San Francisco-based Israeli vocalist Noa Levy heads to the UK this month for a special performance at Toulouse Lautrec for the debut of her new album “London Session” which features a collection of straight-ahead hidden-gem standards.

She stopped by to take part in our Take Five interview ahead of the trip which sees her reunited with acclaimed London guitarist Jamie McCredie, pianist Paul Edis lyrical piano, and bassist Rob Patterson.

Tell us about your new album?

“London Session” is a gem of an album I wasn’t expecting to make.

The name sort of speaks for itself: In October 2022 I came to London for a couple of shows. A dear friend in the scene here connected me with one of the best guitarists I’ve heard, Jamie McCradie.  Jamie assembled a stellar band: Paul Edis on keys, and Rob Paterson on bass. On the gig and backstage, there was instant chemistry. We had so much fun playing together and getting to know each other that a few days later, I decided to go into Jamie’s studio and record a couple of tracks. Lucky for me, Paul & Rob could join, and we ended up with eight numbers!

We chose songs we love, some classics and some hidden gems and Jamie mixed and mastered it beautifully. The whole vibe is relaxed and full of the sheer joy of friends getting together to play, along with the mystery of having just met.

Saturday, July 13, we’ll be reuniting for a very special album release show at Toulouse Lautrec, a super hip venue in South London. We’re excited to see each other and to play the album live for the first time.

What other projects are you currently involved with?

I’m about to record an album featuring the not-often-sung music of the legendary Bill Evans. This project is near and dear to my heart as like millions of others, I’m a huge Bill Evans fan and because it’s a collaboration with rising piano star, Paul Edis. We have some new arrangements and new lyrics that Paul and I wrote and have some great players and special guests lined up. We are hoping to release the album and tour in the spring or summer of 2025. Stay tuned as they say ..

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

Peter Gabriel “i/o” and Gruff Rhys “Sadness Sets Me Free”. I can’t believe that two of my all-time favorite artists released a new album this year. I’m an avid record collector so I recently bought Djavn’s ‘Luz’ and ‘Soledad Bravo’ as well as Duke Ellington’s “On the Air”.

What is your all time favorite album and why?

Sophie’s choice… It has to be Queen II. Forever a Queen fan, I was eleven years old when I found out about Freddie. It was a time in my life where I really needed a friend and a voice and Freddie was that for me. I think Sarah & Clifford, and Ella & Duke had the same impact on my passion & draw towards Jazz.

Who has caught your attention recently that we should be listening out for?

I want to give a shout out here to a fellow San Francisco Bay Area duo, Ian Faquini and Natalie Cressman. He plays guitar, she plays trombone, they both sing solo and in incredible harmony. They write beautiful songs inspired by Guinga, Ivan Lins and other Brazilian artists. Check them up – it’ll brighten your day!

Thanks Noa! 

You can find out more about the show here, or connect via her website here.