With a new album on ECM records from Quercus, William Dart takes the opportunity to profile the group's spellbinding singer, June Tabor. (The name Quercus comes from the botannical name for the oak).
Tabor is first and foremost a folksinger - she emerged in the early 70s alongside Rosemary Hardman, Maddy Prior, and the Steeleye Span set. But her projects have been many and unpredictable, including a 1989 album of jazz standards.
On this Quercus album, Nightfall, she and her collaborators, saxophonist Iain Ballamy and pianist Huw Warren, tackle an eclectic set with several trad folk numbers interleaved with originals and a Dylan song. They send us off with a cool, restrained but ultimately resolute 'Somewhere' from West Side Story.
'Song title' (Composer) – Performers
'Song to the evening sky' (Hardman) – Rosemary Hardman (with June Tabor bvs)
'My husband's got no courage in him' (Trad) – Silly Sisters – Maddy Prior & June Tabor
'Sophisticated Lady' (Ellington) – June Tabor
Some Other Time
'Shipbuilding' (Costello/ Langer) – June Tabor
'Love will tear us apart' (Curtis et al) – June Tabor & Oysterband
'A Place Called England' (Holland) – June Tabor
A Quiet Eye
'The Shepherd and his Dog' (Trad) – Quercus
'The Cuckoo' (Trad) – Quercus
'Somewhere' (Bernstein/ Sondheim) – Quercus