Live Reviews

Wardell Wails… Oh Wow!

These were the singer's first words as the band came on stage and I can't argue with that!

Seven was laid out again cafĂ©-style with the audience seated at tables and there was a good vibe in the air… People had been drifting in until the floor was quite full and there was a sense of anticipation as the band launched into "It's Love"… scat vocal, piano, bass trading chops with the drums… before moving into "Leaving the Blues". Arranged by Robin Aspland – the song comes from Miss Wardell's latest album – with a Martin Denny exotica type drum intro after which we were treated to more scat and a lovely piano solo, which demonstrated a special empathy between the two musicians…

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The Vortex, 2010

Mark Murphy (who, as a man many regard as the world's greatest living male jazz singer, should know) calls singer Anita Wardell 'a gift from Australia', citing her 'expressive' ballad singing and her 'courage to scat a ballad or two, not unlike a young lady disciple of the Ben Webster school' in support of his opinion.

As if to confirm the accuracy of this assessment, she went straight into a couple of perky but controlled scat choruses in her jaunty, life-affirming opening number, 'It's Love', and continued in this vein throughout her performance, interspersing adventurously interpreted standards with the odd 'straight' Brazilian number or torch song…

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Live Review, 2006

Baffling though they often are, this years 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 singer bluff their way through wordless bars without making any sense, Australian -reared, Guildford -born Anita is a true scat-singer. She thinks like a trumpeter or saxophonist, creating shapely lines to suit the song's chord structure…

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Live Review, 2005

Female Jazz singers giving us their take on the Great American Songbook are fairly thick on the ground.

But Anita Wardell is that bit different, not least because of her commitment to bebop and her determination to use her voice as an improvising instrument.

On most of the numbers performed at this Huddersfield Jazz gig she followed her statement of the melody with wordless choruses in which she was not so much improvising new material through the chords, just as a horn player would…

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Praise for Anita

Australian newcomer Anita Wardell made a good impression...Her pitch and timing are reliable and she scat sings in an unselfconscious, musicianly way…

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