Lorna Reid with her “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 show at The Jazz Bar in Chambers Street was completely in her comfort zone tonight singing some of her favourite classic songs and her own self-penned (or co-written) songs, backed by a band made up of some of the best musicians on the Jazz circuit at the moment, and all in one of her favourite performance spaces – the iconic Jazz Bar.
The Jazz Bar itself was full, not a spare seat in the house and standing room only, so that in itself added a little to a set that saw Lorna and the band on classic form together, and when the band consists of the impressive talents of Konrad Wiszniewski (saxophone), Jim Drummond (drums), Fraser Urquhart (piano), Erik Lars Hansen (bass), Neil Warden (guitar and Weissenborn) you know that something special can happen on stage. Lorna Reid is a classic interpreter of songs and this was so evident in a set list that included “I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl” and of course the show’s title – “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”. The band members themselves have won prestigious individual awards and Lorna and the band work on many different musical projects of this performance format and in true jazz style meet together simply because they love playing music together. It is that depth of talent and of course Lorna Reid’s vocals that always set their collective performances far above many other people’s.
It’s no secret to any readers of reviews on this website that I like Lorna Reid and her music a lot, and it has been a pleasure to watch Lorna evolve and develop not only as a performer, but as a gifted songwriter, and self/co written songs performed in this set included some of my favourites -“Souls For Sale”, “My Anchor” and “Sweet Baby Blue”. “Sweet Baby Blue” co written with country songwriter Darden Smith is still one of my favourite songs from anyone in the last year or so. Also nice to hear some new arrangements on many of Lorna’s own songs tonight, and I think this is perhaps the thing that proves just what a gifted songwriter Lorna Reid is across so many different styles of music and songs – the songs can be re-arranged in so many different ways, but somehow they are always strong enough to retain their own core structures and still be instantly recognisable…it takes a well written song to be able to do that with it. Sitting amongst the audience tonight and watching and listening to their reactions, it was obvious that they have taken to heart Lorna’s own songs just as much as the jazz standards.
As always, the upfront combination of Lorna on vocals (and guitar when needed) and Konrad Wiszniewski on saxophone is one of the great duos playing at the moment as the two instinctively seem to know exactly where the other is musically on stage and go in whatever direction is needed to get the best out of one another. Also though, sitting quietly, but adding enormously to the sound and feel of the songs, the always unobtrusive but impressive talents of Neil Warden on guitar and Weissenborn.
Lorna Reid has another performance of this show at the Jazz Bar on 19th August at the earlier time of 7 pm, so if you missed this one try to catch the other date.
If you want to hear a completely different side to Lorna Reid, then catch up with “Rain Reserve” at the Jazz Bar. Rain Reserve is a musical project between Lorna and singer-songwriter John Alexander that gives us the country/Americana side of Lorna Reid the singer-songwriter.
Review by Tom King