Sara Mitra interview with The Irish World

Click here to read Sara Mitra interview by David Hennessy, The Irish World, 11th April 2015.

“Born to an Irish mother and Bengali Hindu father, Sara Mitra has a diverse heritage and range of influences. Combining folk, jazz and country, Sara saw her 2010 debut album April Song critically acclaimed and gain the support of major radio outlets, including BBC Radio 2 where Jamie Cullum is a massive fan. The music has also been successful internationally with responses in Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and USA to name a few. The album included Sara’s version of Black is the Colour and Sara tells us the follow-up which is set to be released next month, Losing You that includes her take on She Moves Through the Fair, has an Irish flavour running through it….” Click here to read more.

Sara Mitra 6tet in-depth live review from The Jazz Mann

The Jazz Mann review of Brecon Jazz Festival 2011

“Singer and songwriter Sara Mitra’s début album “April Song” attracted a compelling degree of critical acclaim not just on this site but also from more influential commentators such as Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson. I caught part of Mitra’s set at the Market Hall which found her in the company of most of the members of the very classy band that graces her album. James Allsopp (reeds), Fulvio Sigurta (trumpet), Ross Stanley (piano, organ ), Riaan Vosloo (double bass) and Mitra’s husband Tim Giles (drums) are among the UK’s foremost jazz musicians and all contributed substantially to a well programmed and highly convincing performance by the singer.

Mitra proved to be a surprisingly compelling and confident performer with a wide vocal and emotional range. I arrived just in time to catch a Sigurta trumpet solo but the first song I heard in its entirety was “Understand”, scheduled to appear on Mitra’s second album, with its sly lyrical allusions to the jazz standard “All Of Me”.

The Rogers and Hart tune “To Keep My Love Alive” was a blackly humorous tale about a female serial killer, a kind of “black widow” character and was delivered with obvious relish by Mitra with Ross Stanley taking the instrumental honours at the piano.

At this point the band left the stage leaving Mitra alone with her RC20XL live looper for a delicately layered solo vocal rendition of the traditional Irish folk song “Black Is The Colour”, a tune which appears on “April Song” and represents Mitra’s acknowledgement of her part Irish heritage.

The band rejoined her for the jazz standard “Who Can I Turn To” with Allsopp on tenor and Stanley on piano impressing as instrumental soloists. Pared down to a quartet with Stanley on organ and with Vosloo as featured soloist Mitra and the group then delivered a beautiful version of Nat Adderley’s “The Old Country”, another tune sourced from the “April Song” album.

Next came the playful, Latin tinged “Going Home Alone” from the yet to be released second album played by the quartet with Stanley excelling at the piano. The horns then returned for “Let Me Love You” with Allsopp on bass clarinet and Stanley soloing at the organ.

An excellent set concluded with the song “Love Affair” with Stanley still on organ and with Allsopp delivering a superb solo on the tenor.

I’m not always a big fan of singers but I was highly impressed by Mitra. If “April Song” hints at a certain fragility her live performances are anything but. Mitra’s sassiness and excellent technical skills suggest that a degree of mainstream success awaits if she wants it. Many of her band members are into more experimental projects but their versatility suggests that they enjoy playing in this context too- and of course the standard of musicianship is superb. The chances are we’ll be hearing a lot more of Sara Mitra.” Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann review

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Jazz FM review of Sara Mitra 6tet@Brecon

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

To read the full article, click here.