London Jazz News

22nd-26th September, Pizza Express

Georgia Mancio has put together something very special. A feast of jazz singing over five nights in September. And also found the time to write, especially for LondonJazz, about each of the singers whom she is presenting.

Georgia herself will perform opening sets with a different duo partner each evening:
Nigel Price (guitar-22nd) Kate Williams (piano-23rd) Dave Colton (guitar-24th) Tim Lapthorn (piano-25th) and Ian Shaw (piano-26th)

Wednesday 22 September

I first heard Maria Pia de Vito with Colin Towns’ Mask Orchestra sharing the vocal chair with our own astonishing Norma Winstone.

She has one of the most beautiful and versatile voices I have ever heard: in it there is opera, folk, samba, beat boxing, world music and of course always jazz and jaw-dropping scat.

Thursday 23 September
with Ross Stanley (piano), Mark Hodgson (bass), Dave Ohm (drums)

I met Karin Krog in Poland whilst working there a couple of years ago. She was judging a Singing Competition and she sat in at a jam session one night after several of the (very talented) contestants had already performed.

She sang a blues – very simply with no vocal gymnastics in a totally unique, heartfelt, refreshing and humorous way that I think only someone with 50 years’ experience can.

Her awe-inspiring career has included: performances with Don Ellis and Clare Fischer; first prize in the Down Beat critics’ poll (1967); recordings with Dexter Gordon, Warne Marsh, Red Mitchell, Archie Shepp, Dave Frishberg, Steve Kuhn and collaborations with Richard Rodney Bennett and of course with her partner, John Surman.

This London date will be a rare opportunity to hear Karin in a really intimate setting with a top British rhythm section.

Friday 24 September / Saturday 25 September
REBECCA PARRIS with Ross Stanley (piano), Mark Hodgson (bass), Dave Ohm (drums)

It’s particularly special that Rebecca Parris is part of this week as I first heard her in the club more than 15 years ago and have been waiting for her to come back to London ever since!
Possessed of an incredibly warm, rich sound and a formidable technique she has that rare combination of swinging like crazy one minute and then reducing you to tears the next with the most tender ballad.

(Meanwhile, on Twitter, @CMartinJazz has written: “Rebecca Parris – probably the best jazz singer on the planet”. )

Sunday 26 September

I met David Linx in Brussels in 2005: he was presiding over the jury for the Brussels International Young Jazz Singers’ Competition in which I won first prize.

The following year, I joined him as a member of the panel alongside Sheila Jordan and had the immense pleasure of sharing the stage with them both as well as getting an insight into his musical tastes and influences.

Although still only in his forties he has already recorded some 15 albums as leader/co-leader and worked in an astonishing range of settings: Johnny Griffin, Clark Terry, The Count Basie Orchestra, Erik Truffaz, Roy Ayers, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Billy Cobham, Mark Murphy, Ivan Lins, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and John Cage.

His collaboration with award-winning Dutch pianist, composer and arranger, Diederik Wissels (Chet Baker, Joe Henderson, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Wheeler, Philippe Catherine) is almost twenty years standing and together they write startlingly sophisticated and yet groove-laden, earthy originals.

London audiences are very discerning when it comes to great male jazz vocalists – Ian Shaw, Kurt Elling, Mark Murphy, Jon Hendricks, Jamie Cullum – and David is more than deserving of being in that company.