Flora Purim-like on ‘Residing’ and the joyous ‘Summer Days’ Saunders has written all of the music as well as arranging and producing Outsiders Insiders.

The infectious title track is perhaps atypical of the main thrust of the album exuding more of a Elizabeth Shepherd-or even Patricia-Barber-like atmosphere, the narrative drive and modern keyboards sound part of Saunders’ preference to roam beyond a fixed sense of genre, Steve Pringle on keys drafted in instead of the Stockhausen-loving Bruno Heinen elsewhere on the album.

The singer has completely assimilated vocalese and the atmospheres of progressive Brazilian jazz-influenced musics notably samba into her own method certainly not letting the style get in the way of substance no matter how tricky and involved the improvising turns out.

Mulatu Astatke Step Ahead band trumpeter Byron Wallen, whose squealingly-lonesome opening gambit lights up the beginning of the title track, is the only horn player apart from trombonist Trevor Mires, both more than effectively used in the writing even when the ensemble sound spreads out, the core band completed by Christine Tobin bassist Dave Whitford, Kairos 4tet drummer Jon Scott and percussionist Fabio De Oliveria, with Asaf Sirkis on percussion and bassist Paul Michael stepping in notably on the reggae-like ‘Descending Down.’

The product of a restless imagination Saunders is never risk averse and four years on from Cotton Skies goes from strength to strength as her individuality and artistry continue to make their presence felt. Stephen Graham

Released in March