Christine Tobin & Liam Noble – Tapestry Unravelled

[This review was first published in Jazz Journal in 2010.]

Christine Tobin (v)
Liam Noble (p)

Beautiful
You’ve Got A Friend
It’s Too Late
Home Again
So Far Away
I Feel The Earth Move
Way Over Yonder
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Smackwater jack
(You Make Me Feel Like) – A Natural Woman
Tapestry; Closing Time
(52.48)

Ardingly, West Sussex, 18 September 2009
Trail Belle Records TBR01

Christine Tobin is a jazz singer who draws on non-jazz sources for inspiration. Long known for her interpretations of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, perhaps there should be no surprise that she has gone a little further afield for her latest album, a rendering of Carole King’s 1971 classic, “Tapestry”. A tribute, partly to her late sister and partly to the songs she learned in childhood, Tobin’s performance of these well-known tunes is unashamedly heartfelt and pure; a showcase for her remarkable voice as well as the deceptively simple piano of Liam Noble.

The songs have been reordered and stripped back to just voice and piano, simplifying the arrangements. On first listen, faithful to the originals, a closer comparison reveals subtle reworkings and occasional moments of expansion and improvisation as new patterns are cut from old cloth.

One of the original songs – Where You Lead – has been omitted and Smackwater Jack is a shortened instrumental thus creating space for the final track, Closing Time, a Tobin original which provides a fitting summary of the mood and intent behind this warm and soulful project.

“Tapestry Unravelled” is available from Trail Belle Records and Amazon: