Friday, January 08, 2010


Irish-born singer and songwriter Christine Tobin, was born on January 6th,1963 in Dublin and has been living in London since 1987. Her work is firmly rooted in a tradition that emphasizes storytelling on a musical bedrock that creatively blends blues, folk and jazz; a territory that is occupied by such luminaries as Joni Mitchell, Cassandra Wilson and Nina Simone. Her innovative and expressive style has led the Guardian to call her the “Bjork of Euro jazz”.

She has recorded six albums for Babel , one of the UK 's most dynamic and creative indie labels. Her music has been described as authentic, streetwise, radical and romantic. John L. Walters of the Guardian says she possesses a "24-carat voice" and Jazzwise hail her as "probably the most adventurous jazz singer of her generation in this country, with the ideas and willingness to push back the boundaries and explore new territory with each new album."

Christine works regularly on the UK jazz scene, appearing at Ronnie Scott's, The Pizza Express Soho Jazz Club, Jazz Café and many reputed international festivals. Her earlier work includes stints in Django Bates' Delightful Precipice, Tim Garland's Lammas, and she has worked in bands with Julian Arguelles, Kenny Wheeler, Joe Locke, Clark Tracey, Gary Husband and Billy Childs amongst many others.

Christine's back catalogue is infused with the rich, dark layers of her probingly intense original songs, as well as her unique, sharp-edged interpretive powers on a diverse field of standards from Leonard Cohen through to Cole Porter. Christine's debut album on Babel ; Aililiu was released in 1995; Yell Of The Gazelle in 1996; House Of Women in 1998 and Deep Song in April 2000. The first three albums focused on Tobin's original material while the fourth, which was recorded in New York , is a tribute to the great American song tradition and concentrates on interpretation and creative arrangements. It also features the legendary American drummer Billy Hart, Austrian double bassist Peter Herbert, guitarist Phil Robson and the highly acclaimed U.S. saxophonist Mark Turner. You Draw The Line , recorded in 2003, saw a return to a majority of originals as well as imaginative covers of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen; it was no. 4 in The Guardian's ‘101 things to do, buy and see at Xmas'.

2004 saw Christine nominated for Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards, and her vivid interpretations of Bessie Smith were featured in film director Mike Figgis' “Red White and Blues” documentary in the Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues series. Christine's sixth critically acclaimed album – Christine Tobin's Romance & Revolution - was released in December 2004 and consists of seven of Christine's lyrically incisive trademark originals, including settings of poems by poets Paul Muldoon and Eva Salzman, as well as her own expressively unsentimental arrangements of material by Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, John Martyn and Bessie Smith.

On November 11th 2005 Christine launched her new seven-piece band “Christine Tobin's Big Deal” at The Vortex, Dalston on the opening night of the London Jazz Festival. Featuring some of the UK 's most exciting and skillful musicians, they performed a programme of slammin' originals, unique arrangements of Leonard Cohen, Dylan, Steve Lacy and some Brazilian songs. Alongside Christine, the band features Kate Shortt (cello), Liam Noble (piano), Phil Robson (guitar), Dave Whitford (double bass), Thebe Lipere (percussion) and Simon Lea (drums).

On December 18 th 2005 Christine Tobin was invited to perform with The BBC Big Band at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds . Internationally renowned arranger Mike Gibbs was commissioned to write new arrangements for this special occasion. Mike, who has written for Joni Mitchell, Gary Burton, John Scofield and Carla Bley, to name but a few, conducted the music on the night. The concert was also broadcasted on BBC Radio 2's Big Band Special programme.

In May 2007 Christine Tobin gave the Vortex jazz club audience a sneak preview of her follow up to 2004's CD "Romance and Revolution" entitled "Secret Life of a Girl". In July 2008 Christine got a thoroughly deserved BBC Jazz Award for Best Vocalist in a ceremony in which she performed 'Camille' from Secret Life of a Girl, joined onstage by the great violinist Nigel Kennedy.

She completed a successful tour in her native Ireland in October 2009.

Chris sings in Portuguese "O Bêbado e o Equilibrista"
Reference - Jazz Reviews

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