11 June 2009 By CAROL MAIN DAISY CHUTE AND SIMON THACKER LORETTO SCHOOL, MUSSELBURGH
FOR an emerging singer like Daisy Chute, being part of a pop quartet such as All Angels and building a performance career with all the support that comes as part of that package is one thing, but exposing your voice in a solo acoustic recital is something else entirely.
In this concert, at the mezzo-soprano's old school, Loretto, in Musselburgh, self-reliance – albeit with some expert help from the supremely accomplished Simon Thacker accompanying on guitar – was the only option.
Chute is just 19, and although she displays a confidence that belies her tender years, her voice and vocal technique still have plenty of space to develop. In a programme focusing on South American and Spanish music, with a bit of jazz and Latin folk thrown in, the lighter-weighted and more modern items were better suited to the stage she is at than the more challenging repertoire of earlier times.
There is a warm lustre to Chute's voice that bodes well for jazz, and this was shown off to best effect in the second half's arrangement of Wayfaring Stranger and the Brazilian Berimbau by the remarkably named Roberto Baden Powell. The wordless melancholy of fellow Brazilian Laurindo Almeida's Chôro e Batuque, however, needed more consistency of tone across the range than Chute was able to provide.
In solo classical guitar music by Ponce, Villa Lobos and Gnattali, Thacker displayed highly sophisticated playing that is second to none in its detailed clarity – brilliantly silvery one moment, muscular and earthy the next.