Large and Small Ensembles) and Eberhard Weber (Fluid Rustle), and issued her own album 'Somewhere Called Home' in which she put words to tunes by Egberto Gismonti, Ralph Towner and others and sang standards. Beyond ECM she's collaborated with Americans Jimmy Rowles, Fred Hersch, Gary Burton and Steve Swalllow, and is increasingly regarded as a first-rate lyricist as well as a great singer.
'Distances' is a magical collaboration with Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German clarinettist/ saxophonist Klaus Gesing, players who have a long history as duo partners. Guesting with them eight years ago, Norma saw the potential in the combination and they have since developed their own musical language as a group, including an album for Universal, Chamber Music, but 'Distances' takes the work to another level. Gesing and Venier, both strong composers, are also players who serve the song and the text. The classically trained Gesing has developed a unique role for the bass clarinet, alternating between a real bass function and lyrical, soloistic flights. Venier on piano establishes the harmonic frameworks, drawing influence from jazz and classical and folk sources. Songs include Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye", Peter Gabriel's "Here Comes The Flood", "Giant's Gentle Stride" (a Coltrane tribute co-authored by Winstone and Gesing), "Ciant" referencing Satie and Pasolini) and more - including the beautiful title track by with its irresistible melody and powerful, visually-evocative words.
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Added by Yoshis on February 4, 2009