Album: Norma Winstone, Distances (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

Whether trilling wordlessly, singing her own poetic lyrics or enacting personal interpretations of jazz standards, the voice of Norma Winstone has created a uniquely sensitive sound-world for five decades.

This trio with pianist Glauco Venier and reedsman Klaus Gesing places Winstone in a rather serious context of chamber-jazz art-songs, including Pier Paolo Pasolini (to a tune by Erik Satie), Peter Gabriel ("Here Comes the Flood") and Caribbean poet Andrew Salkey. On a version of "Every Time We Say Goodbye" inspired by John Coltrane, with Gesing's clarinet burbling like birdsong, it's amazing. Other pieces strain too hard for significance.