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Clare Teal - Get Happy

Clare Teal - Get Happy

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

CLARE Teal returns to her first love – jazz – for eighth studio album Get Happy, which marks her first since signing to the Universal imprint W14 Music (home to Alison Moyet and Siousie Sioux).

The result is an album to savour for jazz enthusiasts, given that it showcases some of the most popular jazz songs ever written, including Cheek To Cheek, Begin The Beguine and Time After Time.

It’s clear from the outset that Teal is enjoying the opportunity to revisit such past favourites and there’s a warmth and glow to many of the tracks that’s difficult to resist – especially in the best known material.

Teal, for her part, ensures that the album – like its name – is upbeat. This is a celebration of the jazz form that’s equally capable of appealing to long-term fans of the genre as it is to newcomers. Hence, timeless tracks such as Time After Time (by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in 1947) and Begin The Beguine (from Cole Porter) are delivered with such verve and panache that you’ll probably find your head nodding along in appreciation in spite of yourself.

Teal brings maturity, class and no considerable amount of good humour to most of the recordings and ensures that the mix is reflective of the genre as a whole, rather than just the obvious classics. She even contributes three of her own offerings, in the form of Get On It Sam, All For Love and High Love, co-written with Amanda Field, to keep the mix fresh and remind listeners of her own talent.

Incredibly, Get Happy was recorded in just a matter of days with her five piece band. But she candidly admits: “Making this record has been terrific fun and a fabulous experience. It’s called Get Happy because, as a rule, I think we should.”

Teal has long been fascinated with the jazz form and quickly turned her back on popular music when she first emerged as a promising new artist in the 1980s.

She explains: “I was obsessed with the singers of the 30s, 40s and 50s and just fascinated by voices. Really, I was like the girl from the film Little Voice, a geek – though obviously an entirely adorable one!”

Needless to say, Get Happy shines brightest when operating on most familiar territory but it remains never less than an engaging listen and provides perfect laidback Sunday afternoon listening even for people who wouldn’t otherwise consider the genre.

Download picks: All For Love, Cheek To Cheek, Moondance, Begin The Beguine, Get Happy, Time After Time

Track listing:

  1. All For Love
  2. Cheek To Cheek
  3. Love Hurts
  4. Begin The Beguine
  5. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
  6. Get It On Sam
  7. Get Happy
  8. Very Thought Of You
  9. Love For Sale
  10. Moondance
  11. High Love
  12. Time After Time
  13. All The Things You Are