Tina May Quartet, Norwich

DAVID WAKEFIELD Disappointment when Tina May had to postpone a gig at Lakenham Leisure Centre this year was forgotten when she turned in a fine performance with a mix of well-loved standards and more jazz-oriented material.

DAVID WAKEFIELD

Disappointment when Tina May had to postpone a gig at Lakenham Leisure Centre this year was forgotten when she turned in a fine performance with a mix of well-loved standards and more jazz-oriented material.

Tina's style is different in that this is simply not a singer with a backing band; she uses her voice more as an extra instrument, with delicious lower registers as well as hitting those trumpet-like high notes. Thus her backing musicians enjoy more solo prominence than might otherwise be the case.

Mike Gorman stood in most ably for Tina's regular pianist Nikki Iles – the only disappointment being on a personal note, as Ms Iles' gentle keyboard style is favourite of mine – and proved to be an aggressive, two-fisted soloist as well as a sympathetic accompanist. Alec Dankworth's supreme bass playing needs no recommendation from me. Tristan Maillot, the latest in a series of good French drummers, held the whole thing together.

Lakenham organiser Jerry Brown has already lined up top Americans Ken Peplowski, Kenny Davern and Scott Hamilton for next year.

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