LINDA HOYLE: The Fetch – our jazz critic’s CD of 2016

Tony Andrews writes …..

Many people are convinced that The 60s were the most important era in British and American Music. I was around at the time and yes, I can honestly say that it was.  Many exciting groups  helped to structure quality jazz music. Many of the musicians continued to drive evolutionary music styles and fortunately this has continued to this day.

I saw many influential groups; as many as I could. However, I never got round to seeing two, an omission which haunts me still. First, Julie Driscoll and The Brian Auger Trinity and then, Affinity

I did manage to see Brian Auger and The Trinity but only after Julie had left the band. Despite her absence they were amazing. With her they must have been mind blowing.

Affinity, although very popular on the club scene, had to come to a premature end because they couldn’t make enough money to keep going. Search You Tube and you'll find a video with Annie Nightingale which highlights their financial plight. After the split their lead singer Linda Hoyle went on to make a wonderful solo record - Pieces of Me which even today is seen as a musical milestone.

Linda Hoyle 2006-07-01.jpg

This CD featured Karl Jenkins on Piano who went on to write some very important pieces and also gained a Knighthood because of his musical stature. More personally important to me was the bass playing by Jeff Clyne who was a great friend to me and he also played the iconic bass line in the theme music for the original “Get Carter” film soundtrack featuring Michael Caine. Unfortunately for British music Linda Hoyle gave up singing and went to live in Canada and became an Art Therapist. However ….

After 40+ years Linda Hoyle returned to music to make a new CD ‘The Fetch’ and musicians were willing to take part because of the respect they had for her as a sensational talent that got away. I have to put my personal vote to this CD being my absolute favourite of 2016. Linda co-wrote all the songs with Mo Foster and Oliver Whitehead and they are all a credit to her expertise.

My favourite of the 12 tracks is “Confessional” which tell the story of so many aspects of Linda's life in detailed snippets. I wish they could arrange to perform “The Fetch” live. If this were to happen they wouldn’t be able to keep me away.

Every track has something special and the musicianship is stunning - especially with Ray Russell on guitar doing his Wailing Dolphins. Ray Russell is better know for writing TV Themes such as Bergerac and many others but seems to have never gained the recognition as a jazz guitarist that is so richly deserved.

The band includes Gary Husband, Mo Foster, Nick Nicholas and Peter Van Hooke with support from the cream of Jazz such as Chris Briscoe on Alto Sax.

Track 11 Earth & Stars is inspired by Purcell's Dido's Lament which is the only track with influences away from Linda's life; a delightful tribute to a wonderful song. Frankly I can't recommend this CD highly enough. It’s played constantly in my car and on my Hi-Fi at home. The recording quality is superb and perfect to give the finest Hi-Fi an extreme workout.

To return to music after so long a break and to then create a CD this good is a testament to the talent Linda Hoyle. She’s lost nothing of her late 60s and early 70s talents. I loved her voice then and - with maturity - it has grown in stature but mellowed and yet retains utterly engaging. Once you have got hooked on Linda's voice then buy “Affinity” and be amazed by songs like “Coconut Grove” and the very extended version of “All Along The Watchtower”


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