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Sarah Jane Morris – Bloody Rain

‘Morris does not interpret soul. She is soul, with all its passion and pain, joy and sorrow, hard times and highs.’ The Gazette, Montreal

New album: Bloody Rain (Fallen Angel Records)

Bloody Rain album coverBloody Rain, the ambitious collection of love-songs, tributes, warnings and protests that Sarah Jane regards as the best album of her life, was released on September 15 2014 .

The album was launched at the Union Chapel, London, on September 18 2014. Read the review and browse images from the tour.

Listen to audio clips, and buy the album here

Dedicated to the people of Africa and the music of that continent that has inspired so many artists for so long, Bloody Rain brings together a stunningly diverse group of performers. Among a raft of guests are the Zimbabwe-born singer Eska , Senegal’s Seckou Keita on kora, the Soweto Gospel Choir and Adam Glasser from South Africa, American/Israeli jazz trumpeter Avishai Cohen , the UK-Caribbean saxophonist Courtney Pine and the former James Brown arranger Pee Wee Ellis – and of course the soulmates from Morris’s touring band including guitarist and co-writer of many of the new songs Tony Remy, Sting sideman Dominic Miller, Henry Thomas, Martyn Barker, Tim Cansfield and Adriano Adewale. On vocals Morris is accompanied on the album by a magnificent choir – well- known British jazz singer Ian Shaw, her son Otis Coulter, Janine Johnson, Lilybud Dearsley, Gianluca Di Martini and Roberto Angrisani.

Sarah Jane Morris, photo by Richard KabyTypically, Sarah-Jane Morris doesn’t flinch from some raw subjects in telling this story, and while she hopes that many of these haunting songs ‘ will lift your spirits’, she accepts that ‘some will make you weep.’ Blossoming as a lyricist in recent years, the singer and her co- writers have taken on subjects from tyrannical poli tical power (Bloody Rain), to honour killings (No Beyonce), child-soldiers (No Comfort For Them), and homophobia (David Kato).

But these forthright songs, ignited by irresistible grooves, superb playing, and Morris’s startling shifts from the soulfully rhetorical to the intimate, are about hope, not resignation. Bloody Rain is also, crucially, about love – in which respect, though the examples are Sarah-Jane Morris’s own, the music speaks to everyone. Her husband Mark and her 80 year-old mother Joy are the inspirations for the gl owing Afrobeat opener Feel The Love, For A Friend is a tender yet upbeat tribute to special companions, Wild Flowers a grateful celebration of her eccentric, accidentally-liberating upbringing, and the closing On My Way To You is as delicate and tender as anything this expressive singer has recorded in her long career.

The single, Men Just Wanna Have Fun, was released in April 2015 and was used by the Terence Higgins Trust as a campaign song. Watch the video here:

Bloody Rain reviews

“Sarah Jane Morris’s new album unifies a passion for African music with a commitment to expose social issues that plague that troubled continent” Continue to the rest of the review.

Click on the images below to see a larger, legible version.


MOJO album review
New Internationalist album review
Jazzwise interview
Daily Mirror album review