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"Utterly gorgeous" was the immediate reaction from Ian Anderson, editor of fRoots magazine, to this disc by Quercus, the trio formed by legendary folksinger June Tabor (making her ECM debut here), Welsh jazz pianist and composer Huw Warren, and English saxophonist Iain Ballamy, well-known to ECM listeners as co-leader of the band Food. This is the first Quercus album but the trio, very much a collaborative band, has existed for several years, patiently developing its unique idiomatic blend.

'Quercus' means 'oak' in Latin and the roots of this particular tree dig deep into British folk music, while leaves and branches reach upward to embrace jazz-inspired lyrical improvising. English singer June Tabor's dark voice has an uncanny ability to underscore the emotional essence of a ballad: "As I get older, I understand more the depths of sorrow and joy that made the song", she has said. Together they deliver profound and moving interpretations of traditional and non-traditional song, approaching the heart of the material by unorthodox routes.

An important figure in British music since the 1960s, June Tabor first attracted attention singing unaccompanied traditional songs in the folk clubs (the present disc includes a beautiful solo performance of 'Brigg Fair'). Tabor's distinguished discography has emphasized the primacy of traditional material but she has proven to be a gripping interpreter of songs from many sources. The recipient of many prizes, she swept the BBC's Folk Awards in 2012 winning 'Folk Singer of the Year', and album and track of the year prizes for her collaborations with Oysterband on Ragged Kingdom (Topic Records).

Personnel: June Tabor (voice), Iain Ballamy (saxophone), Huw Warren (piano)


  1. Name
  2. Lassie Lie Near Me
  3. Come Away Death
  4. As I Roved Out
  5. The Lads In Their Hundreds
  6. Teares
  7. Near But Far Away
  8. Brigg Fair
  9. Who Wants The Evening Rose
  10. This Is Always
  11. A Tale From History (The Shooting)
  12. All I Ask Of You
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