Jazz Preview: Singers join forces for a tribute to the best

On one of his previous visits to these parts the Scottish singer Todd Gordon paid a centenary year tribute to the legendary wordsmith Johnny Mercer.

Tomorrow night at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield this stylish interpreter of the Great American Songbook joins another fine performer, Elaine Delmar, in a salute to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald which makes a tempting prospect for lovers of a golden era in popular music.

Nobody interpreted the songs of the day better than Sinatra and Fitzgerald. The problem, one suspects, was what to leave out of tomorrow’s programme. Lady Be Good, Witchcraft, Summer Wind, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Evr’y Time We Say Goodbye, New York, New York… the list is as long as it is alluring.

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Certainly there could hardly be two more personable upholders of a wonderful tradition. Gordon dips affectionately into a repertoire of over a thousand songs from the period, and has aired his talents from the Pizza Express in London to the Algonquin in New York.

Elaine spends as much as half the year working on cruise ships, which she sees as the new vaudeville.

Her career began as a schoolgirl with the band led by her father, jazz trumpeter Leslie “Jiver” Hutchinson who was in Ken Johnson’s band the night a bomb landed on London’s Café de Paris in a Second World War air raid.

Leslie survived to play for many years before dying in a car crash in the late 1950s.

Elaine has carved her own niche as a gifted singer with a devoted following – on land and sea.

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