Curtis Stigers at Ronnie Scott’s evaluate: Crooning and blowing hearth

Curtis Stigers at Ronnie Scott’s evaluate: Crooning and blowing hearth


earing denims, a T-shirt and a black swimsuit jacket with a violet pocket silk, Curtis Stigers ambled onto the stage at Ronnie Scott’s holding his tenor saxophone and looking out like he owned the place. Which he does, type of.

The American singer, songwriter and hornsman extraordinaire has performed Ronnie’s so many occasions all through his 30-year-career he’s on first title phrases with the workers; of all of the jazz luminaries whose images grace the venue’s partitions, Stiger’s life-sized portrait has pleasure of place at reception.

“That is the world’s biggest jazz membership, and I don’t say that calmly,” he declares, his banter as chiselled as his jaw. “It’s so good not be caught in my kitchen anymore.”

Having livestreamed from his dwelling in Boise, Idaho, all through the pandemic, Stigers’ reduction at being again on the street, crooning, blowing hearth, is palpable. Regardless of that he was at Ronnie’s just below a yr in the past. This time he’s right here with This Life, his new 14th album, reconfiguring outdated favourites.

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Nick Lowe’s (What’s So Humorous ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding, recorded by a long-haired Stigers in 1992 for the soundtrack to the film The Bodyguard (“It bought 45 million copies, purchased my ex-wife a stunning home and made Nick Lowe my good friend”), is lent funky, free-wheeling piano by Matthew Fries and leaping trumpet strains by the diminutive John ‘Scrapper’ Schneider – whose behavior of exiting stage-left to wander the auditorium, reappearing immediately when wanted, was remarked upon with a shrug.

The pop-soul smash You’re All That Issues To Me from Stigers’ eponymous 1991 debut, was remodeled into one thing intimate and nuanced, even when the soprano sax Stigers performs on the album monitor didn’t materialise.

Love ballad Maintain Me From the Chilly got here stripped down and sincere and, quipped Stigers, in tandem with Ronnie’s air conditioner kicking in; the jazz-blues shuffle of Swingin’ Down at 10th & Important nodded to late jazz pianist Gene Harris and his influential Tuesday jam periods in Boise, and allowed every participant to showcase his chops.

Such contemporary makeovers honoured the dedication made by Stigers to his youthful self, to the twentysomething the Arista label tried to power down a pop-rock route till Stigers freed himself and realigned with jazz, vowing to give attention to inventive development.

This Life, Stigers’s theme tune to the cult TV collection Sons of Anarchy, was invested with a swampy, Dr John-style groove; jazz staple Summertime had a reggae-lilt impressed by The Younger Jazz Lions, the band Stigers fronted as a young person.

A canopy of Dylan’s Issues Have Modified, and we’re over time. Regardless of: “Worth for cash,” he mentioned with a smile, gifting us his 1991 megahit I Surprise Why, with gospel touches on piano, as encore.

Ronnie Scott’s, to August 24;

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