Sarah Jane Morris’s magnificent, soulful voice and emotional power would have garnered multiple Grammys and celebrity status to most singers with her charisma and drive. But for over 25 years of a unique career, she has steered her own star, not the music industry’s, and that independence has brought her a devoted audience, inspired by her belief in the power of song to change hearts and minds.
Following her critically acclaimed performance at Ronnie Scott’s last year, Sarah Jane will be performing the songs of John Martyn, a sublime but monstrous hell-raiser and troubled genius; an innovative musical talent – whose music incorporated folk, jazz, blues and rock – unsurprisingly dead at 61. The oft-used cliché of ‘the difficult artiste’ fitted him like a well-worn overcoat. Trouble was his middle name.
With a career arc that has been aptly described as a ‘slow-motion car crash played out against real artistic achievement’, in spite of heroic self-destructive urges and habits, the singer/guitarist produced a canon of music that is both breathtaking and brittle in its complex, atmospheric beauty.
Martyn’s music influenced a generation of his peers, friends and fans alike, and his contribution continues to resonate many years after his passing, picking up endless plaudits worldwide from those fortunate enough to be seduced by his unique voice, instrumental mastery and those very, very special songs that will live forever in the annals of popular music history.
Accompanied by guitarists Tony Remy and Tim Cansfield, Sarah Jane, through her own brilliant interpretive vocal talents, picks up the torch and shines a light on this great musical maverick, illuminating his life’s work, in her inspirational new show.
“. . . her take on the music of John Martyn, the late singer/songwriter who straddled folk, blues, jazz and rock – as indeed does Morris – felt incandescent.” – Evening Standard
“Morris does not interpret soul. She IS soul, with all its passion and pain, joy and sorrow, hard times and highs.” – Montreal Gazette
“. . . Morris yet again demonstrated her versatility, as she applied her magic dust to the music and lyrics of the late, great John Martyn.” – Close Up Culture
“Torch song, soul standard or smoky blues, the message remains constant: human passion with a dazzling voice.” – The Observer
The evening includes a film about John’s life with interviews with the musicians he worked with, family and friends.