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Jazz forecast

Gwyneth Herbert is the latest in a popular wave of jazz vocalists doomed to plunder the old kitbag of song

By Nick Crowe   October 2004

As the age of popular music repetitively plays itself out, songwriters are forced into spirals of pastiche, dipping into the back catalogue to face ever-diminishing variations on the same old themes. Even from the once programmatically experimental jazz world, a new group of singer-songwriters has emerged – Jamie Cullum, Amy Winehouse and Gwyneth Herbert among them – who, subsumed by this regurgitative culture, are sacrificing themselves to cover versions. Having grown up surrounded by extensive record collections and remastered classics, their tastes are far reaching. Yet their choice of repertoire does little justice to the scope of their genuine musical…

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