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Kathryn Williams & Anthony Kerr at Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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New album of reworked jazz classics showcased
Singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams enjoys springing the unexpected on her fans.

In 2015 the 42-year-old recorded Hypoxia, an album inspired by Slyvia Plath's The Bell Jar, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Plath's life and work. The record included two collaborative tracks with trailblazing musician Ed Harcourt.

Kathryn Williams, Anthony Kerr, Resonator, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath, Jazz


Kathryn has now teamed up with revered jazz musician and vibraphone player Anthony Kerr to create an album of re-imagined jazz classics. Resonator is made up of reworked versions of standards such as My Funny Valentine, Stormy Weather and Autumn Leaves.

The duo will showcase some of the songs on a UK tour which includes a show at Birmingham's Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath on February 1, 2017.

Kathryn Williams, Anthony Kerr, Resonator, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath, Jazz


The songs have been completely stripped back to their most rudimentary state to make them fresh once again. Kathryn says her intent was to ''reclaim'' songs that have seen multiple cover versions over the years, and rearrange them, bringing them back to their most rudimentary state and rebuilding them to reveal their true beauty.

The delivery is fragile, both vocally and instrumentally, with Kathryn's signature vocals enriched by soft, lush vibraphones, jazz trumpet and double bass.

Kathryn and Anthony were introduced six years ago by composer Kate St John. Anthony went on to play on Kathryn's The Quickening, her first release on the One Little Indian label in 2010.

They came up with an idea of re-working a collection of jazz standards and began to put the wheels in motion, meeting up to demo ideas and recreate countless versions of the songs.

Kathryn Williams, Anthony Kerr, Resonator, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath, Jazz


Kathryn says: "I was imagining the songs as tired horses who had been whipped by big egos and we were taking them in, taking off their saddles and setting them free in a field."

Anthony adds: "These songs are often presented in a 'big' fashion - with the drama of a large ensemble, a big band or orchestra, perhaps. I wanted to hear these songs in a much more vulnerable and intimate setting. The songs of Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and the like form the backbone of the jazz tradition. We 'jazzers' like to play these tunes in a wide variety of styles and settings. The melodies and harmony is so strong that an infinite variety of possibilities presents itself when considering these songs. They don't ever seem to get old."

Liverpool-born, Newcastle-based Kathryn isn't new to collaborations. She has previously worked and toured with John Martyn, Chris Difford from Squeeze, Bombay Bicycle Club, David Gray and Ray Lamontagne, and made two albums as a member of bands The Crayonettes and The Pond.

She released her first album, Dog Leap Stairs, on her own label in 1999. The follow-up, Little Black Numbers, was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2000.

Kathryn Williams, Anthony Kerr, Resonator, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath, Jazz


Resonator
tracklisting:

You Don't Know What Love Is
My Funny Valentine
Every Time We Say Goodbye
I'm a Fool to Want You
Like Someone in Love
The Very Thought of You
The Man I Love
Embraceable You
Stormy Weather
Autumn Leaves


Kathryn Williams & Anthony Kerr 2017 UK tour dates:

Jan 31: Band on the Wall, Manchester;
Feb 1: Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, Birmingham;
Feb 5: Folk House, Bristol;
Feb 7: Komedia, Brighton;
Feb 9: Hug & Pint, Glasgow;
Feb 11: Love Cafe, Weston Super Mare;
Feb 13: The Forge, London.
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Why? Showcase of innovative reworkings of jazz standards
When: February 1, 2017. Touring till February 13, 2017.
Phone: 0121 443 4725 (Kitchen Garden Cafe)
Where: Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham, then touring
Cost: 13
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