Jo Harrop and British Standard Time
'British songwriters rule the world' The Guardian.
'British Standard Time' is a swinging journey through the best of UK songwriting - from the jazz-era master Ray Noble and Eric Maschwitz to music theatre writers Antony Newley and Lionel Bart, from the pop giants Lennon & McCartney to Elvis Costello and Amy Winehouse. Velvet-voiced Jo Harrop and pianist/arranger Alex Webb mine a rich seam of material and present it in a cool, contemporary jazz format.
Expect classics like ‘These Foolish Things’, ‘The Very Thought Of You’, ‘As Long As He Needs Me’, ‘Who Can I Turn To’, ‘Norwegian Wood’ and ‘Almost Blue’ as well as forgotten gems by John Dankworth and Victor Feldman plus some carefully-chosen originals and a couple of surprises.
“A singing sensation.... her voice is amazing” Bebop Spoken Here blog on Jo Harrop.
According to Blues & Soul Magazine, Durham-born Jo Harrop “was born to sing jazz”. Her warm, intimate voice reflects her childhood absorption of the records of Billie Holiday, Anita O’Day, Julie London and Peggy Lee, the vocal masters who inspired her to sing. In the pop world she has provided backing vocals for major names including Neil Diamond and Enrique Iglesias; her co-written song ‘Little Laughter’ was recorded by Acoustic Alchemy on their album ‘Radio Contact’. She has worked all the London jazz venues including the Jazz Café where she supported The Blind Boys of Alabama; her fans include composer Howard Blake OBE and jazz pioneer Courtney Pine CBE. Jo also guested on the recent album ‘Call Me Lucky’ by Alex Webb & The Copasetics, delivering what jazzman.com called ‘a smoothly sumptuous vocal’ on the Webb original ‘End of The Affair’, with the album receiving four-star reviews in The Guardian and Evening Standard.
Alex Webb is a songwriter, arranger and pianist; His songs have been recorded by jazz singers China Moses, Mina Agossi, Sandra Nkake, Liane Carroll, Allan Harris, Alexia Gardner and Alexander Stewart, among others. He is the creative force behind a number of ‘words-and-music’ productions, including ‘Lush Life’ (about composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn), ‘Charlie Parker on Dial’ and ‘Fever: Jo Harrop sings Peggy Lee’. His show ‘Cafe Society Swing’ has enjoyed several theatre runs in London and one in New York, where he received the New York Times ‘Critic’s Pick’.