‘Love Kim x’ Album Review – Jazz In Europe

17th July 2019

Just In…another review for ‘Love Kim x’, my latest album. This time by Thomas Fletcher and published on Jazz In Europe. Below is an excerpt and of course you can read Thomas’s full review here on the Jazz In Europe Website.

Following the success of her debut album, Make Believe, Kim Cypher has released her second, Love Kim x. Featuring notable guest performers such as Pee Wee Ellis, it includes a variety of original compositions and innovative covers displaying a vast range of styles.

Cypher began playing the saxophone at the age of nine; after achieving first-class honours in Expressive Arts at St Paul’s & Mary’s College in Cheltenham for her original music composed for saxophone, clarinet, Peruvian pipes and percussion, she became Head of Music at a primary school for seventeen years. As well as this role, Cypher has taught saxophone at Cheltenham Boys College and Cheltenham Rock School.

Her professional career has included some noteworthy highlights; performing at The Glasshouses Manhattan in 2016 and commissioned to play at a private event for Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017.

The album features a range of talent showcasing, fourteen-time winner of the best pianist in the British Jazz Awards – David Newton, New York guitarist B.D. Lenz and Clive Morton on double bass, who was a long-term contributor for Frank Sinatra and Stephane Grappelli. There is also a guest appearance on the track ‘Rising from the Dust’ for The Kentwood Show Choir directed by Sheila Harrod. Finally, last, but by no means least, we have to mention, Pee Wee Ellis. The legendary saxophonist worked alongside household name James Brown from 1965 to 1969, Ellis composed tunes such as ‘Cold Sweat’ and ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud’. Between 1979 and 1986, he worked with Van Morrison, arranging and acting as a musical director.

As I started listening to the opening track, ‘The Nearness of You’, I began to feel a little confused. Cypher described herself as “inspired by the funkier side of jazz” (quoted from her website) so I began to wonder why her album commenced with a slow wistful ballad. However; I was then enlightened by the sound of a dominant pedal halfway through where the tempos shifts and develops into a foot-tapping fast swing. Perhaps a rare occasion to hear Pee Wee Ellis in a traditional swing setting, he still manages to embrace a soft tone throughout. His solo is a beautiful example of free-flowing melodies and jazz vocabulary. As the piece continues, David Newton doesn’t hesitate to continue in the same fashion with an equally impressive solo on piano, although it seemed to be cut off a little too early.

Read the full review here on the Jazz In Europe Website.