Lorna Reid was performing her "The Lounge Sessions" set at The Queen's Hall tonight to a pretty full cabaret bar floor setting. On stage with Lorna was an excellent five piece band consisting of bassist Andy Sharkey, drummer Tom Gordon, guitarist David Series, saxophonist Konrad Wisniewski and pianist and musical director Euan Stevenson. Any one of tonight's quintet I would have been happy to see in their own solo performance - particularly the amazing talents of Euan and Konrad (who are as Lorna kindly informed us working together on their own project at the moment). Putting a first class band of musicians together with a first class vocalist just completed the package. The only downside of course for Lorna is that to be on stage with musicians of this quality you simply have to be up to the job with them...and she more than was.
Tonight's two sets were an eclectic mixture of old songs and new songs from Lorna herself, old standards (some with new arrangements), a little bit of blues and a little bit of almost country (I can hear some jazz fans breathing in hard as they read that last bit) and it all worked together well.
Lorna is a vocalist who can cover a wide variety of styles and that was illustrated tonight with songs from her new album such as "Falling Like Dew" and her most recent single "My Anchor" which was co-written by guitarist Boo Hewerdine. We also got to hear "My Hotel Wrecking Days Are Over" which Lorna hopes Dolly Parton will record.
Other musical directions tonight took us from composers such as Cole Porter, John D Loudermilk and Kurt Weill. Along the way we also met "Lullaby of Birdland" by George Shearing and "I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl" by Bessie Smith (although we did get the more refined Nina Simone version tonight). This song was nicely dedicated to an audience member's birthday.
If I had a favourite tonight though it was probably the closing first half arrangement of "Secret Love" which let the whole band show off their talents and left plenty of room for pianist Euan Stevenson to play around with the basic song and saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski to delight the audience with some great playing. Not forgetting of course a fine drum solo from Tom Gordon and solos from Andy and David.
A venue like The Queen's Hall just seemed to suit Lorna tonight as it is large enough to get a fair number of people in, but not too large to lose that more intimate feel that you really need for a set like this.
Lorna Reid has a style of her own and being happy to cross many musical genres will I hope widen the audence group that gets to hear her talents in the coming years.
If you want to find more out about Lorna Reid go to the following links
Review by Tom King