Charlie Pyne Quartet: Nature Is a Mother review – soaring, effervescent jazz

(33 Jazz)
A punchy set of originals from bassist/vocalist Charlie Pyne and her crew, celebrating the ups and downs of motherhood

British jazz is currently blessed with vocal talents. Bandleader Charlie Pyne is just one sample from a spectrum that embraces big band fan James Hudson, who includes a cool version of Disney’s Feed the Birds on his second album of standards, Moonray, and songwriting diva Sarah L King, whose new album Fire Horse comes steeped in soul influences such as Nina Simone.

Charlie Pyne is different again, a bass player with her own quartet and, on this second album, a set of originals drawn from her experience as a woman and mother. Pyne sings with a high, bright voice that can soar when she chooses, though she is also happy to punch out her lyrics in tandem with her bass parts. The quartet meld easily; drummer Katie Patterson urgent without being noisy, and pianist Liam Dunachie contributing melodic solos alongside Luke Pinkstone’s tenor (and occasional soprano) sax. On standout Am I Doing It Right? Pyne frets about motherhood, celebrating its triumphs on the title cut. Blackberries salutes autumn joyously while A Fistful of Keys provides a moodier moment, the keys in question being poised ready for a would-be assailant. An enjoyable, effervescent set.

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