I have to confess that I'm not a huge jazz fan, but when a jazz album works for me it really works and Fiona Ross' latest album, "Black, White And A Little Bit Of Grey" really does cut the mustard.
It has that classic film noire feel and narrative. With that smoky cellar feel, the album wraps itself around a classic story of husband, wife and mistress and as the album title implies everything is not as clear cut as you might assume, perspective makes a great teacher.
Ross provides both vocal and piano, but also brings in a quintet of other musicians to give the songs not only a real depth, but also so beautifully arranged. It is however her vocal that leads through an excellent narrative, one that allows everything from seduction to regret, pain to passion, liberation to guilt.
Whilst there is a sultry feel to the album, it doesn't dominate, even the smoother parts can quickly find themselves with a rougher edge, particularly when saxophonist throws in a counterpointing riff of two. For my taste, a couple of the instrumental interludes went on a touch too long, but I'll probably find myself in a minority of one on that point, either way they are incredibly well executed.
"Black, White And A Little Bit Of Grey" is an album that should appeal outside of the core jazz audience, mainly because it's full of such strong songs and ultimately, infidelity never sounded so good.
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