‘You don’t sing with the perfection that is The John Wilson Orchestra for six years, as she has in the past, without massive talent and perfect technique, so that now, as a solo artist, Sarah Moule stands in the very top flight of UK singers.’ Brian Blain, LondonJazz.com
2016 was an exciting and varied year for Sarah with performances with symphony orchestra and big bands, jazz quartet and duo with longtime musical partner Simon Wallace. She sang Ellington at Brecon Jazz Festival with the Capital City Jazz Orchestra, and symphonic arrangements of Landesman/Wallace and Great American Songbook at Porthcawl Jazz Festival with the Rhondda Symphony Pops Orchestra. She was invited by the great octogenarian British tenorman Duncan Lamont to perform material from his Songbooks alongside Norma Winstone MBE, celebrated Shakespeare’s 4th Centenary singing John Dankworth’s Shakespeare settings in the Music In Quiet Places Festival and took part in the 606 Club 40th Anniversary celebrations. In the EFG London Jazz Festival Sarah, composer/pianist Simon Wallace, Ian Shaw, Nicki Leighton-Thomas and Mick Hutton launched the Landesman/Wallace Songbook Volume One.
Notable gigs in 2015 included appearing alongside Bob Dorough, Trudy Kerr, Geoff Gascoyne and Seb de Krom for Bob’s only UK dates at Pizza Express Jazz Club London and Maidstone as well as extensive touring with Simon Wallace and continuing her residency with the Sound of 17 Big Band. She also made a live recording at Abbey Road Studio 2 with the London Gay Big Band for their debut CD, Brave.
In September 2014 Sarah released her fourth CD, Songs From The Floating World, which garnered widespread critical acclaim, 5 star reviews in The Observer and AllAboutJazz.com, 4 stars in Jazzwise Magazine and Jazz Journal Magazine. The launch at Pizza Express Jazz Club was accompanied by a 21 date UK Jazz Services supported tour and a performance at Scarborough International Jazz Festival.
Since she began performing with her quartet – Simon Wallace on piano, Mick Hutton on bass, Paul Robinson on drums – in 2002 Sarah has established a reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting jazz vocal talents. Together with her core trio she has recorded a unique body of new songs by legendary American Beat lyricist Fran Landesman and British composer Simon Wallace over her four albums.
Sarah has written the one-woman shows Songs for Scarlet Women and Fever! The Life & Loves of Peggy Lee, performing them alongside husband and musical director Simon Wallace at the EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL, Dulwich Festival, Cafe Posk, Charlton House, Pizza Express Jazz Club London, Bollington Festival, Ludlow Fringe Festival and Herne Hill Festival and touring them extensively in the UK.
Sarah sings regularly with the Sound of 17 Big Band, which she joined in 2014, performing monthly in West London and at Ealing Jazz Festival in 2014 and 2015.
In September 2011 Sarah made her Ronnie Scott’s Club debut as a featured artist with LADIES SING THE BLUES and has performed there regularly with the Renato D’aiello Quartet at Acoustic Jazz Lounge Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s.
She made her Southbank Centre debut in 2010 as a featured artist, in A NIGHT OUT WITH FRAN LANDESMAN, together with actors Imelda Staunton and Phil Daniels and jazz musician Bob Dorough, singers Ian Shaw and Gwyneth Herbert, composer Simon Wallace and Fran Landesman herself. The show was reprised with Sarah, Simon Wallace Gwyneth Herbert, Ian Shaw and Nicki Leighton Thomas for the Art Of Song Festival in 2011.
In 2009 Sarah performed at Swanage Jazz Festival with her quartet and special guest saxophonist Alan Barnes. She devised and performed a show with singer/songwriter and Clive James’s musical collaborator Pete Atkin, BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT, which premiered at the Dulwich Festival.
Sarah’s 2008 CD, ‘A Lazy Kind Of Love’ (Red Ram Records RAM001) included songs from unusual sources such as Julie Burchill, Clive James/Pete Atkin and Madonna’s brother-in-law, composer and producer, Joe Henry, as well as continuing her ongoing musical relationship with Fran Landesman and Simon Wallace. Spotlighting Sarah’s interpretations it complements them with exceptional playing from her the trio, Simon Wallace, Mark Hodgson and Paul Robinson, and guests Alec Dankworth, Mike Outram, Alan Barnes, Paul Clarvis and Pete Atkin.
Her previous recordings include two releases for Linn Records. Her highly acclaimed debut CD ‘It’s A Nice Thought’ (AKD192, 2002) is collection of new songs by Fran Landesman and Simon Wallace, whom The Observer dubbed “one of the finest songwriting partnerships”. Full of literate, often witty songs that lend themselves perfectly to Sarah’s emotionally direct vocal style. This was followed this in 2004 with Something’s Gotta Give (AKD239, 2004), which married further new material by Landesman/Wallace with classic songs by one of the greatest of the American Songbook lyricists, Johnny Mercer. As always Sarah is surrounded by some of the best British jazz musicians, including Jim Mullen, Pete Wareham, Matt & Steve Fishwick and Steve Waterman. This led in 2005 to Sarah’s broadcasting debut with the BBC Concert Orchestra for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night, performing orchestral arrangements of songs from Something’s Gotta Give.
Born into a large family on the south coast of England, after university Sarah soon traded the refined atmosphere of Bloomsbury publishers Jonathan Cape for extensive travels in steamy tropical locations. On returning to London in the early 1990s she met jazz singers Ian Shaw and Claire Martin who introduced her to pianist and composer Simon Wallace, also recently returned to London after several years writing for the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and touring with the equally steamy Lindsay Kemp Company.
“As soon as Simon played me the songs he’d been writing with Fran Landesman I knew I wanted to sing them” says Sarah. “They resonated with me, musically and lyrically – great tunes and lyrics that seemed to be about how we live today and the emotional highs and lows we all have to deal with. I immediately started singing them on the gigs I was doing in Soho and haven’t stopped yet”.
Around this time Sarah began to explore the music of Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington along with the late-night lifestyle of the London jazz musician while taking lessons with Claire Martin and ex-English National Opera soloist Kenneth Woollam. She soon established a solid reputation for herself on the London jazz scene singing regularly at the 606 Club, The Vortex, Pizza Express Jazz Club, The Pizza On The Park and guesting at Ronnie Scott’s Club.
She has performed with many stalwarts of British jazz including Ian Shaw, Claire Martin, Iain Ballamy, Tim Whitehead, Tim Garland, and Steve Waterman to name a few. She toured the Mediterranean with Ronnie Scott’s pianist John Critchinson in ‘A Tribute To Ronnie Scott’, performing opposite the legendary bebop duo Jackie & Roy. She was also featured vocalist with the John Wilson Orchestra for six years from 1996 t0 2002, performing extensively with them including a concert for Her Majesty the Queen at the Royal College Of Music and recording their eponymous debut cd, ‘This Is The John Wilson Orchestra’.
Her television credits include The Paul O’Grady Show, Lenny Henry in Pieces and The Ben Elton Show. She has also been featured vocalist with bandleader John C. Williams’ Rockin’ In Rhythm septet, specialising in the songs of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, and performed with them at St David’s Hall, Cardiff in 2002 for the Welsh Proms. That year she and the group also premiered a suite of newly commissioned pieces by John Mayer, Barbara Thompson, Nikki Iles, Simon Wallace and Dick Walters at Leasowes Bank Arts Festival in Shropshire. She lives in London, and is married to Simon Wallace.