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37 Reviews
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quiet Strength of the Oak
I heard this album playing in a record store - there are still some around, fortunately - and was immediately captivated by the singer's voice. I was intrigued by the title too; Quercus is of course the latin name for oak. I wanted to know more about this record.

The song which was playing turned out to be the first on the album, Lassie Lie Near Me, a setting...
Published 16 months ago by JB

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing..background noise issue
I was really looking forward to this recording, after hearing June Tabor at Cambridge Folk Festival and having loved her voice for years. However, the first time I listened to it I couldn't help but be really quite annoyed by the background 'slurping' which has been noted by other reviewers...and I can't see why it wasn't edited out. I am all in favour of live recordings,...
Published 6 months ago by J. Brien


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quiet Strength of the Oak, 19 April 2013
By 
JB (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
I heard this album playing in a record store - there are still some around, fortunately - and was immediately captivated by the singer's voice. I was intrigued by the title too; Quercus is of course the latin name for oak. I wanted to know more about this record.

The song which was playing turned out to be the first on the album, Lassie Lie Near Me, a setting of a poem by Robert Burns. The words could be construed a number of ways, and interpreted in any number of moods, but June Tabor finds a quiet contentment, with the barest hint of resignation. It's a remarkable voice, with practically no vibrato, the warmth of tone echoed in the saxophone of Iain Ballamy.

After wrapping his sounds around that of the singer, Ballamy occasionally takes up a few motifs and goes off to develop the lines, supported by Huw Warren on the piano. The instrumentalists are understated but sympathetic in their support of Tabor, creating a mood with the barest palette of colours.

The tone of the album is one of quiet reflection, in the main. It's uplifting rather than depressing though, and one has the feeling of being somehow renewed after listening to it. Perhaps it's the gentle strength in June Tabor's voice, the ability to make one look forward with hope, rather than back with regret.

A gem of a release from ECM.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Throwing some light on the slight flaw...possibly, 27 April 2013
By 
P. Duffy (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
Re T. Phillip's (otherwise excellent) review, I think the flaw in the saxophone sound is natural mouthpiece noise. As a source of irritation it's on a par with Keith Jarrett's grunts or too much fret noise in a guitar performance, in other words what you sometimes have to put up with when you want to experience greatness. Whether ECM could or should have engineered it out is a moot point. Don't let it put you off or you'll deny yourself too much that is wonderful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oaky Dokey1, 14 May 2013
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This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
I've been a big fan of June Tabor for many years-whether she's performed with the Oyster Band/Martin Simpson et al. This was with two excellent jazz performers and the result was stunning! Beautiful vocals, spine tingling saxophone and flowing piano. Can't stop playing it. Reminiscent of Jan Garbarek in places (same record label ECM) but that's good. Catch their live tour as well- this is really excellent and I've sent it to friends in California.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quercus, 13 May 2013
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Great combination of talents. Love June Tabor (voice) and Ian Ballamy (sax) pacing one another on Come Away Death. Classic June Tabor on Brigg Fair - no accompaniment - just that wonderful resonance. Huw Warren's piano is perfect - so right for June's voice, and beautiful by itself on Teares.

June could sing any thing and I'd love it, but this is a real bonus!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quercus, 4 May 2013
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June Tabor's unmistakeable voice blends perfectly with the saxes of Ian Ballamy and the piano of Huw Warren. So - beautifully performed, well chosen, a total pleasure.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quietly Beautiful, 2 May 2013
By 
B. W. Thew (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
This is a stunning album. I have all of Tabors music and have been a fan since the start. Her version here of As I Roved Out is completely different from, but equal to the version by Planxty. There is in my view no higher praise. The music is quiet, yet forceful and deeply moving. Tabor is capable of many moods and styles of music, this disc concentrates on one aspect of her talent but in collaboration with her fellow musicians she has produced a major statement as well as a really great listening experience. Give it a try, then go back through her catalogue, there are jewels everywhere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and quirky, 22 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
I've long been a follower of June Tabor and this unusual and haunting album is a luscious addition to her canon. Like many other people, I was initially concerned about what seemed like distortion on the saxophone - though it's also worth saying that's more noticeable and intrusive when listening on headphones, and less of a problem when using speakers.

The version of Butterworth's Lads In Their Hundreds (a long term favourite of mine from the English song repertoire) is outstanding.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 2 July 2013
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This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
English poems to jazz accompaniments sung by a woman steeped in the folk tradition. An instant classic - if there were any justice, it would become one of ECM's best-sellers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
What a fantastic collection of music, voices and instruments fantastic.
Sit back chill and enjoy this CD and justforget about everything else until its finished(and then start again)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars June Tabor is simply the best!, 19 Jun 2013
By 
C. Godfrey (MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Quercus (Audio CD)
I do not usually listen to jazz, being folk or folk-rock oriented (or classical: another strength of the brilliant ECM label); but anything bearing June Tabor's name must be <hugely> worthwhile -- andd so it is with Quercus. Wonderful album! (And, yes: I bet she'd make a great Prime Minister!)

There is no more sensitive musician around that this -- I remember her referring to "the blessed Richard Thompson" when introducing one of his songs (she has covered plenty of them); but the word "blessed" is equally valid for herself and I hope she knows we think this way about her (we, her fans)

Quercus blew me away, first time I listened to it. Enough said...it is exquisite! Go forth: buy and enjoy!
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Quercus by June Tabor (Audio CD - 2013)
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