Christine Tobin vocals/compositions, Cora Venus Lunny violin/viola, David Power uilleann pipes/whistles,
Phil Robson guitar/electronics and Steve Hamilton piano.
Christine's latest project, Returning Weather, imaginatively weaves song, spoken word and a stellar group of musicians from diverse disciplines together, creating a multi-dimensional sound-world which blends influences from folk, 20th-century art song and jazz. While the live shows expand upon the material with additional spoken word passages and visual effects, the album is a concise collection of nine compositions. It charts a journey which is part homecoming, part memoir, inspired by Christine’s return to Ireland after many years abroad and explores themes of finding home, dwelling and landscape, reconnecting with a cultural background, reshaping a sense of identity and belonging. The songs are set in the countryside around Frenchpark, Boyle and Ballaghadereen. There are many songs of leaving and farewell, this is the music of homecoming and return. She was commissioned to write this evocative new song cycle by The Dock Arts Centre, with an Arts Council of Ireland, Music Commissions Award. All the words and compositions are by Christine, with the exception of 'Still, Life' which a poem by Eva Salzman set to music by Tobin.
Christine Tobin grew up in Dublin, later moving to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She was an integral part of the London contemporary scene for many years before moving to New York in 2015 where she made a considerable impact on the city’s creative music world. She returned to Ireland in 2020. The forthcoming March 2023 release of ‘Returning Weather’ will be Christine’s twelfth album under her own name. In 2012 she won a BASCA British Composer Award for her settings of poems by WB Yeats, ‘Sailing To Byzantium’. The following year, her arrangements of Leonard Cohen songs won a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Festival. In 2014 she was awarded ‘Jazz Vocalist of the Year’ at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Earlier in 2008, she won a BBC Jazz Award for ‘Best Vocalist’. Aside from her own projects, she has worked and recorded with an array of artists including musicians Django Bates, Billy Hart, Julian Joseph, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Turner, Louis Stewart, Nigel Kennedy, Jean Toussaint, Francesco Turrisi, Ingrid Jensen, poets Paul Muldoon, Eva Salzman, Don Paterson, actor Gabriel Byrne and film director Mike Figgis. She has played at major festivals and venues around the world
"The results are starkly beautiful, veering from abstraction to romanticism to folky minimalism, and Tobin’s voice, filled with humanity and warmth, draws it all together perfectly."
Irish Times **** review of Returning Weather
"Dublin-born vocalist and songwriter Christine Tobin, creates a singularly beautiful sound-world which draws in elements from traditional Irish music, jazz and contemporary classical in an entirely seamless way."
Jazzwise Magazine, Editor's Choice, **** review of Returning Weather
"...spellbinding album...Tobin gives rich voice to the warmth of homecoming and enfoldment in landscape, while lapping piano and pastoral strings add spare lyricism to such languorous evocations as Callow or July."
The Scotsman Newspaper ***** review of Returning Weather
“…feisty original music written by Tobin for a programme that covers the Americana waterfront. The album is a masterclass in songcraft.”
BBC Music Magazine *****
"Tobin’s vocals, veering from acrobatic to sultry, are tailored perfectly for the material, her evocations of time and place precise. Classy and lovely.” The Observer ****
“PELT is marked by its timbral richness and breathtaking imaginative scope... a remarkable equipoise of the hard-hitting and the understated... one of the year’s must-hear albums.” Jazzwise**** Recommended
"Pelt strikes that most elusive of balances between familiarity and strangeness, by turns recalling Tom Waits, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, without being beholden to any particular genre or influence... music that veers from grungy, post-industrial grooves to wispy romanticism to abstracted contemporary classical, all played with punkish attitude..” The Irish Times ****
“...there’s a patience and clarity to her handling of fine poetry, but there’s a tough, bluesy assertiveness to this album too. Tobin sounds almost as scornfully sardonic as 60s Dylan... Muldoon and Tobin make a powerful team.” The Guardian****
"a jewel of the London jazz scene, streets ahead of the pack… She should be on a global stage, rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen.” John L Walters, The Guardian, May 08 (Secret Life Of A Girl)
"This group, by drawing their influence from diverse sources, has freed jazz from theAmerican concepts and this universality appealed to me more than anything else” Calcutta Times
“What draws me to her is her sound. I really like what she does and I find myself listening to what she says. I’m reminded that the voice is the primary source of all music.” Mike Figgis film director
"That jazz is more about getting into its ‘spirit’ than sticking-to-genres was highlighted in this group.” The Hindustan Times
“Christine Tobin has a particular aura of wandering on thin ice above the abyss of fatal threats. Her glowing voice is stamped by a sadness cloaked in beauty, like in a never exploding drama.” Ulrich Olshausen Frankfurter Allgemeiner
“One of the most gifted and original singer/songwriters in today’s jazz world.” BBC Music Magazine
“A singer who refuses to be boxed in by convention.” Clive Davis, The Sunday Times
“Tobin is forthright , self-revalatory , eclectic and experimental.” John Fordham, The Guardian
“The Tobin voice is simply peerless.” Jazzwise Magazine
“Definitely one of the country’s very finest musicians.” Linton Chiswick ,Time Out
“One of the most creative vocalists on the contemporary scene." Jazz UK
“One of the finest vocal jazz collections in years” (Deep Song) John Lewis, Time Out
“Great timing is a gift given to few and one that Tobin possesses, along with an exciting tendency to take the darker path.” The Times
“The Voice is a killer.” Froots
“Too humane and humorous to preach, and too intelligent to deliver a formula for life, Christine Tobin is nevertheless fascinated by the pursuit of something that might stand up as The Truth” Jazz UK J. Fordham
"What PJ Harvey achieved in rock and what Bjork did to dance music Christine Tobin could do to jazz - for the music's benefit."
“You Draw The Line is about Tobin setting her own philosophical agenda and crafting a personal creative lexicon that shakes those
horribly glib terms such as tradition, modernity and post-modernity into a heady cocktail of originality.” Kevin Le Gendre, Music Week
"She's got one of those voices that can move from pure, pastoral-edged folk whimsy to big angry blues mama in a single phrase; from world-weary interpreter of show tunes to howling rock diva within a single note...............one of the finest vocal jazz collections in years."
"Tobin's voice has an edge that recalls more over-the-top singers - the dangerous bite of Cathy Berberian, the damaged croak of Marianne Faithfull - without ever lurching into melodrama. She performs with a controlled drama." The Guardian
Jazzwise hail her as "probably the most adventurous jazz singer of her generation in this country… This album leaves the back door open for fans of P.J. Harvey or Joan as Policewoman to get into her music." Jazzwise May 2008
"lovely, many-hued voice – discreet and yet characterful. A class act." The Telegraph
“flawless” Chris Parker, VORTEX online, May 08
"This imaginative set may be the one that finally pushes her towards wider recognition." John Bungey, The Times
“…an album of cherishable ambition and total distinction” Robert Shore, London Metro
“This might be the most transparently intimate and assured statement so far of what the unique singer Christine Tobin is
all about” John Fordham Jazz UK
“…it's a tribute to the quality of Tobin's writing that there are no weak spots in this excellent collection” **** The Guardian