Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Ronnie Scotts Review

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, W1

If Heather Small's legs were aching and her body bruised from the punishing Strictly Come Dancing training schedule, she didn't show it.

In fact, the popular weekend TV show barely got a mention as the former M People chart-topper got stuck in to some of her favourites from the jazz, pop and soul songbook.

Swinging her hips, shaking her booty and earning roars of applause by turns, Heather and saxophonist Snake Davis led the Ronnie Scott's All Stars through a truly captivating set.

Few will have heard Heather's vulnerable, sexier side compared those who know her raucous M People repertoire, but smoky, delicate vocals on classics like Gershwin's Summertime and a tropical reinvention of What A Wonderful World are superlative.

An enchanted audience couldn't get enough as 1990s disco favourite One Night In Heaven got a jazzy, piano-tickled makeover with a chocolaty vocal coating, and an electric Fever and sexily gritty Heartbreak Hotel proved Heather can turn her earthy voice to anything. - STEPHEN MOORE

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