So to end the month of February, Ronnie Scott’s gave us two dates with the mighty Courtney Pine accompanied on stage by another great star, Omar Lye-Fook (MBE) on vocals.
Talented harpist Tori Handley and her trio (composed by Yaron Stavi on bass, Mark Mondesir on drums and the incredible Sahra Gure as guest vocalist) played a superb support show. Worth noting here that Miss Gure on vocals was utterly stunning, I am looking forward to catching her singing live again.
The main show started more or less on time with a full house eager to participate and sing along.
Monster pianist Robert Mitchell on perfect form, eyeing main man Pine who was playing both tenor sax and bass flute, a refreshing sight to witness. Two greats of the jazz world playing together, taking it in turn to amaze the crowd.
With a playlist full of old and new pieces, some of them as sung by Omar, going back 29 years, the full consensus was that of a great gig, one indeed to remember and treasure.
Pine was on fire, his eyes illuminating the whole room, inciting the audience to take part in singing, an artist and musician whom we cannot help but adoring every time he plays live, his charisma is infectious.
One of the founders of the Jazz Warriors, Pine’s musicality and sheer desire to perform on the night more than deserves 5 stars. When welcoming Omar on stage, for example, Pine did this in his inimitable honest and humble style, telling the audience (and reminding them several times throughout the gig) that Omar had flown especially from New Zealand and he was happy he was there on the stage with him.
The famous “Butterfly” version of the original Herbie Hancock’s song was a beautiful rendition and got the crowd even more drawn in to what I will describe as a genuinely inventive and uplifting gig!
Line up: Courtney Pine – bass flute/ tenor sax; Omar Lye-Fook (MBE) – vocals; Robert Mitchell – piano / keys; Vidal Montgomery – bass; Robert Fordjour – drums
Words: Erminia Yardley
Photos: Carl Hyde