Lizzi Pearce – Vocals
Colin Henderson – Alto and Baritone Saxes, Flute
Jon Hall – Piano
Neil Sharkey – Bass
Mike Sharkey – Drums
It was good to hear a new jazz voice this evening, Lizzi Pearce, who shared the front line with Colin Henderson on saxes and flute. After the band had played “Ladybird” and “All Blues” with solos all round, Lizzi impressed the audience with an up-tempo “It Don’t Mean a Thing”, which showed her jazz credentials straight away in her breadth of tone and range and her ability to swing. She followed up with the Beatles’ “And I Love Him” done in bossa nova style featuring Colin on flute, and came back for an outstanding version of the ballad “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most”
The second set opened with the band playing “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise” and “Mean to Me” with some lyrical bass playing from Neil Sharkey and some exciting interaction between Colin and Jon and Mike Sharkey on drums. Lizzi came back to sing a mellow bossa nova “So Many Stars” and a heartfelt “My Funny Valentine” dedicated to her young son. The band took over with an up-tempo “Bernie’s Tune” and then Colin gave a very fine rendition of “My Romance” played as a moving ballad which received a glowing response from the audience.
Lizzi finished the set with Gershwin’s haunting “Someone to Watch Over Me” complete with the rarely heard verse and as a finale she led the band in a swinging version of George Shearing’s “Lullaby of Birdland” complete with a scat vocal solo. A great evening and an outstanding debut from Lizzi Pearce.