The return of the Grammy-nominated, Academie Du Jazz Prize-winning trio that gave us “Distances”, with another revelatory programme. As both singer and lyricist Norma has few contemporary peers: her words seem to float up from the music’s expressive core. And now she has a trio united by a profound feeling for song. The stark instrumentation – voice, piano, bass clarinet/soprano sax – seems never to limit their repertoire, but to encourage the players to explore widely, and to make musical use of the available space.
Jazz ballads find their place alongside adaptations of folk songs, and ‘chamber’ pieces influenced by classical or contemporary composition. Textures, colours and rhythms may be drawn from scattered, surprising sources, and even the hypnotic lulling of an Armenian cradle song has a role to play as Norma cross-references Christina Rosetti nursery rhymes with Tigran Mansurian’s adaptation of Komitas!