Rob Koral & Zoe Schwarz
Having made a considerable impact these past six years in a crowded market place, charismatic vocalist Zoë Schwarz makes her first visit to Jagz with the individual and stylish guitarist Rob Koral.
Zoë and Rob’s musical partnership has been described as “one of the most engagingly natural partnerships in jazz, Zoë’s unaffected vocal style particularly well suited to the blues, and Rob's flawless guitar skills; their gigs are immediately accessible, enjoyable affairs.” – Chris Parker.
ZOE SCHWARZ was classically trained and a graduate in the ‘Performing Arts’ from Middlesex University. Despite Zoë’s classical upbringing and studies, it soon became clear that her forte was far more suited to jazz, expressive ballads and blues. It was only three years after her first jazz gig that Zoë made her debut at Ronnie Scott’s playing a week opposite Monty Alexander. She has also enjoyed success at Pizza Express-Dean street, Stables-Wavendon, Vortex, 606, Lighthouse-Poole to name a few. As well as many other theatre and club dates Zoë has had a full programme of festivals stretching from Chichester to Swaledale, Carswell to Lichfield, from Mumbles to Petworth and Bude to the Isle of Wight.
ROB KORAL comes from a ‘self-taught’, more bluesy background; but subsequently made his name on the British jazz scene, performing and recording with the likes of Malcolm Creese, Robin Aspland, Gareth Williams, Roy Babbington, Lawrence Cottle, Django Bates and Bill Bruford. Rob moved to London early in his career and released several well-received albums, appeared on the Old Grey Whistle test and many BBC radio Jazz sessions. Rob has played at all major jazz venues and festivals and recent solo album ‘Grace Notes’ was featured on Radio 3’s Jazz Line Up in 2008.
‘Step Up’ - “A glorious album” - Radio 2, Humphrey Lyttelton, March ‘08
"The bluesy vocals of Zoë Schwarz have won a significant following.” - The Independent on Sunday, Roger Trapp
"Rob Koral is superb his is a talent of world class proportions." - Jazz Journal Intl, Bruce Crowther
“Celebration - it really is a gem of an album…. Zoe’s voice shows warmth and great depth of feeling, but what makes it compelling is the sense of power” - John Watson – Jazz Rag
“Schwarz has a gritty and interesting approach to her music. The jazzier you are the more you will warm to this and Schwarz is certainly a singer to look out for as she tours the country.” - Jazz Journal Intl, Bruce Crowther
“Zoe Schwarz is a fine singer with a great jazz feel... a singer with an individual style and a polished performance” - Jazz CD Reviews, Don Mather
“... Koral has an exceptionally fertile melodic touch” - Clive Davis - Sunday Times ‘Culture’ magazine
“Schwarz.. .Deliciously compelling…. one of the most outstanding voices on the current circuit.” - Nick Lee CD Reviews
“It’s rare nowadays that an individual emerges in the guitar field” - Jazz Magazine International
Rob Koral must be our most prolific writer of quality jazz songs, usually in collaboration with singers Zoe Schwarz and Sue Hawker” - Ron Simpson, The Jazz Rag Autumn 2008
“They possess the ability to channel the narrative arc of a song in a totally unaffected and direct way….. wonderfully fluid instrumental….” - Peter Quinn – Jazzwise
“Schwarz and Koral never allowing their clear respect and admiration for classic vocal jazz to overwhelm their own considerable individuality…..Koral is an unfussy but subtly skilful accompanist, and with Schwarz characteristically affecting and resourceful throughout, this is a wholly enjoyable and clearly deeply felt album from a stylish and thoughtful pairing.” Chris Parker - Vortex ‘Celebration’ (33Jazz201)
“The real meat of this recording is to be found in the nine originals. The two Billie Holiday-inspired tunes ‘Let’s Explain’ and ‘Give Him Up Girl’ both pack powerful emotional punches (who says no one’s writing good lyrics these days) ……” Peter Quinn - Jazzwise ‘Devil or Dove’ (33jazz121)
Rob Koral & Zoe Schwarz