The International Jazz Festival
Tuesday May 29
Reviewer: Stephen Fisher.
Yes, it's here again, the Queen's Birthday Jazz Festival, and, although it opens tonight, this year's festival kicked off with a "prologue" at the Globe Theatre last night as Theo Jackson, singer, pianist and songwriter, direct from London, took to the stage.
He gave a wonderful evening of very cool music, while giving us a foretaste of Saturday's Jazz Gala.
Performing a mix of jazz standards and his own, highly original work, we were treated to an evening of wonderful jazz piano, coloured with a sense of rhythmic drive and some very smooth chordal voicings, all reflecting his obvious ability as a pianist.
This obvious talent, however, served only to support his very expressive, silky voice, the vocals matching his pianistic ability note for note, particularly in the improvised sections.
While Jackson usually performs with his own group, last night he appeared as a solo performer, giving him a freedom that he obviously enjoyed.
His material took new directions, once even leading to a momentous mistake, all casually confessed from the stage by this very relaxed performer.
Mistake it may have been to him, but for us it was just further proof of the superb musicianship of this talented young man.
This year's festival could not have found a better herald. It promises much variety throughout the week, with the chance to catch Jackson again at the Regent on Saturday. Magic!
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