“When Gigi sings…”
Spot-on collaborations with the mighty David Baptiste (sax, flute) and Kenny Wellington (trumpet), both from Light of the World and Beggar & co British jazz-funk heritage are just a few of the items on a perfect list of ingredients that make this a special debut EP!
I asked Gigi to tell me a little bit more about the concept, the ideas behind the mini album: “Who That Girl Is” is about watching someone you love hold onto the threads of a broken relationship in the hope there will be a turnaround…but meanwhile missing happiness. I like to try the write the words people find hard to say… like some imagined conversations” – Gigi explains and it does make sense, one has to listen to the lyrics of the title track to be moved by the sadness that pours out onto the invisible music page, a little invisible poem.
Gigi’s music background begins “from before I opened my eyes, my mother was a working ballet teacher and danced until the week I was born! So I began training to dance from 4yrs old also studying jazz dance and tap which instilled great rhythm and a knowledge of the jazz standard songs we would dance too. I learnt acoustic guitar when I was 7yrs old and singing with guitar or while dancing became a natural thing for me. I have always gigged for a living, travelling to many countries, singing in top 40 bands and jazz standards bands. I have also written songs and poems from very early on”.
“Through Winter” is a languid funky ballad where Gigi’s voice plunges into deep tones, giving the track a nocturnal sound – walking through deserted streets wet with rain.
Personally, my favourite track is “Perfect Stranger”, a sensuous bass filled start introduces Gigi’s voice which throws the listener into a turbid world of strange encounters and darker moments.
David Baptiste’s wicked flute playing on this track is just right!
Although the EP is made of just 3 tracks, we need to mention the other fabulous musicians who deserve full praise for making this the perfect little debut (on 33jazz Records) that it is: Mark Harold on bass who also is Gigi’s writing partner, Andy Goodhall on drums and the flawlessly pitched backing vocals of Bexy Wood.
Gigi recounts that “being taken under 33jazz records wing is a wonderful endorsement for my writing. [My] writing, the words come at different times…mostly before I try to sleep, in my ‘alone’ moments. It starts as a kind of poem, then I either start to hear a melody or Mark [Harold] will play a few ideas and I’ll say wait, let me sing these words to that and so it begins…”.
“It’s been a bit of a roll, writing, the addition of Kenny Wellington and David Baptiste on trumpet and sax, their coming onboard has really encouraged me to believe. I feel lucky to have such great talented musician friends around me that are playing and singing on my songs. Rob Blackham, Andy Goodall , Michael Grant, Bexy Wood . I can’t wait to do a live gig all together”. Gigi continues with such excitement and passion.
The good news is that there is enough material written for an album, too so all we can do is wait and hope this comes out soon perhaps in the shape Gigi would prefer: a vinyl! (and who wouldn’t?!)
Erminia Yardley: Writer – Freelance journalist – Jazz mad – Art lover – Photography freak – Agent to Carl Hyde