What the reviewers say:
“Her fourth release on 33 Jazz sees the well-known vocalist Louise Gibbs teaming up with the great US (now Paris-based) pianist Kirk Lightsey. Recorded over two days and consisting entirely of first takes, the 11-track collection scores highly for its immediacy and freshness.Apart from a trio of songs from the Great American Songbook classy interpretations of ‘Spring is Here’, ‘Never Let Me Go’ and ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most’. This meeting of musical minds focuses on classic jazz instrumental including Kenny Wheeler’s title track (lyrics: Norma Winstone) and McCoy Tyner’s’ You Taught My Heart To Sing’ (lyrics: Dianne Reeves). Sharing an “irresistibly melodic angularity”, as Gibbs puts it, each song presents its own technical challenge. She meets them all with creativity and charisma.
Peter Quinn, Jazzwise Magazine
“Lightsey is a supportive, inventive and always creative accompanist, able to conjure up a near orchestral range of sonorities from his grand piano. For playing of great expressive warmth, listen to the impressionistic wash of sound he creates for ‘A Timeless Place’. For this album, its name adapted from the celebrated Kenny Wheeler composition, singer Louise Gibbs and pianist Kirk Lightsey have taken their material from modern jazz classics (Wayne Shorter’s’ Footprints’, Charles Mingus’s ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’, Thelonious Monk’s ‘Ruby My Dear’ etc.) and the odd standard (three, coincidentally, spring-themed: Michel Legrand’s ‘You Must Believe in Spring’, the Wolf/Landesman evergreen ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most’, Rodgers and Hart’s ‘Spring is Here’), but unlike many such projects, this is a genuine duo album rather than one featuring singer-plus-accompanist. Partly, this is due to Gibbs’s predilection for scatting, which results in the album’s wordless musical content being unusually high, but it is also attributable to Lightsey’s sheer skill and imaginative inventiveness, which has meant that his elegant trademark mix of power and grace is everywhere apparent. Gibbs’s voice is an unaffected, natural one, her confession of emotion straightforwardly candid, her trust in the power of her judiciously selected material apparent in the ease of her delivery. In tone and timbre, her closest vocal equivalent is probably Norma Winstone, whose lyrics to Jimmy Rowles’s ‘Peacocks’ and to the (near) title-track Gibbs delivers with a touching unfussiness that recalls their writer; other highlights include a visit to Dianne Reeves’s lyric for McCoy Tyner’s ‘You Taught My Heart to Sing’ and a subtly affecting version of the aforementioned Legrand classic. Overall, an album infused with Gibbs’s infectious respect for both the songs and amusingly documented in the false start to ‘Spring is Here’ and the playing of Lightsey.”
Chris Parker, Vortex Club Website