The award winning Irish singer-songwriter Christine Tobin is one of the UK's most richly expressive and original voices. Accompanied by guitarist Phil Robson and pianist Liam Noble she brings to life the lyrical magic of the poetry of Irish poet W.B. Yeats with her own euphonic and sensitive settings of twelve poems.
'Sailing to Byzantium' features a special guest, the renowned actor Gabriel Byrne, who reads three of the poems. Byrne's presence on the album is of special significance as he was her teacher when he led drama classes at the secondary school she attended in Dublin.
Poetry and music have always been of equal importance to Tobin, both as singer and composer. She was particularly drawn to the love poems such as When You Are Old, and also his poems that celebrate the transformative power of art and his desire to find a deeper spiritual truth, as in Sailing to Byzantium.
Christine debuted the album at the Southbank Centre during last year's London Jazz Festival and the reviewer on the London Jazz Blog said: "
every note felt inspired. With this Yeats material she really does deserve fulsome bouquets and acclaim."
Personnel: Christine Tobin (voice, piano - 2), Liam Noble (piano), Phil Robson (guitars), Gareth Lockrane (flutes), Kate Shortt (cello), Dave Whitford (bass), Special guest: Gabriel Byrne reads poems (2,6,13)
(4 stars) Impressive...Tobin's centre-stage recital of the title track is subtly nuanced and rich-toned, while Long Legged Fly displays her strengths at the opposite end of her range...it's a labour of love, in the best sense. --The Guardian, (John Fordham), June 29, 2012
(4 stars) Tobin has created an unqualified masterpiece...discs of this stature are not common - this one is recommended unreservedly. --Jazzwise, (Peter Quinn), July 2012
Tobin has produced an utterly convincing work of art, imbued with taste, refinement and grace, but also - where required - considerable power...Musical settings of pre-existing poems frequently sound somewhat contrived; Tobin's great achievement is to make hers sound so natural and apt that one quickly forgets that the words and melodies were written separately, so absorbing are the resultant songs. --LondonJazzNews, (Chris Parker), June 21, 2012