BBC RADIO ULSTER, JAZZ SHOW
The art of jazz singing is something I’ve always been attracted to. And what makes “Here’s to Life’ so special is the sincerity with which Claudia Morris engages with these songs of love. But most of all is the purity of her diction, and the sensitive interplay she radiates with her musicians. Live or recorded, Claudia is a joy to hear.
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CD Review: Claudia Morris - Here's to Life
Claudia Morris (vocals); Liam Dunachie (piano/keys); Conor Chaplin (bass); David Ingamells (drums); Al Cherry (guitar); Alex Garnett (sax); George Hogg (trumpet/flugel); Laura Stanford, Penny Ainscow, David Lopez (violins 1,2,3); Daisy Spires (viola); Jessica Cox (cello); Claire Finley (backing vocals).
I first encountered Claudia Morris back in 2011 on her album Twelve O'Clock Tales. I was hooked.
Two years later, Ann Alex was equally impressed with Secret Love - Claudia's Doris Day celebration.
Now, the ball's back in my court with her latest - Here's to Life.
Claudia Morris’ latest album Here’s To Life contains some of my all-time favourite song tracks. Claudia’s classy voice interprets the songs beautifully. There really is something for everyone on this album. A joy!
MUSICAL THEATRE REVIEW
Secret Love was performed at the Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe and continues to tour until 28 November.
Doris Day was a phenomenon, and became a legend almost before her time. Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati in 1924, she was a teen star – by 13 a potential dancer – groomed for the stage and, more importantly, almost 40 films, in an era when movie stardom really hit the heights. Somewhere between Forces’ Sweetheart, Greta Garbo and a big band answer to her heroine Ella Fitzgerald, by 15 she was on the way and soon hit the top.
You have to possess a rare musical talent to attempt a musical based on the life of Doris Day.
Yet Claudia Morris not only succeeds, but does so brilliantly. In the company of pianist and musical director Malcolm Edmonstone and guitarist Matt Backer, Claudia adds a sophisticated jazz take on many of Doris Day's hits with a voice that is pitch-perfect, is beautifully interpretive with flawless diction and has an unerring sense of rhythm.
The album "Secret Love" is now available, and as the lyrics to the title track say "and my Secret Love's no secret anymore".
If there is any justice, it should sell by the barrow-load.
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CD Review: Claudia Morris: Secret Love: A Celebration of the Music of Doris Day
Claudia Morris (vocals); Malcolm Edmondstone (piano/Fender Rhodes/arranger); Andrew Bain (drums/percussion); Julian Jackson (bass); Freddie Gavita (trumpet); Simon Allen (saxophone); Iain Mackenzie (backing vocals).
This is not an easy CD to review because it is simply so good that there is not much to say except 'listen to it for yourself'. Claudia Morris has a sweet pure-toned voice with excellent diction, you'll be able to hear every word. She doesn't imitate Doris Day but has her own distinctive style and she sings in 'English', that is, without any trace of Americanisms, which emphasises the universal quality of the songs. The musicians are more than up to the task; they have short solos as the emphasis is on the singing.
BBC RADIO BERKSHIRE
At no stage is Secret Love dead wood - so move over darlings (and luvvies!) here comes Claudia Morris with her wonderful rich and expressive voice...
Supporting new music on the show at Jazz FM, Claudia Morris' album was passed to me by Christian Bragg -Head of Music. The first class musicianship and arrangements on Twelve O’Clock Tales surround Claudia’s voice but allow the high polish of her voice to shine through. Taking a Chance on Love provides a welcome emotional uplift, whilst her interpretations of Carol King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow exhibit an ability to change her singing style without losing her identity. Currently playlisted on Jazz FM, Claudia is an exciting and rising star to watch.
BBC RADIO CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Passion and clarity delivered with a velvet voice, Claudia lights any stage.
It’s a CD to take home and fall in love with.
Every word possesses a bell-like clarity. These Twelve O'Clock Tales need telling some more. Featuring superior arrangements by Morris and pianist Simon Colam.
REVIEWED ONLINE BY IAIN P W ROBERTSON
Claudia Morris - Twelve O’Clock Tales (Album Review)
Jazz returnee, Claudia Morris, succeeds at filling a void in the classier end of the scene
Jazz is a guilty pleasure to an increasing number of younger people these days, which is far removed from its former smoky nightclub atmosphere, in back rooms packed with eyes-closed, balding, off-beat knee-tappers. Despite looking like a classier raven-haired alternative to Eastenders' ‘Kat Moon’, the shapely Claudia Morris possesses a delightfully sweet voice that rests happily with a strident popular jazz background sound.
SPICE OF LIFE
The Backstage setting in the Spice of Life basement music room of the London pub just yards from Shaftesbury Avenue was a fitting place to hear former West End stage singer Claudia Morris continue her fast developing jazz career.
Singing songs from Twelve O Clock Tales, her latest album for the Warmfuzz label, she was appearing with a five piece band that included baritone sax player Alex Garnett who appeared with Claudia at her outdoor Jazz in the Park gig back in September, although the band was mainly different.
"Former show singer Claudia Morris manages to inject a refreshing energy into some classic standards from the Great American Songbook. Taking its title from a line in Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’, which Morris covers admirably, new song ‘The Queen of Overthinking’ also hits the mark."
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I must confess that, until this CD landed in the passage, I'd never come across Ms Morris. My occasional trips to The Spice not coinciding with hers and she having spent 18 years away from 'The business'.
In her previous incarnation, I gather, Claudia performed in the West End and with touring companies before giving it all up to raise a family.
Fortunately, now that family is up and grown, she is able to concentrate on performing and this is her second album.
"The debut release by former West End performer Claudia Morris is delightful. Each track is laced with honesty and sincerity from a truly talented woman with a very interesting back story. Her return to music was confirmed by a poignant dream where she was faced with the scenario of drawing herself as sad or a singer- she chose the latter reaffirming that she really is destined to perform.
Stand out tracks include her fantastic take on Straight Up and Fly Right and the very moving The Rose. Available to buy now from January."
THE REVIEW CENTRE
"With her west end performance background, Claudia brings added sensation to these already emotive covers and I particularly liked 'I've Never Been In Love Before.' Claudia's passion to perform enables her to truly capture the essence of the stage in this album. She is certainly returning to centre stage with 'Love & Demons', released in February 2010."
Review of Love & Demons
MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LTD
"Claudia Morris is remarkable. Not only has she a truly beautiful, rich and wonderfully expressive voice, which is already thrilling her audiences, but also she has an enormous drive and energy to create to her best.
In times of so-called 'instant fame', I find it deeply refreshing to know that she really stands to succeed because of her ability and dedication. The public know when they hear something good and it comes from those artists who are driven to create the most beautiful and polished performances.
The public are going to want a lot more of Claudia and I see Claudia going all the way."
"Wow Claudia what a beautiful voice you have, full of range and poignancy. I'm thrilled you followed your dream, I find it very inspiring. So hoping to see you on the 27th."
WEST END THEATRE PRODUCER - MUSIC BUSINESS IMPRESARIO
"Claudia has that rare quality, a voice that is a pleasure to listen to, whatever she chooses to sing.
She invests lyrics with a meaning that would thrill the lyricist.
Love and Demons is an eclectic mixture of mainly show songs that Claudia sprinkles with her own undoubted talent."