The arrangements are impeccable; nothing is overly fussy and is carefully crafted to provide the perfect setting for both the songs and Poole’s full and warm vocals.
Rebecca Poole (vocals); Mark Edwards (piano); Dominic Stockbridge (guitar); Loz Garrett (acoustic bass); Matt Skelton, Evan Jenkins (drums); James McMillan (brass)
This is a classic album from Rebecca Poole, who, expressing her wish to return to a jazz sound and her roots in the music, has certainly achieved what she set out to do. The arrangements are impeccable; nothing is overly fussy and is carefully crafted to provide the perfect setting for both the songs and Poole’s full and warm vocals.
Rebecca is positively sensuous on the lovely “Blue Eyes,” and the backing from the trio captures the mood to perfection. The backing vocals add a wonderful balance to this attractive tune. The vocalist also works her magic on some fine ballads, and her voice can be delicate and questioning to bring out the lyrics, as on “How Did You Do That,” and the opening slow tempo of “Wouldn’t Change A Thing” immediately grabs the attention.
The accompaniment is flawless and lifted by the exquisite lines from guitarist Dominic Stockbridge. The guitarist’s little asides are so perfectly timed and placed that they elevate the vocal, and Rebecca’s voice soars gloriously.
This careful attention to detail in the arrangements is again brought to the fore with the brass contributions from James McMillan that fill out the sound without dominating the song or singer.
Returning to a jazz sound indeed, and with a set of original songs that captivate, Poole has written some lovely melodies and delivers them in a relaxed, lyrical, and warm manner that is a pleasure to sit back and luxuriate in.
The title track has a subtle Latin feel that is simultaneously relaxing and uplifting, and Stockbridge again contributes some of his tasteful guitar to “Clouded Moon.”
Among the plethora of original songs is one lonely cover in Elvis Costello’s “Almost Blue” that Rebecca delivers with a tenderness and emotional depth that is sublime.
She is again sympathetically accompanied by the rhythm section. Mark Edwards’s touch at the piano is a delight and never less than excellent throughout.
Having performed under the name Purdy for the last few years, Poole has decided that the time is right to put herself out there under her birth name. In doing so, there can be no mistaking the fact that she feels that this is an important and personal statement, and listening to “Dreamer’s Ball,” I, for one, am inclined to agree.