Review: In the Pink big band at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club

Jazz lovers were out in force last week to catch local big band In the Pink in a rare appearance at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club.  The hidden gem of jazz clubs in Westbourne not only plays host to superb world class jazz players from around the world, but also supports up and coming acts and local community bands.  Last Wednesday was the opportunity for a dedicated band of local players.  And they ain’t half bad!

With a super repertoire of big band classics, it was a chance for the packed house to kick back and listen to much loved tunes from Glen Miller’s ‘String of Pearls’ to ‘Such Sweet Thunder’ – a classy Ellington number you can’t beat when it’s played as well as this!  Band leader Emily Cox did a sterling job doubling on tenor saxophone, with some very competent solos from Sarah Abbot on alto sax and clarinet, adding a bit of pizzazz to Louis Prima’s uptempo ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’.  It was a perfect number to showcase this big band.

On the small stage at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club, they squeezed in In the Pink’s seventeen players – full horn sections of trumpets, saxes and trombones, and rhythm of course.  All brilliantly stage managed by Pete Alcock.  Throw in de rigor exposed brick walls, low ceilings and an intimate ‘Prohibition’ bar – bidding farewell to the Tom Cruise of bartenders, Stu, and you’ve got a classy jazz joint.

Some great vocals from Nathalie on classics like ‘Feeling Good’ (Bricusse/Newley), Billie Holliday’s ‘That Old Devil Called Love’ (Roberts/Fisher) and Caro Emerald’s ‘That Man’ had the audience cheering for more.  And the generous band played on, basking in their double encore of ‘Birdland’ and bringing Nathalie back on stage for an uptempo reprise of ‘That Man’, sending the audience home happy and no doubt humming those great tunes.

© 2017 Scott Free – the Pink Sinatra. Built by 79nights.