Norma Winstone + support by Louise Dodds, The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Scotland, 21 February 2020.

The unusually prolonged dreich weather this winter may have dampened the general spirits somewhat, so tonightโ€™s dazzling jazz programming was particularly cheering. As part of this monthโ€™s inaugural Scottish Jazz Weekend, Edinburghโ€™s The Jazz Bar hosted a truly lovely evening of two of the UKโ€™s finest jazz singers: Scot, Louise Dodds, followed by Englandโ€™s Norma Winstone.

Local singer and composer Dodds presented a seven-song set – her trademark mix of Standards and self-penned – delivered with great expressiveness and clarity, together with helpful explanations of each song, to an appreciative full-house audience. Piano accompaniment by Aberdonian Steve Hamilton was exemplary.

Top billing however naturally went to long-time star of the jazz lounge, Winstone, who presented two sets of Standards. The singing was exquisite โ€“ technically flawless, with superb diction and an interestingly powerful command over the audience. We seemed to be drawn deep inside each song. Accompanied by similarly top-flight musicians: omnipresent keysman Kit Downes (of Vyamanikal and other bands) and guitarist Mike Walker (of The Impossible Gentlemen and others) the sense was of an accomplished trio rather than a vocalist with accompanists.

Sadly, due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to remain for the second set, but if the first set was anything to go by, this whole concert will have been a vocal jazz highlight of the season. Winstone had noted at the outset that this was her first time back in Edinburgh for a very long time, so letโ€™s hope the very warm welcome she received encourages another visit soon.

1 thought on “Norma Winstone + support by Louise Dodds, The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Scotland, 21 February 2020.

  1. Would love to hear her here in the States, Northern California/SF Bay Area to be exact. SHe’s masterful and with all the COVID junk spiraling around, it would provide a great spirit of energy and warmth. Sadly, the bug is with us, and it will need to be another time; wishing her well, and appreciating my fond memories of Scotland: the intelligence and good nature of the folks we met there last year. Rob, Benicia CA. Stay safe, compassionate and stay well!

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