Dennis Lotis and his Friends of Jazz
MICHAEL DRAKE Coronation Hall, Mundesley
> Coronation Hall, Mundesley
Nostalgia there was in abundance in the music of a singer whom many remember from the beginning of his career in the mid-50s, but there is far more to Dennis Lotis than that.
He has lived in Norfolk long enough to be considered at least an honorary native and it was fitting that last night what was billed as his farewell appearance on stage should take place as part of a local festival, with most of his musicians locally based also.
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Of course we shall see whether 'farewell' actually means the end for this international star, for the fact is he can still put a song over with great style. He is still a master of timing in the style the American crooners taught us, and his first song, Sentimental Journey, to a large extent summed up the whole performance.
Its great variety ranged then from When the World Was Young, with just guitar accompaniment, and the epitome of relaxed singing, through Johnny Mercer's Blues in the Night and Hoagy Carmichael's Lazy Bones to the much more upbeat Come Rain or Come Shine. When the whole of the backing septet was employed, balance was not always of the best, but his jazz friends played many fine solos in a programme of standards in every sense.
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It was definitely a happy farewell.