Preview by Sarah Ellen Hughes
The Forge in Camden is a terrific, relatively new venue, sporting piano, café and excellent acoustics. The London Jazz Festival line-up is extensive, with shows on every night apart from 15th and 17th. On both Sundays there are two shows. Anthony Strong kicks off the Jazz Festival program on Friday 12th November.
Strong has been championed by Ian Shaw as “The REAL DEAL,” and if his debut album is anything to go by, he certainly is.
At first glance, singer/songwriter/pianist Strong may be following in the well-shaped footsteps of Jamie Cullum or Joe Stilgoe. On listening, there are surely influences of these two, detected in both the fine-voice and the slick arrangements. Oh, and he’s a great song-writer too. On further inspection, there are elements of Kurt Elling here and Michael Buble (minus the autotune!!).
The program is energetic, slick and exhilarating, with every moment having been thought out carefully and executed precisely. Having said that, there is no doubting his jazz credentials: Strong is a great vocalist and accomplished pianist, capable of delivering an excellent all-round performance.