Monday, May 19, 2014
From the moment you saw the jazz club lamp on the central low table on the stage, you could tell this was going to be an evening of relaxed glamour.
Spanish flamenco star and producer Javier Limón strode into the stage in a simple, smart black suit, attached the microphone to his guitar and just got down to playing. No fuss, just stark, simple, and beautifully accurate playing.
Shortly after he was joined by Mexico-born jazz singer Magos Herrera. Resplendent in a toga dress, stupendous necklace and wedge sandals, she settled down equally meekly before setting the room alight with her smokey tones.
Herrera has a idiosyncratic singing style: soft and airy, she almost seems to breathe in even as she sings out, her nose wrinkling as she stresses certain phrases.
Together they slid through a number of tunes - some like Wild Is The Wind, Skylark and even a nod to The Police’s Roxanne - familiar to the audience, others traditional Spanish and Portuguese tunes. At times the two seemed next to each other but not together: improvising sequentially and each undoubtedly strong performers, but not quite the full potential union they could have.
That definitely wasn’t the case for Dawn, the title track of their latest album, which is a perfect demonstration of how the two traditions of jazz and flamenco can wrap themselves around each other.
Their appearance at Norwich Playhouse for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival was their only UK appearance outside of London; a rare treat made even more special.