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JUDIE TZUKE One Tree Less Big Moon (2011)

Judie Tzuke

It comes as some surprise, looking back, that it's been two and a half years since Judie's Tzuke's last full album - 'Songs 2'. Of course, in the interim we've had the career retrospective - 'Moon On A Mirrorball' - which included four stunning new tracks, and the good news is that 'One Tree Less' picks up the threads of Judie's recent work to deliver yet another excellent album. The bad news, if there is any, is that it runs to only 10 tracks over 36 minutes. But you know what they say, never mind the length, listen to the quality.

And that's been a consistent feature of Judie Tzuke's work over the past decade, and beyond. It's a second phase of her career that stems back as far as 1996 when she formed Big Moon Records and set about producing the music she wanted to make, unfettered by the demands, influences or timelines of others. The sad thing is that to all too many people her name is synonymous with her work in the late seventies / early eighties, and in particular her biggest hit 'Stay With Me Till Dawn'. All I can say to those people is 'wake up and smell the coffee'.

Glorious as those heady early days were, the Judie Tzuke of today is an altogether stronger artist. Her vocals have mellowed, with time adding a timbre and depth never apparent in those early days. And her writing too, is more considered.

The album opens with three brilliant numbers - the beautiful title track, a shimmering love song - 'Just You And I' - and 'Joy' with delicate harmony vocals supplied by daughter Bailey. In truth, it's an opening salvo that the gentle and reflective 'One Tree Less' struggles to live up to throughout, although 'I Can Wait' is another gem.

The other good news is that Judie will be touring to promote the album in March 2012. So if you've gone so far as to find this page and read this review, do yourself a favour and get yourself along to a gig. Even if you're not familiar with her recent work, she puts on a wonderful performance. And there's no disguising quality.

****

Review by Pete Whalley

Judie Tzuke is regularly featured in our singer songwriter sequence (Mon-Fri, 14:00 GMT) More information

 


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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