Personnel: Giorgio Serci (guitar); Paul Booth (alto flute, saxophone, percussion, background vocals); Kevin Robinson (trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion, background vocals); Danny White (keyboards); Marc Parnell (drums); Veronique Clarisse, Annick Clarisse-Willequet (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Richard Bull.
Recording information: Cultural Center, Wytw¢rnia, L¢dz, Poland (06/29/2011).
Photographers: Maciej Michalski; Krzysztof Malec.
Unlike her first concert collection, 1995's Basia on Broadway, Basia's second live disc, From Newport to London: Greatest Hits Live. and More, despite its title, finds her back in her home country, performing in L¢dz, Poland, in June 2011. (The title actually refers to one of the three studio tracks that augment the 15 live songs, a wistful new tune called "From Newport to London.") The set does include the hits she scored in the late '80s and early '90s, "New Day for You," "Time and Tide," "Promises," "Cruising for Bruising," and "Drunk on Love," along with other songs from her studio albums Time and Tide, London Warsaw New York, The Sweetest Illusion, and the 2009 comeback disc It's That Girl Again. "That girl" is now 51, but she has grown noticeably as a singer since the commercial heyday she enjoyed in her late twenties and early thirties. Now, she is a far more expressive vocalist, bringing more emotion and meaning to her English lyrics while retaining the near-vocalese musical quality she exhibited earlier. Frequently shadowed by backup singers Veronique Clarisse and Annick Clarisse-Willequet, she employs a small band including her musical partner, Danny White, on keyboards, Giorgio Serci on guitar, Andy Lafone on bass, Marc Parnell on drums, Paul Booth on saxophone, and Kevin Robinson on trumpet. They provide a much less produced sound than was heard on the studio recordings, resulting in an approach that is jazzier and earthier, not the light disco of the early days. This is all to the good, and when Basia returns to the studio to remake "There's a Tear" from It's That Girl Again in a stripped-down, "unplugged" style, she demonstrates that she can put across a sad ballad with feeling, something she never could have attempted 20 years ago. ~ William Ruhlmann