Charmaine Ford - Blues For Guppy
29 Nov 2003 // A review by Kraven
Review published in The Dominion Post.
Review by Colin Morris.
I really must get out more. Wellington has some unbelievable musical talent, especially Jazz talent. Recently we've had outstanding releases from Kevin Clark, Geoff Culverwell, Johnny Lipiett, Hot Club Sandwich, A Box of Birds and Twinset.
Now add to that impressive list Jazz pianist Charmaine Ford. This self-financed album just brims with a positive and assured touch that belies her age (23).
The compositions are self-penned and deserve wide recognition, many displaying the art of mprovisation without losing sight of the melody line.
Of particular note is the recording itself. Percussionist Mark Nelson and bassist Tom Callwood are models of understatement. They make their presence felt when it is called for, otherwise remaining loyal to the project, which is to allow Ford to shine; In the end this is Charmaine's baby. She is confident, adroit and humourous at the same time, witness "Chicken Charmaine", yet she can pound the keys with percussive intent while showing exquisite tenderness on "Lullaby For Dillon" and "In Your Eyes".
By performing her own compositions Ford removes herself to some extent from comparisons with others of her ilk. Still comparisons have to be made, if only to aid first time listener. Bubbling just under the surface are traces of Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk (especially the title track "Blues For Guppy") and Danilo Perez, the latter apparent in her Latin-tinged numbers.
But make no mistake Ford is her own woman. One can only see bright lights ahead and they are all green.
About Charmaine Ford
With a career still in its infancy, New Zealand-born piano virtuoso and composer Charmaine Ford has accomplished more than most musicians do in a lifetime.
Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Charmaine Ford
Ford has blazed a trail of awards confirming she is indeed one of New Zealand’s most distinguished jazz musicians. She has released two self-penned albums, which showcase her extraordinary talent. Her sophomore release, ‘Busy Silence’, was awarded ‘Best Jazz Album 2007’ at the New Zealand Music Awards. Ford is the first female instrumentalist to receive this accolade. Her debut album ‘Blues for Guppy’ was also a finalist in the same category in 2004.
Charmaine performs with utter conviction and already has a distinctive sound, comprised of lyrical melodies synergized with idiosyncratic rhythmic diversity.