Cat Loud, The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh ****
She opened with a languorous account of a Billie Holiday favourite, Speak Low, guitarist David Toule, drummer Vid Gobac and John Youngs on double bass providing a suitably low-key accompaniment, and moved on to another Holiday number, Fine and Mellow, which swung along easefully.
A fan of the singer-songwriter Melody Gardot, she performed two of her bittersweet compositions – the smoky-toned Who Will Comfort Me? over limber guitar-picking from Toule, and the nicely paced Baby I’m a Fool. She wasn’t loathe, however, to cover what she regarded as “quite twee” material – Doris Day’s Tea for Two, rendering it both slinky and wistful, with a swingy band break in the middle, rather than the more plinky-plonk renditions often made of it.
Intriguingly declaring her ambition to be “the Miss Havisham of Scottish jazz,” she returned to the strictly non-Dickensian sultry slow blues territory which suits her with Carmen McRae’s Black Coffee and a starkly funky delivery of Bonnie Raitt’s Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy.