Sebastian Scotney review of Brecon Jazz Festival 2011 for Jazz FM
“Another Brecon highlight was Sara Mitra‘s afternoon gig in the Market Hall. This was a personal landmark event for this inspiring young singer. If debut albums are very often destined to sit indefinitely in the same boxes they arrive in, Mitra has bucked that trend. She told me gleefully after the gig that the last copies of her first album ‘April Song’ had completely sold out. This wasn’t a big suprise to me because she’s developing quite a following. Both Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson have heaped praise on this first album, Cullum for her sheer quality and Peterson for her very individual Englishness. But hearing her live, one gets a strong sense that she has already moved forward since making that debut recording. The voice can be small-scale, teasing, delicate. But (maybe recent motherhood makes a difference, how would I know?) when she turns on the gas, she has the power to both soar over and cut through the band’s textures. And the band is a Rolls-Royce of top UK players, capable of establishing the very different character of each of the songs right from the start. James Allsopp is an awesomely-equipped saxophone player who can switch effortlessly from soothing mainstream tenor in the manner of Zoot Sims to free and forceful bass clarinet taking forwards the legacy of Eric Dolphy. Fulvio Sigurta is a poetic trumpeter who always has a story to tell. Riaan Vosloo is one of the most musicianly bassists around, Ross Stanley the in-demand pianist and organist, and Tim Giles is an instinctively creative drummer who always has a surprise up his sleeve.” Sebastian Scotney, Jazz FM
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