12 January 2014 (gig)
12 January 2014
Mario Biondi and The Italian Jazz players were warmly welcomed onto the stage at the legendary Ronnie Scott"s venue on Friday for their second to last stint of their sold out 6 night residency.
The audience lacked the Italian presence I had expected which bodes well for this troubadour of soul and Jazz who is slowly but surely mustering an army of loyal fans worldwide.
Having celebrated the launch of his latest album "Sun" in style with a career defining gig at The Royal Albert Hall Mario was in fine fettle as he kicked of the gig with the uplifting "Serenity".
Wearing his black jacket and hat Mario is an imposing figure onstage and coupled with a voice that can dive lower than most submarines he playfully reeled in the audience.
"Close To You", "Love Dreamer" and "If" were played to precision by his long term band featuring Claudio Filippini (piano), Lorenzo Tucci (drums), Tommaso Scannapieco (double bass), Daniele Scannapieco (saxophone) and Giovanni Amato (trumpet).
Written for him by Burt Bacharach "Something That Was Beautiful" was another highlight in the ninety minute set with "This Is What You Are" bringing the evening to a rousing close, the showgoers helping out on the " Sha la la la la la las" and handclaps, apart from one woman who in her excitment must have been visualising a completely different song.
An upbeat relaxed affair the night also owed much to the four walls of Ronnie Scott"s which in its 55th year is still undoubtedly one of the best Jazz venues you"ll find anywhere in the world. Lovely.