Emma Pask

5 stars
Reviewed by Barry O’Sullivan

Despite the interruption to the traditional marketing of music of what a pandemic can do, vocalist Emma Pask has managed to release an album of songs recorded at various times prior. She has delivered a vocal assemblage that is truly representative of her career so far. The arrangements of mostly standards afford her a plush sonic environment, allowing her to utilise her complex scatting, the rigors of improvisation and invention that is very much her forte. Some of the songs come in from the left of field: Heading in the Right Direction, Rumour Has It, and The Feather which is co-penned with bassist Phil Stack. Pask approaches these admirably. Although simply accompanied by a standard jazz trio, the band of Kevin Hunt (piano), Tim Firth (drums) and Phil Stack on double bass is hip and tight, and excellent with some of the Latin music Pask has chosen to showcase. Baden-Powell’s Cai Dentro, and Jobim’s If You Never Come To Me are superbly interpreted true-to-form. The music presented throughout the album is variously a mood, a feeling, a memory, or an emotional state, the same as she delivers in her live performances. The recordings will delight and please her ever-increasing volume of fans. They will convince any newcomers that Emma Pask has a great voice, an infectious swing, and a whole lot of chops.