Raised on a diet of Jazz and 80s pop, British Jazz Singer Beverley Beirne has combined the two with her latest freewheeling, stylistically expansive new album Jazz Just Wants To Have Fun. Singing with an honest and heartfelt, deep-soul sensuality and scatting with abandon in places that would do Ella proud, she swings both lightning fast and seductively slow on clever and stylish re-imaginings of 12 perfectly chosen 80s hits.
A renowned and versatile performer who has headlined a variety of festivals and clubs throughout the UK, the Yorkshire based Beverley finds meaningful magic – via her alternately witty and intimate phrasing – on songs we didn’t realise we loved so much. She vibes beautifully and riffs powerfully off her pianist and co-arranger Sam Watts, the core trio of double bassist Flo Moore and drummer/percussionist Ben Brown, saxophonist/flautist Rob Hughes and guest guitarists Romero Lubambo (on a sexy, vibrantly salsa-twisted ‘Cruel Summer’) and Dean Brown (rockin’ the Stray Cats-like rockabilly out of ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’).
Whether you’re an 80s pop fan, a jazz connoisseur or both, you’ll enjoy getting reacquainted with these tunes and will most likely be prompted to listen to the original and Beverley Beirne’s take side by side.
Beverley Says –
“On my first album Seasons of Love, I experimented a little bit with ‘Walk on By’, slowing it down and turning it into a haunting ballad. My thoughts were to make the lyrics more potent. I like finding songs that are not standards and seeing what I can do with them and how I can re-interpret them. I have been influenced by singers like Nneena Freelon, whose interpretations are sublime.”
“Why tackle the 80s? I love the music, yes, but I was there! I know these songs, I know the era, I don’t have to imagine any of it. I lived and was brought up in the post-industrial town of Halifax, West Yorkshire. There was on one hand a depressed air about the town, but on the other a sort of bloody minded determination to have a good time anyway. Life’s short.”
That’s the enduring spirit that inspired Jazz Just Wants To Have Fun.