Music review: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Lorna Reid manages to bridge the gulf between jazz and country with some panache.

The Jazz Bar (Venue 57)

****

The Edinburgh singer-songwriter has a highly personable stage presence as, accompanied by a robust quintet including saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski, guitarist Neil Warden and pianist Fraser Urquhart, she sings jazz standards and self-penned numbers with soul.

She opens with a sassy account of the Ella Fitzgerald classic A-Tisket, A-Tasket that has the audience with her right away, Wiszniewski declaring his credentials in no uncertain manner with a tenor sax break.

Some of Reid’s own material comes with whimsical anecdotes attached, such as the lazy, bossa-tempoed Doggone Good, inspired, we’re led to believe, by a visit to Pitlochry and a Cairn terrier. Another, co-written with Texan singer-songwriter Darden Smith, Sweet Baby Blue, is unremarkable in itself, but comes over with real heart, while she takes up acoustic guitar for the country-pop- ish My Anchor – another joint composition, this time with Boo Hewerdine, and delivers Sacrifice Me with a soulful holler, as Wiszniewski, whose sax accompanies her unobtrusively like a second voice, lets rip once more.

Urquhart provides a gentle piano gateway to the Rodgers and Hart title number, which Reid handles with sensitivity, while, in contrast, Bessie Smith’s Sugar in My Bowl shimmies brazenly. For her closing number it’s back to a western vibe for her piquantly titled My Hotel Wrecking Days Are Over. Whether or not we believe her, it comes over convincingly.

19 August only, 7pm.