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AAA Music | 27 January 2020

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Theo Jackson – Live @ St. James Theatre

| On 21, Apr 2015

Theo Jackson - London - Live

Saturday 18th April, London

Impressive vocalist, pianist and songwriter Theo Jackson originally read music at Durham University, but he’s recently been busy performing at prestigious jazz clubs and major festivals including Rye, Cheltenham and Love Supreme.

Theo’s debut album, Shoeless and the Girl, was released on 14th April, 2015 on the New York label Dot Time Records. At this St. James Theatre album launch evening he celebrated his release joined by Leo Richardson (sax), Huntly Gordon (double bass) and Marco Quarantotto (drums).

His set began with the first two tracks from the album: the perceptive and exuberant ‘Little Do You Know’ and imaginative ‘Moonchild’. Charming ‘Lonesome George’ presented a sad tale about life seen through the eyes of the famous Galapagos Islands tortoise who lived the remainder of his life as the last of his kind, tragically never finding a partner. ‘Bella’s Coming Home’ captivated the audience with a tearful story about a young girl returning home after having run away.

The fresh and intelligent ‘Shoeless and the Girl’, about of a homeless man, was ethereal but very grounded. Classics ‘Footprints’ and ‘Wild Flower’ had the approval of Wayne Shorter for inventive lyrical adaptations of his compositions and producer Giazonne Reyes helped contribute to these lyrics.

There were also two lively and unexpected classics. ‘Just In Time’ which combined Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s lyrics with Jule Styne’s marvellous melody and Van Morrison‘s thoughtful ‘Centrepiece’ by Jon Hendricks and Harry Edison.

Theo is an original and natural storyteller who often changes his pace and style, taking unpredictable twists and turns with his music. He’s fun, amusing and confident with a distinctive voice and a swinging, dedicated band. This was a quirky, exciting and vibrant set from a fine group of musicians.

Anthony Weightman