King’s Lynn Festival Review: Claire Martin & Ray Gelato

Ray Gialato and Claire Martin ANL-161205-162723001
Ray Gialato and Claire Martin ANL-161205-162723001
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It’s A Swingin’ Affair: Ray Gelato & Claire Martin, Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn

A celebration of the great Swing duets is what we were promised and boy, these two certainly deliver.

Gelato and Martin, ably backed by the Dave Newton Trio, took a breakneck speed run through the Great American Songbook, and threw in some very welcome less-known gems as well.

Starting appropriately enough with, This Could Be The Start Of Something Big, they careered swiftly on to such numbers as C’est Si Bon, The Coffee Song (there’s an awful lot of it in Brazil, apparently), Black Velvet and finishing with Ray Chalres’ Smack Dab In The Middle.

Particular hats were doffed to Louis Prima and Keeley Smith with Something’s Got To Give and All I Do Is Dream Of You, Louis Jordan’s Five Guys Names Moe and a great version of a Lena Horne song, Come Runnin’.

A Peggy Lee tribute also showed off not must Miss Martin’s voice to fine effect but also the playing of double bass player Dave Whitford. Indeed the support of sidesmen Sebeastian De Krom on drums and pianist Dave Newton was excellent throughout.

The highlights for me was Martin’s crystal clear singing and Gelato’s ace alto szaphone playing. A really excellent combination, which got a somewhat underfilled Corn Exchange, really swinging along with the swing. They certainly have, as they say in Ray’s self-penned number, A Swingin’ Affair.

Mark Leslie