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AAA Music | 19 May 2024

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Denise Pearson – Live @ The Jazz Cafe

| On 03, Mar 2014

Denise Pearson

Thursday 27th February, London

English singer songwriter Denise Pearson was well known as the lead vocalist with 80s R&B artists Five Star. As a sibling quintet they were hugely successful and, with 6 top ten hits, became known as the British version of The Jacksons.

Denise is a Grammy nominee and Brit Award Winner. Profits from her recent EP Freak Dance were donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

At this Jazz Cafe evening Denise greeted the audience with a beaming smile. She looked great and sang superbly at this introduction to her forthcoming album Imprint, to be  released on 7th July, 2014. She was joined by the pleasant  grooves of the Urban Soul Orchestra.

Denise raced through the old Five Star numbers ‘ Rain Or Shine’, ‘System Addict’ and ‘Can’t Wait Another Minute’, and this continued through a ‘questions and answers’ session with audience requests for ‘Godsend’ and ‘Some Kind Of Magic’. They were  brief reminders of what a huge creative influence she was in the 80s.

The video of ‘Freak Dance’ showed Denise’s typically creative choreography and her voice excelled in the passionate ‘Free Fall’, as it did in beautiful ‘Here I Am’. Her funky and inspirational cover of Steve Winwood‘s ‘Higher Love’ was reminiscent of the fiery original vocals by Chaka Khan. The fine acoustic ‘Find My Way’ was tight and enjoyable. As the pulsating club rhythms marked an end to Denise’s set, one was left with memories of songs that she had charmingly bought to life. She remains a mature and credible artist, still a smart dresser with a great sense of fun. As she hits those glimmering high notes, she leaves you feeling good about the world.

Anthony Weightman