Silhouette Man – Jezz Hall – £8.99 + P&P
- Solid Ground
- Dark Day
- Beautiful City
- Ready for the Flame
- I’ve Got a Feeling
- Father and Son
- Silhouette Man
- Through The Branches
- Country Blues
- Her Secret Love
- Spider’s Web
“Some singer-songwriters you have to work at. Others smack you squarely between the eyes and demand your attention. Jezz Hall is one of the latter and his third album is a knockout.
As the first track ‘Solid Ground’, reached its gloriuos climax I thought it had to be a one-off but ‘Dark Day’ continues in the same vein. ‘House’ reminds me lyrically of a young Al Stewart, albeit in a more wordly-wise incarnation, but then comes ‘Beautiful City’. It begins as a ramblingacoustic guitar piece to which is added a lyric that sounds ancient and mysterious. And there are nine more tracks with the magnificent ‘Spider’s Web’ still to come.
Jezz has an excellent band behind him: Tom Dempsey, drums; Andy Hill plays bass and electric guitar; Nick Acons provides fiddle, mandolin, mandola and guitar, complementing Jezz’s guitar, mandolin and harmonica. With additional piano, cwello and backing vocals there’s a relaxed, timeless feel to the music even when they are belting out the traditional ‘Country Blues’. It’s as though playing these songs is the most natural thing in the world. Enthusiastically recommended.” ****
-Dai Jeffries, R2/Rock’n’Reel, May 2011
“Being Jezz Hall, must be a really frustrating place to be. There are some artists where you constantly find yourself asking, “Why isn’t this man on Later?” “When’s he going to get a radio session at prime time?” “Why isn’t he filling huge venues? The answer to all of those questions and probably a whole lot more would appear to be because life is unfair. Hopefully “Silhouette Man” will get Jezz to the wider audience that his songwriting and performing deserve. Solo or with a band, he’s a great performer and captures that spirit on his recordings – an absolute delight of an album.”
– Neil King, FATEA, February 2011
“Already a well-known name on the local acoustic circuit, his debut for the city’s Folkwit label is a credit to them both. While the band provide him with a solid backing, Hall is most captivating when it’s just him with harp and guitar on a track like Beautiful City.”
– Dave Sutherland, Nottingham Evening Post
“Jezz Hall is a clever wordsmith and his songwriting is excellent…thoroughly enjoyable.”
– Blues Matters
“Nottingham’s Jezz Hall returns with his first album since 2006’s When the Music is Over. Silhouette Man continues with the country-tinged introspective folk of its predecessor, and finds Hall teaming up with Folkwit Records: a local imprint with many a kindred spirit on its books. With a new band in tow – one that includes the rhythm section of Andy Hill (bass) and Tom Dempsey (drums) alongside fiddle/mandolin player Nick Acons – Hall’s James Taylor-esque vocals weave patterns around modern day folk ballads in a style similar to that of recent work by Jackie Leven – indeed Hall has previously supported the celebrated Scot on tour.
Opener Solid Ground is an immediate demonstration of the talent involved here. Hall’s song writing craft shines through the delicate touches of Acons’ fiddle and Hill’s subtle electric guitar flourishes, and lines such as “we shed our precious skin/but fool ourselves we’re growing” show he has a serious way with a lyric. The gentle lilt of House is another early highlight, one augmented by a beautiful string arrangement from Acons. Beautiful City’s forlorn blues arrangement is ripped wide open by blasts from Hall’s harmonica, the influence of his time spent in Mississippi shining through here, as well as on the rockabilly shuffle of Country Blues.
Folkwit seems like the natural home for Hall, and the likes of Will Jeffery and label mate Andy Whittle prove that the Nottingham singer-songwriter scene is currently in a healthy state. Hall may have a slight edge on the competition with this set, however. A most accomplished release.”
– Essentially Eclectic
“Jezz Hall, who originally hails from Cambridge but now resides in Nottingham, has recently been aided by a four-piece band featuring Nick Acons (fiddle, mandolin), Andy Hall (electric guitar, bass), Tom Dempsey (percussion) with fellow singer-songwriter, Andy Whittle on piano appearing as a special guest.
The good news is they all lend support on ‘Silhouette Man’. Straying from a more ridged folk format Jezz not only broadens his catchment area but allows his hankering to experiment the opportunity to shine. As in traditional song ‘Country Blues’ that races along at a pretty lick where electric lead and acoustic guitar, percussion and harmony vocals (Sally Murray) aid his authoritative, bustling lead.
Others of note include the poetic gem ‘Her Secret Love’ where he joined by Andy Whittle’s sensitive playing of piano, and such is his performance and quality of lyric I would recommend other like minded performers check it out the next time they go into the studio. Randy Newman would be justifiably proud to have written it!
‘Beautiful City’ draws from the traditional song ‘Twelve Gates To The City’ and like with his own songs ‘Ready For The Flame’, ‘Spider’s Web’ and the mandolin warmed airy number ‘Father and Son’ Hall’s work is deeply carved in quality. How he isn’t better known is beyond me, it could be like others, I haven’t been looking in the right places.” *******
– Maurice Hope, Americana UK
When The Music Is Over – Jezz Hall – £8.99 + P&P
- Second Chance
- Under My Skin
- Love You In The Head
- Weighed Down
- Living Inside
- Taking Shelter
- Meadow By The Sea
- Nature Of The Game
- When I’m Dead
- Song Of Forever
“What perhaps marks him out as an exceptional songwriter is his vivid lyricism.”
– Colin Irwin. fRoots Magazine
“Jezz has cause to be very proud indeed of this fine new collection, which makes an immediate impact (and it sounds even better after three or four plays).”
– David Kidman, NetRhythms
Smalltown – Jezz Hall – £8.99 + P&P
- Baxter’s Mines
- A Line Between Us
- Favourite Girl
- Seven Days
- Secret Heart
- A Thing Called Love
- Down By The Waterside
- Either Side
- Prescription Blues
- Fortune’s Waters
- Closer To You
“…a really very impressive set of songs, which should propel Jezz straight into the front rank within the consciousness of like-minded discerning listeners.”
– David Kidman, NetRhythms
About Jezz Hall:
Jezz Hall is a singer-songwriter, originally from Cambridge but has lived in Nottingham for most of his life.
He’s has supported KT Tunstall, Idlewild, Nick Harper, Jackie Leven and has performed as a guest with Show of Hands and Phil Beer and has also performed as a duo with Deb Sandland.
Recently Jezz has been performing with a new four-piece band featuring Nick Acons on fiddle and mandolin and Andy Hill on guitar and bass and Tom Dempsey guesting on drums/percussion with occassional appearances by Andy Whittle on piano.