The other night I went to see a gig by a duo called Knight and Gayle, who were performing in a rather nice little restaurant in Hayle called The Foundry Bar. Kris Gayle is a singer who has been one of the south west's best kept secrets for many years and John Knight is a guitarist of considerable ability who ran his own recording studio for some time and is now involved in production and design. They first worked together in the early seventies in a band called 'Matrix', and have recently got together again to form this interesting unit.
Kris has a superb, pitch-perfect voice, a great sense of timing and phrasing and an ability to really inhabit a song. The pair performed an eclectic mix of material ranging from Van Morrison and Randy Crawford to Sting and Steely Dan but Kris managed to make each song her own without ever indulging in flamboyance or histrionics. John's accompaniments are most interesting. He uses a Roland guitar synthesiser, which allows him to generate bass lines, organ and string parts - all in real time: there are no backing tapes here! Despite the problems with latency that a guitar synth has (the synth voices respond a fraction of a second after the notes have been played), John manages to sustain a great groove. His chord voicings involve some pretty challenging stretches so as to accommodate the bass lines and he really has mastered the art of accompaniment. Oh, and his harmony backing vocals are spot on too! I really do recommend that you go and hear them if you get the chance.
Kris also works regularly with pianist Viv Rodd. Kris and Viv have landed a deal for their new CD '8.00 am' with Discovery Records and which was released nationally on June 2nd. Jazzwise gave it a great review in the May issue and Jack Massarik of the London Evening Standard made it his CD of the week, in the June 6th issue. Kris's web site is http://www.krisgayle.com/ and you can hear tracks from the new CD, which also happens to feature another ex band mate of mine, Marc Hadley. Go on.Check it out! It's well worth a listen.