Archive for the ‘Christine Tobin’ Category

Christine Tobin “Tapestry Unravelled” Jazz UK

August 6, 2010

Writing in the current issue of Jazz UK, Rob Adams , a Scottish music journalist who has for some time held Christine Tobin in high regard, has this to say about Tapestry Unravelled:

Jazz singing suffers from too many people trying to be someone else -usually an Ella, Billie or Frank – when the trick is to be yourself, and nobody makes this point better than the marvellous Christine Tobin on ‘Tapestry Unravelled’ (Trail Belle). Singing to Liam Noble’s strong but understated piano, Tobin revisits Carole King’s classic singer-songwriter album Tapestry in almost its entirety and,without offering any grand alterations, makes each song her own through her distinctive vocal tone, her honesty and an obvious depth of feeling for songs such as You’ve Got a Friend and – look out Aretha – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

It may come from the pen of a long-time admirer of Tobin’s, but I would maintain that is a more or less accurate summary of what she actually achieves on this album.

Jazz UK issue 94 August/September 2010 Download as pdf


Christine Tobin’s “Tapestry Unravelled”

July 8, 2010

I have have only had a copy of Christine Tobin’s latest album in my posession for about thirty hours, which means that I’ve not had enough time to consider its merits – and they are mostly merits -properly. However, even at this stage I find myself in igreement with this review that appeared in The Irish Times on the June the 25th this year.

Click anywhere above to enlarge



Tapestry Unravelled

Trail Belle Records


Keeping it simple as well as good ia one of the most difficult things in any art. And it’s a sign of maturity when someone pulls it off as superbly as Christine Tobin does, with the significant help of pianist Liam Noble., in this visit to one of the most celebrated pop albums of all time: Carole Kings Tapestry (1972).

It’s also a surprise. As a singer  and songwriter, Tobin has forged a strikingly original voice out of diverse jazz, folk and classical influences, and her albums have mostly featured her own richly suggestive writing. On the rare times she has done material by, say, Dylan or Leonard Cohen, it is reworked and transformed. But she takes the generally uncomples vision of King’s Tapestry – songs of love, loneliness, relationships, occasionally allegorical – and treats it with compelling, visceral directness.

The original album is bound up with memories of Tobin’s sister, who died last year and to whom the new one is dedicated, so in a sense it’s a conduit for Tobin’s feelings about those memories and a way of keeping them alive.

Personal resonances aside, there is the sheer quality of Tobin’s performance and the collaboration with Noble that makes this album so special. There’s a kind of alchemy at work, particularly in how she uses her warmly distinctive voice, malleable, poised phrasing and impeccable intonation to get inside the material and make it personal. Eve the most well-known songs (You’ve Got a Friend, Home Again, So Far Away, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow) have their intimate, one-to-one feelings, tender, sensual and vulnerable, renewed and intensified.

More assertive songs are similarly absorbed and refreshed. It’s Too Late and the limited I Feel the Earth Move are delivered with authority and plenty of oomph, while the yearning, gospel-flavoured Way Over Yonder and the allegorical Tapestry unite a sense of otherness with the feel of life lived.

Noble’s role as accompanist and soloist combines the individual and the apt so well that it’s impossible to conceive of the album without him; the folk ballad Smackwater Jack, with no vocal, is his solo feature.

Incidentally, the original album’s Where You Lead is left out: it’s servile lyrics don’t chime with how women, rightly, see themselves now.



I know that I have said in the past the Christine’s work has been largely passed ove in the country of her birth. I’m happy to say that it now appears that she is beginning to get the recognition she deserves there.

Tobin’s tour of Ireland

September 2, 2009

After a lengthy and partly intentional hiatus, I return to maintaining this online diary with a reminder  – thanks to the online Jazzwise Magazine – that one of my favourite jazz singers, the award-wining Christine Tobin, is to begin her Irish tour in October. 

Christine Tobin is to embark on a major autumn Irish tour beginning next month. From Dublin originally but long since resident in England in London and more recently Kent, Christine Tobin says: “I’m delighted to have a tour in Ireland – back in the home country. It’s very important to me because although I have done the odd gig in Dublin this is my first tour there since the late-1990s and significantly it’s my first tour there since I was awarded best vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards. I say significantly because I’m the only Irish person ever to receive a BBC Jazz Award and I’m very proud to return with such an accolade.”

 Tour dates

 Cleeres, Kilkenny (1 October);

Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford (2 October),

Siamsa Tire Theatre Tralee (3 October),

Carnegie Arts Centre, Kenmare (4 October),

Triiskel Jazz at Jurys Hotel, Cork (6 October),

De Burgos, Galway (7 October)

Mermaid Arts Centre., Bray (8 October),

 Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge (9 October),

Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny (10 October)

JJ Smyths, Dublin (11 October).

Christine Tobin’s Irish tour.

June 11, 2009

I’m pleased to note that some of my Irish friends will at long last have an the opportunity of seeing Christine Tobin perform at venues near them later in the year.

I don’t believe that Dublin-born Christine has ever toured Ireland before.  So this is a first for her.  It’ll be interesting to see how this award-winning singer is received in the country of her birth.

Jun 20 2009 8:00P
Jul 25 2009 3:00P
Jul 31 2009 8:00P
Aug 22 2009 8:00P
Sep 12 2009 8:00P
Sep 27 2009 8:00P
Oct 1 2009 8:00P
Oct 2 2009 8:00P
Oct 4 2009 8:00P
Oct 7 2009 8:00P
Oct 8 2009 8:00P
Oct 9 2009 8:00P
Oct 10 2009 8:00P
Oct 11 2009 8:00P

Phil Robson wins at 2009 Parliamentary Awards.

May 21, 2009

Last year I was pleased to post my congratulations to Chrisine Tobin on her win at the BBC Jazz Awards.

Today, it is with great pleasure to say congratulations to her life-partner, frequent musical partner, and ace guitarist, Phil Robson for last evening’s win in the Best Musician category of the 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

 The great and good – our MPs, that is – may not be getting much right recently, but in choosing Phil they can congratulate themselves on getting something right this time.

Phil Robson giving musical support to Christine Tobin at ''The Crypt' London, 07th September 2007.

Phil Robson giving musical support to Christine Tobin at ''The Crypt' London, 07th September 2007.

Photo by Helena Dornellas















The winners of the 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, announced last night at the House of Commons, are:

Jazz Musician: Phil Robson

Jazz CD: The Sam Crockatt Quartet – Howeird

Jazz Ensemble: Ryan Quigley Sextet

Jazz Venue: Fleece Jazz (South East England)

Jazz Journalist:Kevin LeGendre

Jazz Broadcaster: Sarah Ward

Jazz Publication:

Jazz Education: Richard Michael

Services to Jazz:Val Wilmer

Christine Tobin & Betty Carter.

February 20, 2009

A little while ago I made a diary entry noting that the jazz singer Christine Tobin was BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Library talking about Betty Carter’s recording career.


Tonight she’s Ian McMillan’s guest on Radio 3’s The Verb, the weekly cabaret of language. On the programme, which is being broadcast from the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House, Christine will paying tribute to Carter who died of pancreatic cancer a little over a decade ago.


Christine Tobin

Christine Tobin

Correction 21/02/2009.

This was a repeat of a programme first broadcast on the 26/09/2008, the tenth anniversary to the day of Betty Carter’s death. If you, like I, missed it first time around, it is still available on the “listen again” player for another six days.

Christine Tobin on Betty Carter 2

September 28, 2008

A while ago I posted an entry noting that that Christine Tobin would be appearing on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Library talking about Betty Carter’s recording career and helping presenter Alyn Shipton to pick the best examples of Carter’s recorded work.


This programme is now available as a 34 minute podcast from the BBC Radio 3 Jazz Library site.


Download podcast


 Here are fuller versions of a few of the Carter tracks chosen by Christine. If there is a standout track for me, it has to be Carter’s reading of the Fran Landesman/Tommy Woolf song Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most.

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
Artist Betty Carter
Composer T. Wolf / F. Landesman
Album Inside Betty Carter
Label Blue Note
Number 89702 Track 7

Moonlignt in Vermont

Moonlight in Vermont
Artist Bett Carter / Ray Bryant
Composer J. Blackburn / K. Suessdorf
Album Let’s Fall In Love: Betty Carter and Her Jazz Greats
Label Gambit
Number 69219 Track 5

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby It’s Cold Outside
Artist Betty Carter / Ray Charles
Composer Frank Loesser
Album Dedicated To You
Label Rhino
Number 88401 Track 7

Christine Tobin on Betty Carter

September 16, 2008

 On Saturday the 27th of September (4pm – 5pm), BBC Jazz Award winner, Christine Tobin will be joining Alyn Shipton on  BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Library to offer her thoughts on how best to choose the essential materials  for building a library of  Betty Carter‘s work as a recording artist.

Betty Carter sings Once upon a Summer Time (J.Mercer, E.Marnay, M.Legrand & E.Barclay).

Christine Tobin and the Irish press 2

September 14, 2008

Some sections of the Irish media have begun, with a little prompting from yours truly, to take note of the fact that the winner of the 2008 BBC Jazz Award for Best Vocalist went to one of our own, the Dublin born singer Christine Tobin.

It has to be said that it seems to me absolutely disgraceful that the same papers which give coverage by the acre to an already popular singer like Daniel O’Donnell – who has by now little need of help from the press – while at  the same time ignoring somebody who is considered by many uniquely gifted, and who deserves to be better known both in this country and in Ireland.

A week or so ago I posted a profile which appeared in rhat week’s edition of The Irish Post. Now, ot on its heels, comes this item which is published in the current edition of The Irish World .

These articles are, I believe, steps in the right direction.

Christine Tobin reviewed by “Hot Press”

September 11, 2008

Christine Tobin’s latest album, Secret Life Of A Girl, is reviewed in the current issue of  Hot Press,a fortnightly music and political magazine, founded in 1977, based in Dublin, that styles itself, with some justification, as Ireland’s most distinctive and indispensable publication”.

Christine Tobin
Secret Life Of A Girl
(Babel Label)

09 Sep 2008T




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