There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Josh Kyle, and this gig tells me that it’s quite justified.
Opening the gig with Stardust, Joshua grabbed the attention of this expectant Pizza Express audience with his very first breath, before taking us through the first half of the song totally unaccompanied and daringly slow in pace – his gloriously silky voice setting the scene for what would be a great evening of high-class jazz.
Kyle used every inch of his dynamic capability in just two bars. His command of timing, and grasp of the harmony were impeccable; his ability to weave a spell through his melody beguiling. His manor was charming and he showed utmost respect for the musicians sharind the stage with him: Tom Cawley on piano and nord, Ralph Salmins on drums and his “partner in musical crime” Geoff Gascoyne on acoustic and electric bass.
Words don’t do his vocal ability justice: seductive one moment, unbelievably hip the next. The song seeps through his whole body – he is in total control of his instrument.
One of my favourites of the set was Herbie Hancock’s Proof. Kyle’s vocal dexterity was evident here, his voice working as the fourth instrument in the band. He oozed an authoritative yet highly respected presence in front of his musicians.
Grins all around the band stand showed how much the band were enjoying themselves and their vocalist, and the appreciation didn’t end there: it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a gig where I didn’t want it to end. And neither, seemingly did the rest of the audience. I’ve never heard a crowd so loudly and persistently cry for more. Deservedly so!