Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Kerry-Jo Hodgkin first heard Lady Sings the Blues from her father’s record of the Billie Holiday biopic soundtrack featuring Diana Ross.
The Jazz Bar (Venue 57)
Now a regular Fringe fixture at the Jazz Bar, she opens her show by standing offstage to deliver Holiday’s song a cappella, before her band eases in and starts to swing nicely with Gershwin’s But Not for Me, from When Harry Met Sally.
It’s a straightforward formula: Hodgkin ranges affectionately through songs from the movies, accompanied expertly by guitarist Malcolm MacFarlane, double-bassist Kenny Ellis and last year’s UK Young Drummer of The Year, Tom Potter.
Hodgkin was infectiously warm-toned and sassy, if occasionally a little uncertain pitch-wise, in Ill Wind, while Miss Celie’s Blues (from the Colour Purple) fairly strutted over Potter’s snare and Ellis’s resonant walking bass. MacFarlane’s unhurried, round-toned guitar phrases and solos complemented Hodgkin’s singing throughout.
A version of Jacques Brel’s Ne Me Quitte Pas suggested that chanson isn’t quite her strong point. It was in Cole Porter’s exuberant Now You Has Jazz and the brazen drive of Peggy Lee’s I’m Gonna Go Fishin’, however, that things really started to travel.