Ballads, The Idea of North, review by Barry O’Sullivan


Album:  Ballads
Artist:   The Idea of North
Release Date: April 2016
Label:    ABC

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The latest recording from critically acclaimed a cappella  ensemble The Idea of North showcases the group at its very best – performing beautiful songs in cleverly constructed new vocal arrangements.

Using just the voices of the four members,soprano Sally Cameron alto Naomi Crellin tenor Nick Begbie and bass Andrew Piper, sing songs from ABBA to Sting and the Bee Gees to Cold Chisel. They are are joined by guest artists, the supremely talented jazz vocalist and composer Kristin Berardi,the arranger and tenor Ed Fairlie,the altoist Joy Hague and the Japanese vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura.

The origins of this album lie in a long held concept of inviting audiences to live concerts whose content consists solely of lush,serene and gentle songs which encapsulates this ensemble’s numerous and highly successful Ballads by Candlelight  series.The Idea of North has performed these concerts around Australia and internationally in beautiful acoustic spaces in capital cities and small towns.
Highlights are many on this recording but standouts include Ode To Oli, My One and Only Love, Flame Trees and Too Much Heaven though each track is a gem in its own right.

Faultless technique combines with luscious harmonies in an ensemble that sings with empathy and impeccable intonation making this a ‘must have’ for lovers of ensemble vocals with a modern twist.

soprano Sally Cameron, alto Naomi Crellin, tenor Nick Begbie and bass Andrew Piper

Barry OSullivan is the Producer/Presenter of a national music program A Jazz Hour now approaching its fourteenth year on the national Community Radio Network making it one the longest running jazz music programs on the FM Airwaves. Barry also produces and presents a variety of jazz programs for Sydney digital radio station FINE MUSIC Digital and reviews jazz music recordings for the international webpage, All About Jazz, and Fine Music Magazine. Barry strongly supports Australian jazz and contemporary improvised music from his home base in The Blue Mountains, NSW.