Gateshead Jazz Festival Review
Bebop Spoken Here, Songbook at Gateshead Festival 2 April 2017
“Words by Mancio, music by Broadbent, this was Rodgers and Hart, George and Ira, Berlin, Porter, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields born again in a different century. It didn’t, it couldn’t, get any better than this…”
When the festival program was announced I looked at this gig and said to myself, “Could be interesting” whilst noting that there was competition from the other two major halls.
At a festival that began with a seemingly unbeatable performance by Clare Teal and continued with more vocal virtuosity from Natalie Williams (w. Ronnie Scott’s All Stars) this wasn’t just the icing on the cake – it was the cake with the bridesmaids, 27 sets of cutlery and a year’s subscription to Good Housekeeping thrown in.
The voice, full of warmth and pitch perfect, tells of emotions both happy and sad. The piano, a living legend and maybe the finest thing ever to escape from the Antipodes, is the perfect foil, complementing and supplementing the magic that unfolds with scintillating solos and chordal complexities that mere mortals can only dream about.The ‘bridesmaids’ undoubtedly handpicked and absolutely perfect for the job in hand whilst the material…
…the material. Words, by Mancio, music by Broadbent, this was Rodgers and Hart, George and Ira, Berlin, Porter, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields born again in a different century.
It didn’t, it couldn’t, get any better than this and, if Ronnie’s hadn’t been sold out tonight, I think I’d have been on the next train south.
But, don’t despair, buy the CD to hear what you’ve missed. It’s been on my car stereo for a month and the chances are it will still be there come Christmas – any Christmas!