Last month saw many varied performances again at the epic Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, but one that really stood out, that made the crowd AND this writer feel energized and breath out a “yeah, that’s my kinda of swing” was Curtis “Crooner” Stigers, selling out on all the three nights he was performing at the club.
“Let it snow” opens the show and at the end of the track, Stigers does some of his famous scatting and throws a good few jokes out, he is a charmer AND a good jokes teller.
“You’re all that matters to me” (from Stigers self-titled 1990 album) is a soft addition to a very versatile performance. He is the crooner that can tell stories, can sing and scat AND, most importantly, can offer a truly genuine and refreshing approach to jazz.
Most of us will remember Stigers back in the early ’90s, but let’s fast forward to more recent times: he has done well. Moving softly but surely towards the jazz side. Even when he sings “Have yourself a merry little Christmas”, he is honest, super chilled, charismatic.
Stigers vocals get better as the night goes on. He says that with his new album he feels ok to sing Sinatra, now that he is in “second half century”… he feels more inclined to perform ol’ blue eyes stuff. Well, I couldn’t agree more!
A rendition of Dylan’s “Things have changed” is performed up tempo, rendered new just by the singer’s great tonality.
Incidentally “One more for the road” (Concord) just out this month, is recorded live with the famous Danish Radio Big Band which is scintillatingly good. Fans of Sinatra will love it, fans of Stigers will love it, fans of swing will love it, too, and furthermore, even people listening for the first time. Why? Because the album is not just a tribute to the great Sinatra, but a recognition of Stigers true talent and class. 9 out of 10, Mr Stigers (that final little point was lost for me because I, selfishly, would have loved the album to be a bit longer than the current 31 minutes and 66 seconds…)
Purchase “One More For The Road”
Text: Erminia Yardley
Images: Carly Hyde Photography
YT Video: Concord Music Group