Evening Standard


REVIEW – Norma Winstone, Pizza Express Jazz Club, ReVoice! Festival 2011

Hats off to Georgia Mancio for bringing her ReVoice! Festival back to Soho for a second year. Having persuaded PE’s artistic director, Ross Dines, to expland it from five nights to nine, this delicate diva has assembled a strong bill. On Monday and Tuesday, for example, Italy’s newest diva, Diana Torto, fronts trumpet legend Kenny Wheeler‘s group.

Other coups include three shrewdly chosen male singers – Belgian hipster David Linx – “still unknown here but huge in Europe” – US heart throb Gregory Porter, “signed last December before his breakthrough”, and another American discovery Sachal Vasandani.

Each night Mancio handles the opening set, accompanied expertly yesterday by bass-guitar virtuoso Laurence Cottle. No other instruments were needed as they sailed through the tricky Bud Powell (by Chick Corea), No More Blues (Jobim) and two British classics Who Can I Turn To and Where is Love?

Appropriately topping the opening night bill was Norma Winstone, doyenne of British jazz singers and lyricist extraordinaire. Impeccably backed by Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German multi-reedman Klaus Gesing, she sang with passion, sensitivity and English reserve that is her personal property.