It has been fascinating to watch the career development of the much-travelled Jill Barber. We first encountered her as a Halifax-based singer/songwriter with rootsy leanings, but she is now established as one of our best and most popular jazz/pop artists. She happily disregards genre barriers, starting lovely new album Fool's Gold (her sixth full-length) with an r 'n flavoured-tune "Broken For Good", then moving into jazz and lush retro pop terrain. The fact she writes her own material helps keep things coherent, while her distinctively sweet and warm voice is in top shape. Assisting in playing on, writing, arranging and producing the material are long-time collaborators Drew Jurecka and Les Cooper, while Steve Dawson co-writes a couple of tunes. Horns, strings and female backing vocals are all used judiciously to add atmosphere. Golden, yes. Foolish, no.
Barber begins a cross-Canada tour with a June 24 hometown concert at Vancouver's Vogue Theatre. Go to jillbarber.com for more dates.