CD Review – Sara Dowling “From Shadows into Light”

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9 tracks & 37.39 minutes of pure delight.
(Sara Dowling – vocals; Rob Barron – piano; Jeremy Brown – bass; Matt Home – drums)

Apart from singing beautifully on the album, Sara Dowling has co-written two tracks with pianist, Rob Barron, a mighty presence on this work of sheer musicality and craftsmanship.

Sara comes from a music background, her father loved jazz, she studied cello and then went on to choose a singing career in jazz predominantly, writing songs also for the music industry’s biggest publishing companies: Sony, Emi, Warner to name a few.

There is a special tenderness in Sara’s voice, it makes me melancholic, but I am pulled to hear more and want to hear more.

For example,  “You’ve got my heart on a string” (Sara Dowling/ Rob Barron) offers a sensuous rendition, something that is performed impeccably, and what about “Social Call” (Gigi Gryce) an up-tempo and slick piece that Sara makes it her own.  “My Favourite Things”, a Rodgers and Hammerstein iconic track, has an incredible pace, it dips and flies with Sara’s powerful vocal ranges.  And  then a great choice, “Lush Life” by the great Billy Strayhorn, melodic enough to ensnare anybody, Rob Barron’s piano is captivating.

The love for Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday are omnipresent, but one thing is certain, Sara Dowling is not one to be compared to anyone, she is a brilliant musician and singer whose career is flying high.

I am looking forward to hearing new material, especially and hopefully Sara singing in Arabic on the new Simians of Swing’s album!  Watch this space.

To purchase Sara’s self produced album –

Text: Erminia Yardley

Images: Sara Dowling

Last modified: July 15, 2018