Clare Teal and the Hollywood Orchestra
The music of Ella Fitzgerald, her contemporaries and those inspired by her, opened the 2017 Snape Proms with a swing. Clare Teal, award-winning vocalist and Radio 2 presenter, and the 17 piece Hollywood Orchestra, conducted by Guy Barker, were obviously delighted to be back at Snape Maltings. With her warm, friendly and informal style it was easy to forget you were in a concert hall seating 800 and not in an atmospheric smoky jazz club, seating 30.
Explaining her love of Ella’s music and influences, Clare sung such diverse songs as Fascinating Rhythm, Once I had a Secret Love, I’m Feeling Good, and Fernando’s Hideaway. The words and tunes may have been familiar but, with new arrangements by Guy Barker, they sounded fresher than before. His score for Stormy Weather included a musical introduction that was so reminiscent of a storm we should have reached for our umbrellas!
With anecdotes, humour and banter interspersing the songs (including a story from Guy relating to performing with Lena Horne and getting stuck in a backstage lift with Shirley MacLaine) it was the sort of evening when the audience could relax, confident that a consummate professional, with a warm, mellow and pitch-perfect voice was on stage accompanied by top class musicians, and that a good time would be had by all.
The evening ended with a beautiful rendition of Every Time We Say Goodbye that, after a cheeky hint from Clare, was illuminated by the torchlight from the audiences’ mobile phones, swaying in time to the music.
It was a first class start to a month of great music of all genres, so get your tickets for Snape Proms before they sell out.