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Todd Gordon

Carol Kidd

Todd Gordon & Carol Kidd
@ the Pizza Express Jazz Club
13 November 2009

Click an image to enlarge.

Todd Gordon biography

Todd Gordon is “one of the country’s most popular singers and entertainers” (The Scotsman). An avid Beatles fan until the age of eleven when he first heard Sinatra. From then, he collected every album by Ol’ Blue Eyes whilst broadening his interest in other great singers, bands and jazz instrumentalists.

In 1975 he met Ella Fitzgerald prior to her show, and during the concert she invited him on stage and sang specially to him. He was also fortunate to meet many of his other idols, including Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Count Basie, Woody Herman and George Shearing.

Spanning a 20 year period, Gordon conducted an intensive study of The Great American Song Book resulting in a repertoire of well over 1,000 songs.

He has performed joint concerts with many of Britain's jazz greats including Jacqui Dankworth, Elaine Delmar, Carol Kidd, Claire Martin, Tina May, Juliet Roberts, Ian Shaw, Clare Teal and Anita Wardell.

He has performed to sell out audiences including his recent collaboration with the BBC Big Band in Birmingham Town Hall.

Gordon has performed at some of the most prestigious venues from London’s Pizza Express Jazz Room (Soho) and Pizza on the Park to The Plaza and Algonquin hotels in New York, as well as regularly featuring in jazz festivals and concert tours. He’s also in demand for corporate events in the UK and USA. Clients include Sothebys, Grant Thornton, Russ Berrie Inc, Royal Bank of Scotland, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Escada, Standard Life and Scottish Media Group.

His audiences range from intimate jazz club settings to large-scale shows (he regularly hosts and performs in ‘Jazz on a Summer's Day’ - the UK’s biggest jazz event with an audience of 20,000) and also opened for Dionne Warwick during one of her UK tour visits.

His media performances include live broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and 3, several BBC regional programmes and many local radio stations as well as appearing on Scottish Television.

Right from the start, Gordon surrounded himself with the best Scottish musicians. When on tour, he performs with superb players such as Alan Barnes, Alec Dankworth, Dave Chamberlain, Tom Gordon, Sebastiaan de Krom, Andy Panayi, Martin Drew, Jay Leonhart, Matt Home, Michael Janisch and Steve Brown - not forgetting an impromptu duet in New York with the renowned actor Christopher Walken, singing “I've Got You Under My Skin”!

Quite amazing for someone who had never been on stage until 2001 - then gave up his day job in 2003! And to cap it all, he was also one of four nominees up for a national music award alongside Texas, Ilan Volkov and Annie Lennox.

Carol Kidd biography

Carol Kidd is acknowledged in jazz circles as “Britain's finest ballads singer”. She has secured the Best Vocalist title at the British Jazz Awards on four separate occasions and, in 1998, received the MBE for Services to Jazz. Over a 25 year period, she has released seven studio albums and a “Best of...” compilation for Linn Records. In 2008, she has returned to the recording arena, following a seven year hiatus, with “Dreamsville”.

Kidd is renowned for her impeccable phrasing and delivery along with an innate ability to breathe fresh life into jazz standards. “Dreamsville” places a great singer, at the top of her form, back where she belongs - in the upper echelons of world-class vocal jazz. Throughout her career, Kidd has cut a distinctive path through the Great American Songbook with orchestral and trio backing.

She is a singer who is admired by contemporaries and fans alike, who enjoys popularity in the Far East and has performed regularly in China and Singapore for over the course of three decades. Indeed, in 1994 she was the first western artist to be invited by the Chinese Government to perform there in 25 years.

Originally based in Glasgow, Carol Kidd began singing professionally at the age of 15 when she joined the West Coast Jazz Band. During a five year period she met, and married, their trombonist George Kidd, who is a formidable name in Scottish jazz circles. The band appeared along with many well known names such as Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and the Alex Welsh band, and also made guest appearances on local radio.During the 1970s a musical association with the pianist Sandy Taylor developed. Along with drummer Murray Smith and bassist Alex Moore the trio remained the mainstay of her backing for many years.

Kidd’s self-titled Linn Records debut album was released in 1984 and it marked the beginning of a long and valued relationship that has helped establish her across the globe. Her signature song, “When I Dream”, was the theme in Korean movie Shiri and it held a chart placing in Asia for some thirteen weeks. This led her to “superstar” status in a part of the world where she now regularly performs to sell-out audiences. She has also performed for the Cambodian Royal Family. Further Royal approval is confirmed in the shape of Prince Charles who is a proud owner of all her albums!

A long line of admirers included Frank Sinatra, who invited her to open for him at a concert at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. During his performance he commented, “Carol Kidd is the best kept secret of British jazz”. This endorsement from Ol’ Blue Eyes gave Kidd the confidence to truly make singing her career. Almost immediately she was invited to appear at the internationally acclaimed Ronnie Scott’s Club in London. Tony Bennett was singing in London at the time and he made a point of coming to hear her stating “You are world class, where have you been?” Later, she went on to record “A Place in My Heart” with one of Sinatra’s favourite arrangers, the late Robert Farnon.

The late Sir Humphrey Lyttelton was also a fan from early on, commenting on her first album saying, “If this her debut, it’s fantastic”. Earlier, Annie Ross had invited Kidd to appear on her TV show, stating, “I love this woman’s voice”.
George Shearing, Georgie Fame, Annie Ross, Benny Carter, Joe Temperley, Bobby Watson and Martin Taylor MBE are among the many guest luminaries who have performed with Carol Kidd during her live concerts.


Todd Gordon

Carol Kidd

Carol Kidd

Carol Kidd

Todd Gordon & Carol Kidd

Todd Gordon & Carol Kidd

Todd Gordon & Carol Gordon

Alec Dankworth


Recommended
Listening

 

Todd Gordon - Ballads from the Midnight  Hotel Todd Gordon - Love's Illusions Carol Kidd - A Place In My Heart Carol Kidd - dreamsville

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