Todd Gordon & Carol Kidd
@ the PizzaExpress 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
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
He has performed to sell out audiences including
his recent collaboration with the BBC Big Band in Birmingham Town
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
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
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.