Tracey, Clark -Quintet - Introducing Emily Masser CD

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Tracey, Clark -Quintet - Introducing Emily Masser CD
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Drummer Clark Tracey introduces us to the exceptional vocalist Emily Masser on this recording of his quintet, alongside rising-star saxophonist Alex Clarke, pianist Graham Harvey and bassist James Owston. "Having started to play drums in his father Stan Tracey's bands at the age of seventeen, Clark Tracey is no stranger to the idea of giving opportunities to younger players. His current quintet not only includes bassist James Owston, a finalist in the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician finals; saxophonist and flautist Alex Clarke, who was named Rising Star in the following year's British Jazz Awards; but also the comparatively senior figure of Graham Harvey on piano, who, after studying music in Denver, Colorado, has worked with a who's who of top musicians on the UK jazz and pop scene. But the newest arrival, and the focus of this album, is the prodigiously talented young singer, Emily Masser.

The first two numbers here give a flavour of the range of her talent, from the impeccable scatting that follows James's nimble bass introduction on Bobby Watson's 'A Bitta Bittadose', to her beautiful rendition of Truman Capote's lyrics for 'A Sleeping Bee'...Emily's scat-singing keeps pace with the intricacies of Alex Clarke's saxophone lines, as Emily herself studies saxophone (along with singing) at London's Guildhall School of Music. Her second tour-de-force of scat here is on the breakneck opening tempo of Jimmy Deuchar's 'Suddenly last Tuesday', a song that was something of a test piece for both Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, back in the day, but which presents no problems for Emily, or indeed for Alex, whose searing solo neatly makes room for a drop back to half-tempo at one point." - Alyn Shipton