The New York singer Catherine Russell was born into what could be termed the aristocracy of jazz. Her father, pianist Luis Russell (1902-1963), worked with Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver and was one of Louis Armstrong's band leaders. Her mother, bass player and vocalist Carline Ray, caused a furore in the 1940s with the all-female big band the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, led by Mary Lou Williams. For many years, Russell was in demand as a backing vocalist (Paul Simon, David Bowie, Madonna), before releasing her debut solo album CAT in 2006. This year, her third album Inside This Heart Of Mine was released. Russell sings standards from the big-band tradition and new numbers in the style of Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller. She is a versatile, exciting singer. Every song sounds refreshingly new. She has an excellent feel for timing and for finding the perfect balance between raw emotions and down-to-earth humour. Where might that have come from?