To celebrate the 100th birthday of the late, great music legend Ella Fitzgerald, Laurence Olivier Award nominated vocalist Alison Jiear and her jazz quartet performed music made famous by the “First Lady of Song” in: An Ella Fitzgerald Centenary Celebration.
With four packed out shows at Brasserie Zédel London, we were lucky to get one of the hottest tickets in town and spend the evening in a wonderful location with Alison’s show that had iconic standards such as “A Tisket a Tasket”, “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”, “Lady be Good”, “Hernando’s Hideaway” and “That ‘Ol Black Magic”.
If you haven’t been to Brasserie Zédel it is a grand French art deco restaurant with classic brasserie dishes and choucroutes in a 1930s building in the heart of London. Downstairs you find the cabaret area known as The Crazy Coqs, here many greats have performed and it is a real intimate venue with only about 80 seats. It is a lovely venue to enjoy an evening sipping champagne and hearing fabulous music such as we did with Alison.
Being a huge fan of Ella Fitzgerald and having the opportunity to see Alison in West End Shows before, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. Having just hot footed it off the Strictly tour as one of the singers Alison started the show with “Get Happy”. Most people relate that song to Judy Garland and Alison looked beautiful in a stunning sparkly red dress as she took to the stage for the evening’s celebrations of Ella putting her own take on a classic.
Alison also surprised us with “Old Mac Donald” who knew you could turn it into a jazz number! I had never heard Ella sing it and I have enjoyed watching You Tube clips after hearing Alison’s fun rendition! There was great humour tot the evening, with jokes and laughter and great quips such as if Alison had performed a Sammy” Davis Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald night: “We could have called it Salmonella (Sam and Ella)!”
We were treated to various Ella greats and what made the show even more spectacular was the tales Alison had about Ella, like how she started off as a dancer at the Apollo but was intimidated and decided to sing instead. We were lucky enough to talk to Alison after the show and we learnt some interesting facts about the mob!
A highlight for me was two of my favourite Ella songs: “I’ve Got A Crush On You” and “At Last” both were delivered with the same emotion as Ella and stunning performances by the band which brought a sensation to my feelings, hearing such moving delivery of the numbers, I could have sat there all night enjoying the tremendous performances.
There was rapturous applause for Alison at the end of the evening and quite right too, it was a fabulous and fitting tribute to an icon by an amazing artist feeling like Ella was alive in the room. I look forward to seeing what Alison does next as this divine diva needs to be heard more!
Live At Zédel, Soho’s unique live entertainment concept, has announced its second season of live music, musical theatre, cabaret and comedy.
Following on from the huge success of its launch in September 2016, Live At Zedel’s new season will feature a programme jam-packed with themed festivals, one-off specials, brand new talent, its first self-produced musical and well-loved residencies.
Produced in partnership with United Agents, Live At Zedel’s multi-disciplinary programme of the Arts utilises both the Brasserie and The Crazy Coqs spaces within the magnificent art deco Zédel building. From week-long events such as French Fest and a brand new musical commissioned for the space ‘After You’, to acts as diverse as Greg Davies, Danny-Boy Hatchard and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Live At Zedel’s new programme will merge up-and-coming talent and writing with established acts, fusing genres and bringing energy to Soho’s nightlife scene.
For more information, please see press release attached and view the full programme here.