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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Voshtina & Williams @ The Jazz Café – Nov.14

Belinda Voshtina (vocals) & Mark Williams (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Late afternoon the last knockings of an Atlantic storm lashed Tyneside on its way out to the North Sea. Newcastle’s night time economy would suffer as a result. Pubs and clubs would be quiet, inner city residents, for once, would be able to hear themselves think. A case of wishful thinking! Pubs doing a brisk trade, a Happy Mondays sold out gig at the Academy, takeaways re-fuelling the sodden and the Jazz Café busy with few seats to be had.
Belinda Voshtina and Mark Williams were putting together a last minute set list for their first outing as a duo. Williams looked at your drowned rat correspondent saying: It’s still raining, then? Perceptive. Key and tempi of little concern, vocalist Voshtina knew guitar virtuoso Williams would come up with the goods. And so to work.
It’s Almost Like Being in Love, Agua de Beber, There Will Never Be Another You – good material; Voshtina’s rich, resonant, multi lingual vocals, Williams, accompanist of choice to the very best on the scene.
Ain’t No Sunshine (correct!), Georgia, Nature Boy, Autumn Leaves (millions of ‘em!) and Comes Love. Voshtina sang boldly, her voice projecting with ease, the occasional verse in Portuguese, a winning smile never far from her lips. A lower register At Last – something of a showstopper in a large scale production, in the intimate setting of the Jazz Café a real knockout – and a swinging Lullaby of Birdland with Joe Pass (Mr M Williams) excelling!
The choice of material familiar, perhaps advisable for their first duo gig together, held the attention of most, most of the time (the usual barfly hubbub intruding from time to time).
Black Orpheus – Voshtina’s enviable command of Portuguese at its best – and as a finale, a rockin’ Route 66. Belinda had a great time. She thanked the ‘lovely’ Mark Williams. A big thank you, to you, Belinda and the ‘lovely’ Mr Williams.
Russell.

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