Sally Doherty is back with a bump

Sally Doherty
Sally Doherty
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MANY pregnant women either want to take it easy, scoff Milk Tray or develop a craving for beetroot-flavoured yoghurt.

Jazz singer Sally Doherty felt an urge to head into a studio and finished up making an album with her regular pianist Paul Kilvington.

“I’ve done two Latin jazz albums and I was thinking of doing another but I got pregnant and thought ‘ah, leave it’,” she recalls.

“Then I decided it would be good to do some recording and not think about a release, because I usually record with a release in mind. But we thought we would do it for pleasure.”

Sally reveals motivation to record came indirectly from son Leo, when it was pointed out by a fan that six months of pregnancy had changed her voice.

“It does affect your diaphragm but you feel more relaxed so that helps,” recalls the singer, who decided to capture the moment.

With three more songs added, including the cello-aided Amazon River, once Sally had given birth to Leo, the result was Silent Spaces.

Arguably the Hunters Bar artist sounds more laidback and richer in voice, not least where the music is at its most delicate. The 13-track selection includes a varied mix of Brazilian and English songs, as well as Sally’s Summer Birds and Milk & Honey.

Leo is now 20 months and credited for his part in the album sleeve notes. But he’d better not get used to hogging the limelight as he faces competition from October.

“I was gigging until a few weeks before he arrived and I will do this time as well because I’m pregnant again,” reveals Sally.

It’s going to be a girl so it seems she’s got her future backing singers lined up.

“I’m keeping my hand in with the music. It was difficult at first because Leo was quite poorly so I had to dedicate all my time to him. It’s been mostly sleepless nights and can’t think straight, but while I’ve been able to I’ve been gigging and doing my stuff.

“It’s not really creatively inspiring, but it is life-changing, motivational and I think it’s made me a bit more ‘do things if I want to do them’ and not have any massive pressure.”

Sally and Paul launch their album at The Greystones tomorrow and also have Manchester Jazz Festival and one in Cumbria in their sights.

The singer is also hoping to show some results for an on-going collaborative project with Skanna, an electronic artist who usually works with visual artists and dancers, before things get hectic again.

“I like to keep it varied and do some self-penned work as well which has been good with Skanna. And he’s so different from other people I’ve worked with.”

For now, though, she’s enjoying the fruits of Silent Spaces, which she describes as “quite a different experience, quite minimal, spacious”, hence the title.

While some of the Brazilian choices are a tad darker than might run for a commercially-minded record, Paul’s inspiration from French classical music filters through a delicately-produced album in which foreign lyrics flow rather than necessarily lead the music.

“I’ve studied the languages to a certain extent, had lessons, but I’m not very good at speaking them because you just have to keep at it.

“I wanted to have an understanding of a language but it’s more the sound, especially in Brazilian music; I love hearing the language. It’s quite liberating as well. I listen mostly to music that is not in English, then I’m not always listening to understand. It’s almost like an instrument, different meanings.”

With the album available through Sally’s online shop at sallydoherty.com and via iTunes and CD Baby, and a Japanese distributor on board, there’s potential for this mum to get very busy again.

“It’s changed my perspective on life,” she counters. “I’m not going on tour at the moment, there are different things going on. I’ve regained a bit more calm now.”