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
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.