Dressed for the part, Melissa Western welcomes you in a friendly and feisty manner as she takes you through a journey into the realms of jazz and the great female vocalists of a not-so-distant generation that is rekindled in the embrace of Edinburgh’s own Jazz Bar.
Oh, Lady Be Good hails back to the heyday of the 20s in a professional manner that succeeds in impressing the best image of jazz upon newcomers and veterans alike to the genre.
Western is accompanied by Sam Placket on guitar, Greg Gottlieb on double bass, and Bill Kyle on drums. Western’s scat singing is not bad at all, whilst the improvisation from the other instrumentalists is fantastic: Gottlieb’s solo pizzicato was excellent, whilst Placket’s superlative qualities inform the audience of the professionalism that only an experienced jazz guitarist is capable of pulling off. Owner of the Jazz Bar, Bill Kyle, made sure to lend Western his superb drumming skills in her routine and helped the group accomplish their zenith.
Western makes a great storyteller and is informative about the songs she sings, many of them dedicated to her idols that include Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. She is funny, clever and wields a commanding grasp over her audience. Her energy on stage is lively without being over-the-top and is sophisticated as it is casual. Her tribute to Eva Cassidy, for example, is a sombre yet touching ballad; a beautiful rendition of Autumn Leaves that supplants the momentum of her former sashay into the slower part of the evening.
With the best part of the show over Western says farewell in style, and leaves the memories of her superb vocals with the audience. Highly enjoyable and definitely worth the money, Oh, Lady Be Good hails back to the heyday of the 20s in a professional manner that succeeds in impressing the best image of jazz upon newcomers and veterans alike to the genre.