Winstone, Gesing, Venier, Norbakken - Descansado

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Last Show: Monday 30 th July 2018

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

In 'Descansado' Norma Winstone, Klaus Gesing and Glauco Venier team up with Norwegian percussionist Helge Andreas Norbakken to explore music written by Nino Rota, Michel Legrand, William Walton, Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone, Armando Trovajoli, Rodrigo Leão, Luis Bacalov and Dario Marianelli for the movies of Scorsese, Godard, Wenders, Jewison, Zeffirelli, Olivier and more. 'Descansado', named after Trovajoli’s regretful-yet-buoyant tune for Vittorio De Sica’s 1963 film 'Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow', works on several levels, through its graceful songs and invites the listener to reflect on the creative relationships between directors and composers, and the many ways in which music so often subtly contributes to the emotional tone of a film.

“Winstone sings to her listeners creating a close-up and personal relationship …something meaningful and profound”

Stuart Nicholson Jazzwise 4stars

London born Norma Winstone first attracted attention in the late sixties at Ronnie Scott’s club alongside Roland Kirk. Known for her own wordless approach to improvisation, her extraordinary versatility means she is equally at home with standards performing with small groups, orchestras and big bands.

She joined Mike Westbrook, Michael Garrick and sang with John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, Mike Gibbs and John Taylor, and worked extensively with many of the major European names and visiting Americans. In 1971 she was voted top singer in the Melody Maker Jazz Poll and recorded her own album ‘Edge of Time‘ for Decca, now re-released on the Disconforme label. In the late 70’s along with pianist John Taylor and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler she created the group Azimuth described by Richard Williams of The Times as “one of the most imaginatively conceived and delicately balanced of all contemporary chamber jazz groups“.

She is also a very fine lyricist, writing words to compositions by Ralph Towner, and Brazilian composers Egberto Gismonti and Ivan Lins (who has recorded her English lyrics to his song ‘Vieste‘). She has a special affinity with the music of Steve Swallow, and has written lyrics to many of his compositions, most notably ‘Ladies in Mercedes‘, which has become a standard. Her voice became an important part of the sound of Kenny Wheeler’s big band, notably on the ECM double CD ‘Music for Large and Small Ensembles‘ which also features John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine and John Taylor.

She has also recorded with legendary American pianist Jimmy Rowles, Steve Gray, Chris Laurence, Tony Coe, John Taylor, Fred Hersch, Gary Burton, Stan Tracey, Bobby Wellins, Colin Towns and the NDR Big Band. In July 2001, she was voted Best Vocalist in the BBC Jazz Awards hosted by Humphrey Lyttleton at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and was nominated again in the 2007 and 2008 BBC Jazz Awards.

She was one of the stars of the acclaimed Gilles Peterson ‘Jazz Britannia‘ TV programme shown on BBC 2 from The Barbican which featured influential music of British jazz musicians from the sixties and seventies, alongside contemporary jazz artists.

She was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2007. In 2009 she was awarded the Skoda Jazzahead Award in Bremen for her contribution to European Jazz. Her current trio features Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German saxophonist/ bass clarinettist Klaus Gesing.

Band Lineup

Norma Winstone (voice)

Klaus Gesing (bass clarinet, soprano saxophone)

Glauco Venier (piano)

Helge Andreas Norbakken (percussion)