From the time I first heard Michelle Nicolle sing at the Wangaratta Festival in 1998 where she took out the National Award for Jazz Voice I knew we had a star in the making. There was a beautiful voice, a real understanding of a lyric and phrasing and a free, courageous improvisor. Since then she has won multiple awards and appeared at international Jazz Festivals, the prominent North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland as one example. If she lived in Europe or the US, Michelle would be an international star by now without even trying. Yes, I sound like a fan and I am one.
The Michelle Nicolle quartet, who have been together for quite some years, have released 6 CDs so far and in 2016 released another called ‘A Flower is a Lovesome Thing’ the songs of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. It is this album that I will feature on the programme this week.
I have another new release this week too and that’s guitarist Tim Rollinson’s album ‘Nitty Gritty’. Tim was a founding member of Directions in Groove known as DIG who had an amazing life span as a most popular groove/funk band in the 90’s and Tim is still playing with a strong groove feel.
Also, over the coming weeks the programme will revisit some of the great releases of 2015 and 2016.