Singer Orla Murphy is currently touring England to showcase her second album 'Wonderous Visions'. The album is a presentation of new jazz arrangements and re-workings of Stevie Wonder songs, for the main part chosen from his work of the 1970s (his classic period). A golden moment includes Orla's self penned 'love letter' to her idol Wonder, co-written with pianist Steve Lodder. The 3 sets will cover the entirety of the album and original material from Orla and her band, as well as the singers acclaimed debut album 'Wishful Thinking'.
Orla Murphy is a talented London-based Jazz Vocalist. Her voice has been described as possessing a distinctive, rich sound with a deep and soulful timbre; and often comparisons are made with great Jazz Vocalists Nina Simone, Cleo Laine, and Diana Krall. A successful debut album released in 2008 gained her a respected place as a regular touring musician, a Jazz Festival favourite and impressive recording sessions with some of London's leading jazz musicians: Jonathan Gee, bassist Andy Hamill, multi-talented pianist Aron Ottignon, and Richard Barr.
SOME PRAISE FOR THE ALBUM
Orla Murphy’s fine tribute to one of music’s greatest songsmiths presents a superb cross-section of classic Wonder songs that no amount of repetition will dull. Culled in the main from his classic albums Music of my Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life, the album kicks off with a terrific interpretation of ‘All I Do’, in which we only get to hear the chorus hook sung in its entirety right at the death. It’s the musical equivalent of tantric sex. The entirely skip-proof collection also features the singer’s gorgeous, long-lined phrasing in ‘Another Star’, a delightful, gently swinging waltz-time version of ‘Visions’ complete with harmonica solo courtesy of Andy Hamill (who contributes the robust and singing bass lines). Murphy’s wonderfully rich timbre and warm vibrato are heard to especially telling effect on the lyrical riches of slower material such as ‘Heaven Help Us All’, ‘Seems So Long’, and ‘They Won’t Go When I Go’. Murphy herself contributes the fine original ‘Timeless’ (co-composed with Steve Lodder), an affectionate autobiographical account of a young girl growing up in the 1980s Belfast and her response to hearing the music of Wonder for the first time. If you haven’t heard Murphy yet, then Wonderous Visions – her second album – should definitely make it on to your wish list.’ – Peter Quinn, JAZZWISE, May 2012
‘The songs of Stevie Wonder have inspired a generation of jazz musicians. Singers, awed by his vocal abandon, generally keep a respectful distance but true devotees are beginning to declare themselves, and none more lovingly than Orla Murphy. Tall and tender, with a deep well of bittersweet Irish blues in her voice, the Belfast-born diva delivers 10 Stevie classics with real feeling and a laid-back elegance. Visions, Big Brother and Too High (a prophetic epitaph for Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston) are particularly fine, and her own song, Timeless, is a neat overview of her mentor’s career…’ – Jack Massrik, London’s Evening Standard 9th March 2012