Daniela Clynes and jazz trio
I knew not what the evening would hold for me at Pizza in the Park tonight. Aside from seeing my friend and listening to some music, I had no expectations.
Thus I was pleasantly surprised, if not mesmerised, by the versatility of the jazz/cabaret singer Daniela Clynes and the magnificent performance of the pianist James Pearson. Theirs was actually a singer with a jazz trio - James Pearson on the piano, Sam Burgess on the bass, and Mike Bradley on the drums.
A solo pianist opened the evening at 9 pm, preceding the trio act. We talked and ate throughout his performance. Afterwards the jazz trio moved on stage.
We stopped talking, stunned by pianist Pearson's virtuosity. He made jazz seem like Rachmaninoff. Next the singer walked on stage. She sang a typically sounding jazz piece. I couldn't help notice how sensual it was. Jazz is indeed music for the night. The dark room was intimate with feeling by then.
Daniela Clynes spoke. She introduced Polish songs she and her Polish-born mother had translated and set to music. These three pieces were quite delightful, if not funny. I later learned that her mother was the famous pianist who taught the Alexander Technique at the Guildhall School of Music.
Although she was keen on Sting's "When We Dance", I didn't think it suited her voice. Her jazz and cabaret repertoire were quite extraordinary, including the ones she wrote herself. So why take a well-known piece that everyone's used to hearing otherwise?
Some pieces were truly hilarious, like the "Masochist's Tango." Hers was a combination of singing and acting - that's what made it so unique.
During intermission, she came around to our table. It turned out that my friend who had invited me knew her personally. Or rather, his friend Jean was her friend. And Jean had come to my Spanish Summer Soiree.
It's a pity that I don't write jazz or cabaret. But with versatility, I'm sure she can easily sing my love songs.
5 November 2002 Tuesday
Pizza in the Park is next to Hyde Park Corner (exit 4 and turn left). Entry is STG 12 for evening music performances downstairs.
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