Elegant, relaxed and lightly spiced jazz

PUBLISHED: 10:34 26 February 2001 | UPDATED: 15:03 22 October 2010

Dominic Alldis @ Norwich Playhouse. By Frank Cliff.

Dominic Alldis @ Norwich Playhouse

By Frank Cliff

An evening of jazz and cabaret with Dominic Alldis and friends on Friday promised songs by Jerome Kern, Gershwin, Michel Legrand.

Alldis's piano playing is elegant and inventive, the voice attractive, words crystal clear, and Tim Garland's sax, Colin Oxley's guitar and Alec Dankworth's bass each made distinguished contributions.

Alldis's arrangements are, in general, more like lightly-spiced re-workings of the originals than anything startlingly innovative. This is fine in numbers like Jerome Kern's The Way You Look Tonight and songs by Legrand. Noel Coward's lyrics also respond to such treatment, and Alldis' new album is If Love Were All – The Songs of Noel Coward.

What seemed less successful were Alldis's own compositions. His treatment of three nursery rhymes seemed to have neither the improvisatory quality of jazz nor the substance to stand on its own as a composed work.

Nevertheless, this was a relaxed and entertaining evening.

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