Kai Hoffman’s 50s Jamboree
(Ronnie Scott’s. 12th April 2015. Review by Fliss Gorst)
The beauty of what Kai Hoffman does as a vocalist and performer is that she tells a story, transports you to another world. You may be feeling cosy on the plush red seats of Ronnie Scott’s, but in your mind you’re off to wherever this persuasive singer wants to take you. In her version of Old Cape Cod I could taste that salty sea air, feel the sand in my toes and the sea breeze on my face. Her rich, smooth glossy and effortlessly relaxed vocal was a dream. Light fills, sensitively played by guitar, sax and keys, ebbed and flowed around the vocals with a beautifully lyrical solo from Dave O’Brien on double bass.
Having established a wonderful, restful mood like that, Kai didn’t let the audience relax for long. She launched into Reet Petite giving us a glimpse of both her raunchy red petticoat and her fiery, resplendent spirit.
She has a band that never fails to delight. Never overpowering, always full of vibrant energy, they treated us to effortlessly inventive piano solos (Liam Dunachie) and authentic blues guitar (Simon Picton). Dan Faulkner’s wailing sax was happily reminiscent of saxophone giant Sam Butera. A cooking double bass and drums combo kept the energy level high throughout.
It’s hard to believe that this was the very first outing for Kai Hoffman’s new “50s Jamboree” line-up. This super-tight band has a fabulous grasp of the different styles and feels. The mood never stopped changing, highlighting the enormous variety of popular music in the 1950s as well as Kai Hoffman’s clever programme-planning. A debut this good can only lead to a dazzling future.
Kai Hoffman- Vocals
Dan Faulkner- Tenor Saxophone
Simon Picton- Guitar
Liam Dunachie- Piano
Dave O’Brien- Double Bass
Mez Clough- Drums