"Christine Tobin is inspiring on her own material. But she is in a class of her own singing
"She should be on a global stage rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen... It's a tribute to the quality of Tobin's writing that there are no weak spots in this excellent collection"
John L Walters, The Guardian ****
"There’s a thrilling, dark timbre to Tobin’s voice that moves you like no other singer."
"One of the most gifted and original singer/songwriters in today’s jazz world."
Ian Carr, BBC Music Magazine
"...A decisive step by a very talented singer
and musician which delivers a fully mature creative vision"
Keith Shadwick, Jazzwise ****
"Both are artists who don’t believe in occupying one creative location until the grass grows over their shoes."
"...Dramatic, rich-voiced singer specialises in idiosyncratic, highly musical poetic vignettes
with a strong sense of story.”
Chris Ingham, Mojo
"You Draw The Line sees Tobin hit what is arguably the best form of her career"
Kevin Le Gendre, Music Week
"Tobin's new version of Leonard Cohen's Everybody Knows is Stunning."
"If her work has the depth of Cohen or Joni Mitchell, can she be described as a jazzsinger
at all? The answer is in her controlled passion, superb timing, phrasing and modulation, which betrays a subtle bebop influence."
Mike Butler, The Metro Manchester
"On the Belfast poet Paul Muldoon’s Horses, she was dreamily evocative..."
"Too humane and humourous to preach, and too intelligent to deliver a formula for life, Christine Tobin is nevertheless fascinated by the pusuit of something that might stand up as The Truth."
"A natural and inventive storyteller"
Robert Shore, The Metro London
"One Christine Tobin album a year is pretty good going - two within a six-month period seems like utter luxury."
John L Walters
Christine Tobin/Liam Noble review:
Carole King 'Tapestry Unravelled”
Vortex, August 8th, 2009
The Vortex was completely full last night for the first outing of Christine Tobin ( above*) and Liam Noble's Carole King Tapestry show. And there was something different about that audience too. Something about which, surely, nobody could complain (thinking about it, one rather odd friend of mine would!): it had a higher percentage of women than I have ever seen attending a jazz gig.
The songs of Carole King's 1971 album, either in their original recorded versions- or Aretha Franklin's Natural Woman - are very deeply ingrained in most listeners' minds. Tobin described the songs as "perfect in themselves." She talked to the audience with openness about the challenge she and Noble had embarked on: not just to do "carbon copies" of them, but rather to "do something with them."
And that, even on this first performance, is exactly what Tobin and Noble have done. For my ears it works already, and is bound to develop. It certainly caught the audience's mood last night.
It works because Tobin and Noble create a different vibe, a different world maybe, for each and every one of Carole King's songs. This happens in the first split-second of every song. The hushed simplicity of Home Again was there in the gentle pulse of the opening, slowly shifting chords from Noble. The trance-like world of the title song Tapestry came alive instantly in psychedelic colours. I liked Tobin's artful protestations of childlike innocence in Will you
still Love me Tomorrow. Many of the tempi were slow, but every phrase Tobin sings is leading somewhere. There is always delicacy and poise in her melodic line, but also power, conviction
I found myself mesmerised by the endings last night, whether of the King songs, or of the others performed , a Tobin original I'm your friend and a Brazilian worksong Cancao do Sal . Tobin has an astonishing way of taking her leave of a song. Very often it's a perfectly in-tune fade-to-nothing
in the lower part of the voice, which stays full of colour and personality all the way through to silence. There are so many singers, but I can't think of another completer-finisher quite like Tobin. The support, the dialogue which Liam Noble provides are infinitely varied. Just as nobody would ever say there was monotony in the nineteen different versions of a babbling brook which Schubert provides in Schoene Muellerin, Noble is always off somewhere different, he states the harmony which the listener is expecting, but also asks teasing questions of it. Noble's artistry, variety and intensity will have won over some new converts last night.
This is already a perfect package. It suited the listening atmosphere of the Vortex. But it will
also grow and bloom and go places. I look forward to hearing it again as it travels. Maybe in
a festival in a town with a weaving tradition....
Seb Scotney, London Jazz blogspot
"Sexy, gutsy, bluesy and beautiful."
Lionel Shriver, Orange prize-winning author of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’
"a jewel of the London jazz scene, streets ahead of the pack… She should be on a global stage, rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen.”
John L Walters The Guardian, May 08
(Secret Life Of A Girl)
"This group, by drawing their influence from diverse sources, has freed jazz from the
American concepts and this universality
appealed to me more than anything else”
“What draws me to her is her sound. I really like what she does and I find myself listening to what she says. I’m reminded that the voice is the primary source of all music.”
Mike Figgis film director
"That jazz is more about getting into its ‘spirit’ than sticking-to-genres was highlighted in this group.”
The Hindustan Times
“Christine Tobin has a particular aura of wandering on thin ice above the abyss of fatal threats. Her glowing voice is stamped by a sadness cloaked in beauty, like in a never exploding drama.”
Ulrich Olshausen Frankfurter Allgemeiner
“Christine’s own lyrics often echo Cohen’s
style of poetry. “I will let you flatter me/ Stroke
my silken hair/ And when you tousle with my shyness/ Make you believe I really care” –
sounds like Leonard to me.”
Lionel Schriver in Jazzwise Magazine 2008
“One of the most gifted and original singer/songwriters in today’s jazz world.”
BBC Music Magazine
“A singer who refuses to be boxed in
Clive Davis, The Sunday Times
“Tobin is forthright , self-revalatory , eclectic
John Fordham, The Guardian
“The Tobin voice is simply peerless.”
“Definitely one of the country’s very
Linton Chiswick ,Time Out
“One of the most creative vocalists on the contemporary scene."
“One of the finest vocal jazz collections in years”
John Lewis, Time Out
“Great timing is a gift given to few and one that Tobin possesses, along with an exciting tendency to take the darker path.”
“The Voice is a killer.”
“Too humane and humorous to preach, and too intelligent to deliver a formula for life, Christine Tobin is nevertheless fascinated by the pursuit of something that might stand up as The Truth”
Jazz UK J. Fordham
"What PJ Harvey achieved in rock and what Bjork did to dance music Christine Tobin could do to jazz - for the music's benefit."
“You Draw The Line is about Tobin setting her own philosophical agenda and crafting a personal creative lexicon that shakes those horribly glib terms such as tradition, modernity and post-modernity into a heady cocktail of originality.”
Kevin Le Gendre, Music Week
"She's got one of those voices that can move from pure, pastoral-edged folk whimsy to big angry blues mama in a single phrase; from world-weary interpreter of show tunes to howling rock diva within a single note...............one of the finest vocal jazz collections in years."
"Tobin's voice has an edge that recalls more over-the-top singers - the dangerous bite of Cathy Berberian, the damaged croak of Marianne Faithfull - without ever lurching into melodrama. She performs with a controlled drama."
Jazzwise hail her as "probably the most adventurous jazz singer of her generation in this country… This album leaves the back door open for fans of P.J. Harvey or Joan as Policewoman to get into her music."
Jazzwise May 2008
"lovely, many-hued voice – discreet and yet characterful. A class act."
Chris Parker, VORTEX online, May 08
"This imaginative set may be the one that finally pushes her towards wider recognition."
John Bungey, The Times ***
“…an album of cherishable ambition and
Robert Shore, London Metro
“This might be the most transparently intimate
and assured statement so far of what the unique singer Christine Tobin is all about”
John Fordham Jazz UK
“…it's a tribute to the quality of Tobin's writing that there are no weak spots in this excellent collection” ****