Album Reviews

The Road

Anita Wardell belongs to the classic tradition of vocalese singing. British born, but part educated in Australia where she studied jazz and improvised music at the University of Adeleide, Anita Wardell has been influenced by the innovatory work of Eddie Jefferson (performing with Jefferson's late career sidekick Richie Cole) and Mark Murphy and this grounding reveals itself in the ease with which the singer performs on ballads as well as be-bop excursions. The repertoire is varied and challenging and this makes for an entertaining and informative listen.

Read more

Kinda Blue

This is a straightahead jazz singer's album of blues-related songs, so what can a contemporary singer do to step out of the crowd of generic rivals, or rise above the great performances of the past?

Anita Wardell, the UK-resident Australia-raised singer, has been one of the most engaging live performers on standard material over a decade, and last year's Noted album rightly won acclaim…

Read more

Noted

Baffling though they often are, this year's BBC jazz awards got something right by handing this singer a Best of Jazz Award "for performing in a classic jazz style". Though seldom heard on BBC airwaves, Anita Wardell is an exceptional talent. Whereas most singers bluff their way through wordless bars without making any sense, Australia-reared, Guildford-born Anita is a true seat-singer. She thinks like a trumpeter or saxophonist, creating shapely lines to suit the song's chord structure…

Read more

Until The Stars Fade

A feisty gal make no mistake, Australian singer Anita Wardell certainly knows how to make her presence felt. As a scat merchant Wardell is certainly a real handful (or earful if you like)on this quartet date of well- known standards yet is able to transform herself into a balladeer seemingly at will. A solid band behind her-in Aspland, Brown and Calderazzo a match indeed - Wardell sets the tone on the opening "Get Out Of town" with a firebrand approach and gutsy, no-messing delivery. Subtlety takes a back seat here as the emphasis is on swing not swoon…

Read more

If You Never Come To Me

In a time when we are all complaining about the copious number of vocal albums that are sprouting like wild mushrooms, with every other jazz release seemingly from yet another ‘great new talent’, it is perhaps difficult not to allow a little indifference to appear now and again. But hey, when I pulled this disc out of the jiffy bag I noticed Anita’s name on the front cover, and yes…this should be worth a listen, and another, and another…

Read more

Straight Ahead

Jazz Singer Anita Wardell, from Australia, is good at Scat singing too! Anita who grew up in Adelaide,Australia, now living and performing in London has a charming voice and natural jazz sense which attracts the listener. But not only that, she's the real thing who can fluently scat and perform vocalese…

Read more

Why Do You Cry

My Anita Wardell – a gift from Australia… now blooming like a pure white music orchid in London. Her bop signing always so clear and accurate in its linearism – is evenly lovelier now, but what hits me is how expressive her ballad singing now is. In her work, I hear history, music, freshness, and now bravo, Anita…

Read more