~ Jazz Singer ~



Queer Bird Reviews

What people say about Sue’s last album

Chris Hodgkins, Jazz London Radio
JANUARY 2016

Sue McCreeth came to the attention of audiences and critics with her well received album in 2001, 500 Miles The Air Is Blue. Since then she has worked extensively throughout the UK with some of the finest jazz musicians on the scene; been shortlisted twice for the International Song Writing Competition; won three touring awards from Jazz Services; and sold out for the London Jazz Festival.

Sue’s last CD No Evil was recorded in the summer of 2013 and was released to great acclaim in May 2014.  The Observer's Dave Gelly gave a rare 4 star review and Wayne Shorter featured the album's release on his own website news page.

Queer Bird - elegant songs of England born is a selection of 9 compositions by British composers, plus three originals by Sue McCreeth. This album is beautifully conceived, elegantly crafted and under pinned by a top flight team of musicians. The listener will be pleasantly surprised with the results, as all these tunes are artfully arranged and not just a rendition of some great tunes. Whilst Sue may have been influenced by the heroes the “American Song Book” Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Anita O'Day, on this CD of British originals Sue more than demonstrates her talents as a vocalist in her own right.




Dave Gelly, The Observer
The merest glance at the titles and composers of these twelve songs should tell you that Sue McCreeth is not your average jazz singer: Pieces by popular songwriters (Ray Noble and Noel Coward), jazz composers (Stan Tracey and Alison Rayner), European composers of the early 20th Century (Frederick Delius and Ralph Vaughan Williams) - and, of course, by Sue herself.  And the remarkable thing about it is that, when she sings them, they all seem to belong together.  Sue sings in a warm, intimate voice and a deceptively simple style.

Simple it may be, but it’s far from artless.  Just listen to the almost uncomfortably low key she chooses for The Sky Above the Roof, depicting the musings of a prisoner about the world outside.  Contrast that with the tone of sophisticated ennui she brings to Coward’s Twentieth Century Blues.  The spare but perfectly judged accompaniment of guitar (Pat McCarthy) and bass (Andrew Cleyndert), plus splashes of brilliant tonal colour from the trumpet of Martin Shaw, completes the picture.  

You find a lot more to admire as you listen.



Chris Hodgkins, Jazz London Radio
Sue McCreeth's new CD 'Queer Bird elegant songs of England born' is a cracking album, with a stellar line-up and wonderful tunes.

Sue McCreeth came to the attention of audiences and critics with her well received album in 2001, 500 Miles The Air Is Blue. Since then she has worked extensively throughout the UK with some of the finest jazz musicians on the scene; been shortlisted twice for the International Song Writing Competition; won three touring awards from Jazz Services; and sold out for the London Jazz Festival.

Sue’s CD No Evil was recorded in the summer of 2013 and was released to great acclaim in May 2014.  The Observer's Dave Gelly gave a rare 4 star review and Wayne Shorter featured the album's release on his own website news page.

Sue’s 2016 CD “Queer Bird - elegant songs of England born was an album dedicated to and recoding the music of UK composers Noel Coward, Frederick Delius, Ray Noble, Alison Rayner, Stan Tracey, Norma Winstone and Ralph Vaughan Williams.  It also included three originals by Sue McCreeth. This album is beautifully conceived, elegantly crafted and under pinned by a top flight team of musicians. The listener will be pleasantly surprised with the results, as all these tunes are artfully arranged and not just a rendition of some great tunes. Whilst Sue may have been influenced by the heroes the ‘American Song Book’ Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Anita O'Day, on this CD of British originals Sue more than demonstrates her talents as a vocalist in her own right.”  

Chris Hodgkins will be playing Sue’s 2017 CD release ‘Look Back and Love’ during 2017 on his radio shows Jazz London Radio and Pure Jazz Radio.






No Evil Reviews Earlier CD & Live Reviews

Jim Burlong
This is the fifth recording for the Lanarkshire based vocalist who emerged from the dance band scene of her teenage years, to the world of small group jazz. Highly influenced by the star American singers of the golden age, she processes  a unique voice and for this recording an uncanny ability to select quality songs from outside the genre that really work, fully reflecting the album's subtitle "elegant songs of england born". The composers for the project are far-ranging and include such diverse masters as Fredrick Delius, Ray Noble, Noel Coward and Norma Winstone. 

The multi talented musical genius Ray Noble contributes three of his classics. "The Touch Of Your Lips" from 1936  carries an off beat vocal approach and highlights the fine choice of Pat McCarthy on guitar. "The Very Thought Of You", brought to the public's attention by Doris Day in the nineteen fifties film Young Man With A Horn, features a low tempo clipped vocal delivery. "I hadn't Anyone 'till You" finds the vocalist in impressive subdued and understated mode capturing the sensibilities of the song perfectly. At the other end of the scale there is fine trumpet and wordless vocal on the title track. This was composed by the renegade female music co-operative Blow The Fuse member Alison Raynor, who many will remember as the bass player with The Guest Stars way back in the eighties. Noel Coward's work has only on the rarest of occasions been brought into the jazz world. Here there is a light airy vocal with great guitar licks applied to "Mad About The Boy", alongside "20th Century Blues", an easy paced swinger finding Martin Shaw on top form behind the well delivered lyric.   

Most of the current generation of female jazz singers have developed a talent for songwriting themselves. On this recording we find three originals with very well-crafted lyrics, strategically placed on the album, holding their own in both composition and delivery. "Milk Wood Sky" from Stan Tracey's impeccable album Under Milk Wood, with words by Norma Winstone, give things a modernistic approach, with "Sky Above The Roof" taken from Ralph Vaughan Williams post-romantic period of the early nineteen hundreds adding to the diversity. There are many highlights to this fifty three minute set but "Nuages", developed from the Fredrick Delius piece of 1893, just about takes the honours with the burnished sound of flugelhorn in total harmony with the controlled vocal approach. 

In summary, there is much to commend this album that reveals more of it's qualities with every listen. (see also www.suemccreeth.com).



The Musician Magazine
2016 is witness to Sue fulfilling her considerable promise backed by a top drawer foursome of guitarist Pat McCarthy, bassist Andrew Cleyndert, trumpeter Martin Shaw and percussionist Andres Ticino. An impeccable production.

Jazzwise
(Earning Sue’s third 3-Star Review in four years!)
…this English jazz voice showcases a diverse set of songs from dear old blighty with Ray Noble, Noel Coward, Frederick Delius and Norma Winstone in the mix…


Norma Winstone
I really like your completely unaffected way of singing. I find you believable which, I think should be the main aim of a singer. I really enjoyed hearing my lyrics sung by you.