Jarmila Xymena Gorna



PHEW! Jarmila Xymena Gorna gets a lot off her chest in performance: spiritual questing, angst, catharsis... This we gather from her engagingly cooky introductions, for this formidable flame-haired Polish musician's songs are wordless.

She might start off sounding like a maverick Swingle Singer but, thanks to the electronic box of tricks perched on her grand piano, she ends up sounding like a Morricone score, or an entire Bulgarian choir, as her impassioned vocalising swoops through the octaves, over her classically-accented piano and the rich-toned playing of Rory Simmons (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Tom Mason (double bass).

Numbers such as Approaching Your Insanity had her anguished, native-American style chant howling through the mix, as the piano thundered and Simmons's trumpet yelled. Elsewhere, vocal asides into the sampler wah-wahed weirdly back and Simmons's mute trumpet rasped waspishly. By way of relief, a purely instrumental excursion dispatched trumpet and bass off in a nicely meandering duet, before Gorna's piano joined Mason for mellow ruminations.

"Let us end triumphantly," she declared, and we wondered whether to expect a Tchaikovskian artillery barrage. What we got, in fact, was exuberant pastoral capers - a brassy romp with cattle-calling whoops, while the audience was asked to povide sheep noises.

Flamboyantly up-bleat, you might say; but not to be missed.