Ali Affleck’s Speakeasy Sessions ***


@The Jazz Bar

till Aug 27th

times vary

Ali Affleck and The Copper Cats are regular favourites at the Fringe, so I went along to the Jazz Bar to see if they lived up to the hype. I had high expectations for this event, but I was left disappointed. While the Copper Cats were outstanding, I found Ali’s voice to be lacking as the lead vocal. It might just be me, I don’t know a huge amount about jazz apart from knowing what I like, but for most of the set her voice didn’t have the rich quality that the songs demanded.

Having said that, the Jazz bar was packed and most of the audience seemed to be having a great time.  There were a few young couples at the back showing off their old-time dancing, which was most entertaining.

I could have listened to the Copper Cats all night long, indeed my favourite parts were when they performed their solos, or when there was a prolonged instrumental segue. If I had seen the Copper Cats on their own, I’d have given them a solid 4 star review. All very talented and experienced musicians in their own right. They all played beautifully, the trumpet player and the drummer alone could raise the roof of any venue.

Ali does have a lovely voice, and I’m aware that she has won many awards for her vintage style, but I felt she could have chosen songs better suited to her voice. Some of the sexy numbers such as Do Your Duty and My Baby Likes it Slow, left me cold. There was simply no sensual quality to Ali’s voice for these songs. Where she came into her own was during songs like Egyptian Layla which literally rocked the Jazz Bar.

Ali is clearly a versatile singer, she knows her jazz and her jazz history and I wanted so much to like her but it just didn’t happen. I have had many a good night in the jazz bar but this wasn’t one of them.

Sharon Jones