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Many Faces Of Love
Polly Gibbons
Resonance Records
Release Date: February 03, 2015
Review Date: February 15, 2015

If there were to be a genre entitled, “Silky Smooth Jazz,” (and I think there should), then Polly Gibbons would be at the top of the list of great Silky Smooth Jazz vocalists. 

Ms. Gibbons is a lovely young lady who is already causing big names in the music business (and in other genres) to stand up and take notice. The legendary Van Morrison said of Polly, “She’s got a great voice!” and Joss Stone said, “I love her voice, it’s really soulful. I can’t wait to hear more of Polly…”

Gibbons was nominated in 2006 for a BBC Jazz Award and has now released Many Faces of Love, her debut album and DVD release for the U.S. market. And what a tremendous jazz album it is! 

Polly Gibbons is quickly taking her place among the great, hot and sassy jazz and blues female vocalists. British-born and just 30 when she made this album, Gibbons possesses a raspy, lived-in tone, a walloping sense of swing and a dramatic flair that grabs the heart. Her voice and interpretive delivery of her songs grab deep into the heart of the listener, making them fans for life.  In fact, she’s been building a huge, loyal fan base in London jazz cirlces.

For Many Faces of Love, Gibbons has assembled a crew of some of the most skilled musicians in contemporary jazz. Her band is led by L.A.-based pianist and arranger Tamir Hendelman, who conjures up the slamming grooves, the feistiness and the jubilation that mark Gibbons’ singing. Also accompanying Polly on the new release are violinist Christian Howes, guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Ray Brinker.

Gibbons, who names artists as diverse as Mahalia Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Charlie Parker, Leonard Cohen, Donny Hathaway, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Prince and D’Angelo as key influences—is also a songwriter whose original composition “Midnight Prayer” won first place in the Indie International Songwriting Competition. 

In making this album, Gibbons chose to emphasize her interpretive skills. Whether on the R&B nugget "Please Send Me Someone to Love," Bob Haymes’ “Make It Last”(from a 1958 Betty Carter recording), Dr. John’s "City Lights," Al Jarreau’s “Not Like This,” Rickie Lee Jones’ "Company" or Patti Austin’s "That’s Enough for Me,” Gibbons drills to the core of the lyric and melody, making each song her own.

Polly’s magnificent command of a jazz ballad is exemplified by her steamy take on "After Hours," an early Sarah Vaughan trademark, and she does wonders with "I Have the Feeling I’ve Been Here Before," written by pianist Roger Kellaway with Alan and Marilyn Bergman for Carmen McRae. “Love Comes and Goes," meanwhile, is a gem from veteran British songwriter Carroll Coates.

Polly Gibbons’ Many Faces of Love reveals a young woman who, musically and emotionally, is wise beyond her years . . . and Boomerocity is looking forward to following this amazing young woman’s work for many years to come.