REVIEW – ReVoice! Festival 2013

Running over 10 nights from 10-19 October, this fourth edition of Georgia Mancio’s ReVoice! Festival was the most impressive yet. The opening two nights belonged to the magnificent baritone voice and virtuosic scatting of Kevin Mahogany, while fellow US vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Allan Harris shone especially brightly on ballads, his heart-melting interpretation of ‘I Wish you Love’ demonstrating why Tony Bennett called him “my favourite singer.”

There were moments of pure transcendence when the great Italian vocalist Barbara Raimondi returned to ReVoice! to debut ‘Singin’ Ornette – A Celebration of Mr Coleman’s Music’ with saxophonist Tony Kofi (on incendiary form), bassist Furio di Castri and percussionist Enzo Zirilli.

Featuring masterly interpretations of ‘Speak Low’, ‘A Flower is a Lovesome Thing’ and more, the world premiere collaboration between vocalist Tina May and pianist Enrico Pieranunzi was a huge treat.

Thanks to the warmth of the performance and the inordinately tight arrangements, the entire audience fell in love with vocalist and guitarist Carmen Souza‘s music. And what an extraordinary voice.

Performing material from their latest album Cricklewood Broadway, there was a real air of anticipation before cult Norwegian band Beady Belle took to the stage. What unfolded was one of the gigs of the year, a searingly intense performance that combined with an enraptured audience to a magical effect.

Following her appearance at last year’s ReVoice! with Mycale, Argentinian vocalist and composer Sofia Rei performed a captivating set from her magnificent album De Tierra Y Oro.

Drawing ReVoice! to a memorable close over the final two nights was this year’s Jazz Fm vocalist of the Year, Carleen Anderson, whose performance of Deniece Williams’s ‘Free’ provided one of the festival’s most transporting moments.

Curating, MC-ing and performing the opening set each night, Georgia herself was consistently beguiling across a huge range of material , from beautiful Jobim bossas to risk-taking vocalise to little known Chet Baker gems. In its fourth year, ReVoice! has now become an indispensable part of the capital’s jazz calendar.