Robin Phillips’ ‘Re-Versed’

Album Launch – The ‘lost verses’ of the jazz standards

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Saturday 30 th November 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Over the past five years, jazz singer / pianist Robin Phillips has been unearthing the ‘lost verses’ of the classic jazz standards: the introductory sections of the classic jazz repertoire that have been lost over time. These ‘sectional verses’ often tell the story behind the well-known standard and are musically interesting in their own right. At this album launch event, Robin is joined by BBC Big Band musicians Sammy Mayne (saxes) and Matt Skelton (drums), along with bassist Jihad Darwish (Sting, Van Morrison) for a live performance of the songs on the new album. Expect songs you know with elements you never heard before.

Read more ...

"..a voyage of discovery through an exemplary execution of jazz standards.."


Robin Phillips has been performing on the London music scene for over a decade, often the choice of programmers when they need a top-class performer to match their high-class venue or event. Following on from his ‘Old Street, New Groove’ and ‘Sing. Play.. for Pleasure’ albums, this latest offering called ‘Re-versed’ reflects another period of research and insight from this well-informed and entertaining jazz singer / pianist.

In ‘Sing. Play..for Pleasure’, Robin immersed himself in the art of vocalese, inspired by its originator King Pleasure, earning credits including ‘Well Done, Well Sung!.. You show great taste and discretion in this entire compilation..’ from jazz singing legend Jon Hendricks; ‘..a voyage of discovery through an exemplary execution of jazz standards..’, from Sarah Chaplin for a LondonJazz review; 'One of the capital's leading jazz singer / pianists', from the MU’s Musician magazine; and ‘the hardworkin'est, boppin'est band around...piano-led jazz with an edge.. a powerful quartet with talent to spare,’ from Cambridge Modern Jazz.

In ‘Re-versed’, he takes on discovering many of the lost verses of the classic jazz standards, songs that everyone knows but with elements that have been lost over the course of time. These ‘sectional verses’ often came from when the song was part of a musical show, when these introductory sections were used to connect the spoken and sung parts of the show. However, these ‘verses’ also give great insight into the story of the song which follows and are interesting from a melodic point of view in their own right. Many of these ‘verses’ have been lost over time, it seems to be due to the restricted length of vinyl recordings, or perhaps the memories of musicians.

Some standards, like Stardust, have managed to keep their connection with the original verse, but many others have been reduced to the main refrain, leaving these sections to be long-forgotten. Robin also made the decision to treat these lost verses as a ‘verse’, so in a many of the pieces on the album, the lost verse is returned to at another point in the song.

Robin holds a crowd with ease, bringing them in to his world with interesting points of reference to share his passion for the songs and the genre as a whole. Another project of his is his Chet Baker show where he delivers the familiar and not-so-familiar songs from Chet’s whole catalogue to present a compelling portrait of the singer.

In the ‘Re-versed’ album launch, expect to hear a top-level swinging quartet, presenting a mix of swing and groove-based arrangements of songs that, whilst at first you may not instantly recognise them, will quickly reveal themselves to be songs you have known all your life.

Band Lineup

Robin Phillips (voice / piano)

Jihad Darwish (acoustic bass)

Sammy Mayne (tenor and alto sax)

Matt Skelton (drums)