Ben Cox Band ‘This Waiting Game’ (Cinnamon) 3/5

ben-coxYoung male jazz vocalists are a somewhat rare breed with soul a far more tempting avenue. However, twenty-one year old Ben Cox has a gentle whispery delivery not dissimilar to Michael Franks whom he most resembles and there are even shades of the soulful side of Jamiroqui into the bargain.
The visual look is akin to either Brains from Thunderbirds, or maybe Joe 90 for those who have a long enough memory to recall those popular culture icons of the past. Musically, however, the sound is crossover jazz vocals territory and the quasi-spoken delivery on ‘Blessed are the bleak’ gives an indication of what follows elsewhere. The compositional skills are impressive, but Cox needs to work a little on perfecting those high notes. A very pleasant duet with Claire Martin ensures on ‘A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square’ and both the piano and percussion accompaniment is subtle and refined. What is a harbinger of things to come is hinted at on a creative arrangement of Paul McCartney’s ‘And I love her’ which here is a gentle mid-temp number with some lovely brass ensemble as addition.
One might question the wisdom of whether such a young voice is ideally suited to a jazz/pop crooner repertoire and the voice certainly has yet to mature, but time is on Ben Cox’s hands and this may well prove to be the perfect combination for him in the years to come. A brief UK tour in mid-April took in the Cinnamon club in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.

Tim Stenhouse