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Darkest Rose by Shifting Sands Quartet

This U.K., based quartet possesses a differentiator that largely separates the musicians combined methodology from similar jazz/vocal units. They communicate a notable coolness that radiantly integrates into their combined game-plan. A major factor resides within Deborah Winter’s soft, silky, and tantalizing tone that conjures up notions of a warm ocean breeze. Otherwise, these folks aren’t upstarts or green warriors. For example, bassist Mick Hutton has performed with drumming god Bill Bruford, and sax great John Surman, while drummer Paul Robinson’s stints with jazz diva Nina Simone equate to years of dues paying.

They navigate through lightly-tapping swing grooves via a colorific gait, partly due to Hutton’s occasional use of steel pans. And Winter’s airy scat on the piece "Onterlude," is executed with drifting attributes, which contrasts pianist Joanne Lander’s jazzy choruses atop a solid pulse. But many of these works are ballads that are constructed within various cadences. In addition, the quartet purveys a sense of mystery when not engaging in perky thematic forays with driving bass, drums and piano steering the path.

The band renders a sublime Latin beat during "Rainbow Kaleidoscope," highlighted by Winter’s soul-drenched verse and her band-mates’ sleekly enacted overtones. Nonetheless, the unit certainly injects gobs of self-identity throughout. Perhaps with a little publicity and some satellite radio and cable airplay, the good word will get out, here on these North American shores.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Shifting Sands Quartet
  • CD Title: Darkest Rose
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Musicians: Deborah Winter (vocals), Joanne Lander (piano/keyboards), Mick Hutton (bass), Paul Robinson (drums/percussion).
  • Rating: Four Stars
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