The Mail on Sunday, Jan 2011 ****
9 Jan 2011
How does one begin to describe singer-songwriter Sarah Gillespie, whose second album fuses airy jazz, Arabic folk and all kinds of other music of the world, presented with bite and poise and wrapped up in a protest singer’s conscience?
Robert Wyatt, practitioner of similar musical styles, simply calls her ‘brilliant – the bee’s knees’, which ought to be good enough.
Performed with a jazz trio that includes notable collaborator Gilad Atzmon, Gillespie’s second album is so strikingly fine that you wonder how you can have missed her first one.
In The Current Climate may prove harder to ignore. Elliptical songs that touch on Guantanamo, Greek myth and the Chinese stock exchange might not seem like a recipe for fun, but Gillespie’s rich and wry delivery turns them into lovely, poetic artifacts.
Add in Atzmon’s clarinet and soprano sax, and you have the best record of new songs of this short year to date.