Joni Keen - Fragile
Like Lorna Reid’s album reviewed in these pages recently, this self-issued debut album by Glasgow-based singer Joni Keen is further evidence of the healthy state of jazz singing in Scotland these days. Fionna Duncan’s successful vocal workshops and their knock-on effect has encouraged lots of singers to turn to swing, and if none of them stand out as something really special, the standard is encouragingly high.
Keen has a nice, warm voice and flexible delivery. She is strong on ballads, although Tom Waits’ ‘Jersey Girl’ doesn’t quite come off for me (a little too rhythmically regular, exacerbated by Jim Drummond’s drumming). Her take on Waits’ ‘Shiver Me Timbers’ works well, and she is confident in handling the range of jazz standards that make up most of the album, strongly supported by pianist and arranger Euan Stevenson. (www.jonikeenjazz.com).