Guildhall Jazz Singers / Stroman
(St Martin in the Fields, 10th January 2012, part of Brandenburg Spring Choral Festival)
The Guildhall Jazz Singers brought sounds of jazz, scat and gospel to St Martin in the Fields, their contribution to a predominantly classical program at the Brandenburg Spring Choral Festival.
Artistic Director Bob Porter introduced the concert with, “This may not be what you are expecting to hear in this setting,” but he’s a jazz fanatic, and thrilled to be able to broaden the festival’s programming to encompass this genre.
Led by Scott Stroman, himself singing in most of the numbers, the group entertained with an eclectic program, backed sometimes by a group of musicians from the Guildhall School.
The eight singers (some of whom aren’t actually first study vocalists) worked well together, delivering some superb tunes: a luscious a capella version of My Romance; a very jolly Button Up Your Overcoat. There were moments too for individuals to shine: postgrad student Martynas Vilpisauskas captivated the audience with his rendition of Skylark – complete with mouth trumpet solo.
The singers’ sound didn’t carry very well in this vast building – I wonder if they might have fared better downstairs in the Crypt. I expect that the forthcoming jazz choirs (Surrey Youth Choir – 27th April, London Vocal Project – 16th March, Capital Connection – 16th Feb) will fare better in this acoustic.