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Sometime Ago by Gill Cook

This is the debut release of a new voice in British jazz. After years of working in rock and R&B bands across the English countryside, Gill Cook has turned her attention to jazz, and based on the result, it may be where her attention has belonged all along.

Working with a pair of British jazz veterans, drummer Trevor Tomkins and bassist Jeff Clyne, and another up and comer, pianist Malcolm Edmonstone, Cook moves through a set of fifteen standards sounding very much like a jazz veteran herself. She has a strong range, though she's most effective just above her slightly smoky middle register. More impressive than her intonation, though, is her phrasing, which elevates her efforts above pop conventions and into the true realm of jazz vocals. That's the quality that, more than anything, leads to the conclusion that whatever her background, she's a jazz natural.

There's no better example than her version of the Gershwin chestnut "'S Wonderful." I have countless versions of the song on my shelves, by some of the greatest names in jazz, and Cook's is currently the one I'd turn to by choice (the terrific work of Edmonstone on the track making it an even better pick than most).

The true mark of a jazz singer isn't the ability to perform a song, but the ability to take ownership of it. Cook lays claim to each track on the disc with a fresh approach. Sometime ago she may have been something else, but today, Gill Cook sounds very much like the future of British jazz.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Gill Cook
  • CD Title: Sometime Ago
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: GCM
  • Rating: Four Stars
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