Joanna Eden: Singer / Pianist
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Joanna Eden: Singer / Pianist

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"Picnic Jazz at the Pavilion, Orford"

Picture the scene for your hardworking and put upon reporter - the dreamy setting of The Pavilion, one of Orford’s most elegant houses with its exquisite gardens, the warmest day of the summer combining with a cool sea breeze, a refreshment tent that offered perhaps the best Victoria Sponge in world history, a friendly and welcoming committee pouring a glass of Pimms or seven and an afternoon listening to one of the best singer/pianists in British jazz…well, it sure beats being a bank clerk!

The vocalist in question was Joanna Eden, headlining the fifth Picnic Jazz concert, a charitable event that has now become an essential fixture in the East Anglian Jazz calendar. The enthusiastic and sophisticated audience quickly warmed to the singer and her tour de force through the standard songbook and Sixties pop in a style that echoed such great voices as Dionne Warwick and Laura Nyro - and there was much of Dionne’s lightness of touch and Laura’s tenderness in Miss Eden’s performance.

Joanna’s recent CD “Moving Shadows” includes superb takes of “Alfie”, “Yesterday”, “A Night in Tunisia”, “Nature Boy” and “A Taste Of Honey”, which tunes comprised much of her repertoire at Orford. “Let’s Stay Together” captured much of the euphoria of Al Green’s original and she showcased her inventive and understated piano playing on “Cry Me A River” before a delicate version of the Norah Jones song “Don’t Know Why” concluded her highly accessible programme.

Drummer Charlie Price and Julie Walkington on double bass comprised an immaculate and spirited rhythm section for a young chanteuse surely destined for a major label recording contract and much of the success of her predecessors at The Pavilion, Jamie Cullum and Gwyneth Herbert. If the emphasis was on covers from the Beatles to Bacharach on a leisurely summer’s afternoon, a few originals made the point that Joanna Eden is also a most accomplished songwriter.

Donald Muir
- East Anglian Daily Times

"Eden Offers a Glimpse of Paradise"

Can nice girls rise to the top? Consider RAF bandsman's daughter Joanna Eden, the very English artist on duty here last night. Confident and charming, she plays good piano, writes sharp-witted, well-crafted songs and sings them sweetly and with conviction.

Moreover you won't find her staggering out of some West End casino at 4.30am. This lady has a family to run, including her husband and drummer Charlie and their musical daughter.

Candid originals from her new 33-Jazz album, Moving Shadows, covered topics ranging from old flames (Have you met my Beautiful New Wife?) to her mother (Can't Get Anything Past Her), her husband (Smoke and Drink? Not until I Met You) and depression (Get Thee Behind Me). Solid caberet fare, you might think, but her delivery of jazz themes (Midnight Sun, Nature Boy) were equally strong.

Her solos blended well with Julie Walkington's fine walking bass and the bluesy elequence of guitarist Jim Mullen, a guest star guaranteed to raise the creative bar.

Jim's not on the new album because we felt his playing needed a little more work"' quipped Ms eden as Jim contritely slapped his wrist. "Actually," she added, "we couldn't afford him."

Last year Joanna shared a charity event with overnight superstar Jamie Cullum. With some steely image adjustment her turn may come, too. It couldn't happen to a nicer person.

Jack Masserik - London Evening Standard

"Melody Mystery and Bite"

Singer-songwriter-pianist with melody, mystery and bite.

Eden once haunted smart jazz joints mixing freshly arranged standards and offbeat originals, as captured on her 2000 debut A Little Bird Told Me. Now, My Open Eye is a surprising collection of self-penned post-motherhood songs, revealing her haunting music as perhaps closer in spirit to Beverley Craven than Betty Carter. The opener, Singing Out, sets the tone: a plaintive piano arpeggio, a voice as clean as dry sherry and the verse ("There goes my true love/He's walking on water/There goes his new love/She could be his daughter") pulling the rug immediately, beauty and broken glass all at once. I Cry mourns the Iraq episode with heartbreaking modesty, and deserved to be Number 2 at Christmas. Elsewhere there's love and guilt, joy and restlessness, naivety and wisdom co-existing in Eden's alluring ouvre. For those whose favourite part of a martini is the olive.
- Mojo Magazine


MOVING SHADOWS 33JAZZ149 Released November 2007 on 33Jazz Label. Features Charlie Price - drums and Julie Walkington - double bass. A collection of jazz standards and 60s pop - given the "Eden Treatment"!
MY OPEN EYE MRM2013 Release Date May 14 07 on Mr Riddles Music Label. A self-penned album featuring Jim Mullen - guitar, Mick Hutton - double bass, Charlie Price - drums, Dan Boutwood - guitar, Al Tsentides - bass, Jonathan Radford - Flugelhorn.
Radio airplay so far: BBC RADIO 2 and BBC RADIO 4 and BBC LOCAL RADIO ESSEX
A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME BBJ2012 Released August 2000 on Black Box Label. A collection of Eden originals, standards and more contemporary songs given the "eden treatment".
Features Alan Leggett - trumpet, Charlie Price - drums, Scott Noftle - bass, Julie Walkington - double bass, Alison Neale - Flute, Francesco Cavalier - guitar, Dan Boutwood - guitar and Luke Annersley - Tenor Sax.



Singer/pianist and songwriter Joanna Eden has already attracted the interest of the likes of Michael Parkinson "Definitely worth seeking this one out", Courtney Pine "Fabulous new album"; she has supported the legendary Buena Vista Social Club, Jamie Cullum and Nerina Pallot; and her music can be heard regularly on UK stations BBC Radio 2 and The Jazz.

She's currently putting the finishing touches to Falling Out of Grace her 4th studio album due for release spring 2010 which will feature 10 original tracks co-written with guitarist Ian Wilson.

In her 2007 release Moving Shadows on the 33 Jazz label, Joanna performs with her "immaculate and spirited rhythm section" Charlie Price (drums) and Julie Walkington (bass).

Moving Shadows came about as a result of the over-whelming response to Joanna Eden's all original album My Open Eye. Her newly raised profile brought about a distribution deal, new management, BBC Radio 2 airplay, a live performance on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and some serious press [Mojo:- "melody, mystery and bite!"] My Open Eye had it's nationwide release in April 2007. With active support from supermarket chains Waitrose and Tescos, Joanna's feet have hardly touched the ground!

At the urging of a Radio 2 producer Joanna conceived Moving Shadows as a complete contrast to her self-penned My Open Eye; putting together a collection of covers mixing classic 60s pop (Alfie, Let's Stay Together, Yesterday) with jazz standards (The Midnight Sun, Nature Boy, A Night in Tunisia). A simple trio line-up with collaborators Julie Walkington on double bass and Charlie Price on drums and percussion, Moving Shadows will be released this autumn on the 33 Jazz label.

For the daughter of a professional musician and a drama teacher and writer perhaps becoming a singer/songwriter was an obvious step but it didn't always feel like joining the family firm "I know my Dad really worried about my career choice, he probably had visions of me starving in some garret. I wrote the song Father's Day (on Eden's first album A Little Bird Told Me) about those emotions which features 4 more originals which were welcomed by the media ("a Martini-cool voice with something of the cookie wisdom of Rickie Lee Jones and a song-writing style to match" Mojo).