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CHRIS WHILE AND JULIE MATTEWS "Quest" FATCD009

This is the third album from Chris and Julie as a duo and what a fine piece of work it is. They decided to involve the acclaimed Ghanaian musician Kwame Yeboah as producer and multi-instrumentalist on this current work and what an inspiration he is to this Quest. Chris and Julie are a dream team already, both accomplished musicians in their own right; the bringing together of Chris who has one of the finest voices on the planet with Julie's perceptive and incisive song-writing skills already conjures a prospect of excellence and lo, here it is.

The music defies categorisation; some folk, some jazz, some folk-rock, some soft-rock all with an overlay of confidence and ease which only compares with the best of the genre - I would venture that the care taken in production of this album bears comparison with the best of James Taylor, Joni, Rickie Lee or Shawn Colvin. It is difficult to choose outstanding tracks but for me those which feature the lead vocal of Chris While have the greatest sway. A single is to be released of Shadow of My Former Self which is an outstanding song and has all the necessary memorability to become a success chart-wise - come on Radio 2, you did it for Gordon Haskell!

These two girls have come a long way since their time in Ashley Hutchings' Albion Band but some of the old Albion strength goes on; Kelly While, Chris's daughter is currently lead vocalist with Albion and she puts in some nice backing vocals on Shadow of My Former Self and Blind Faith; the coming together of two generations in song - a kind of living tradition. This album should be nominated for all sorts of awards, including the Mercury Prize, so make a start - Buy it!

Tony Kendall

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This album was reviewed in Issue 48 of The Living Tradition magazine.