Glasgow Jazz Festival review: Georgia Cecile, The Blue Arrow, Glasgow

STRAIGHT outta Uddingston, Georgia Cecile was recently crowned Best Vocalist at the prestigious Scottish Jazz Awards. The gong was well-deserved. Cecile’s voice is rich, supple and pure. It’s a soulful caramel croon capable of conveying subtle emotional depth and appealing playfulness. Her repertoire consists of traditional jazz classics and her own skilfully crafted originals.

Georgia Ceciles voice is rich and pure, capable of emotional depth and power
Georgia Ceciles voice is rich and pure, capable of emotional depth and power

Georgia Cecile, The Blue Arrow, Glasgow ****

At this intimate Glasgow Jazz Festival gig, she was backed by a crack quartet comprised of Euan Stevenson (piano), Colin Steele (trumpet), Andrew Robb (double bass) and the brilliantly named Max Popp (drums).

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They opened with a jaunty canter through the oft-covered standard You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me. Other covers included one of Cecile’s personal favourites, the heart-wrenching torch song Be Anything, But Darling Be Mine, which she first heard on Sarah Vaughan’s 1957 live album At Mister Kelly’s, a powerful rendition of the fatalistic closing time lament Angel Eyes in an arrangement inspired by another seminal live album, Sinatra at the Sands, and a vibrant reimagining of Arlen and Mercer’s Come Rain or Come Shine dominated by Robb’s feline walking bassline.

She was also commanding on originals such as the hot twilight shuffle of Month of May, the beautifully fragile Bittersweet and her critically acclaimed debut single Come Summertime. She even got funky on the vitamin C-fuelled soul-jazz of Always Be Right For Me and set-closer Blue is Just a Colour. This young chanteuse’s star is in the ascendant for a reason.

PAUL WHITELAW