Charlie Wood: New Souvenirs
Reviewed By: Nick Dent-Robinson
Label: Perdido Records
Charlie Wood has won an ever bigger following over the past few years. His compositions are highly original and his influences wide – from American country through blues to jazz. But, as evidenced by this latest album, Charlie’s virtuosity as both vocalist and hugely accomplished keyboardist is never less than stunning. He is a fine producer too. And the range of Charlie’s original material on ‘New Souvenirs’ is impressively broad. From the cool, relaxing, evocative ‘Winter Song’ through the very different ‘Music is My Monkey’ and the contrasting ‘Detache’,this album is a delight from beginning to end. There are masterful sax and piano solos (with powerful bass) in the middle section of ‘Don’t Think’ and the melodic and subtle vocal harmonies in ‘Mercy’ are perfect. Indeed, each track is a joy.
I never underestimate the sheer effort and talent required to produce an album of this quality – and credit is due to all involved including co-producer and backing vocalist (and Charlie’s wife!) Jacqui Dankworth plus Ben Castle on sax, Chris Allard on guitar, bassist Dudley Phillips and Nic France on percussion. They and others have ensured Charlie Wood’s ‘New Souvenirs’ is a truly great album which should guarantee Charlie Wood even wider recognition.