"Earl Okin London Jazz Festival"
by David Franchi on 20/11/15

Earl Okin fantastic performance at EFG London Jazz Festival 2015.

The concert of Earl Okin was a great moment of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2015.

Titled ‘Peggy, Mel and João’ the Earl Okin show at the Pheasantry was sold out and much applauded.

The gig was a trip through the lives of Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé and João Gilberto, three sources of inspiration for Earl Okin. It was a one-man show, Okin played guitar and piano, singing and did his famous mouth-trumpet, with guest Joan Shenton who joined him for one only song. Attending the show, there were Okin friends and working partner, such as Brazilian Ive Mendes and British Clare Teal.

The concert started with a brief introduction of Peggy Lee life. Then Okin played the her version of Why don’t you do right?, followed by Mañana and Johnny Guitar, while keeping on telling the life of Peggy Lee, her relationship with Benni Goodman, and her work with Nat King Cole. Once, Okin also met Laurindo Almeida the guitarist of Peggy Lee.

Then Okin switched to Mel Tormé and played Born to be Blue. Tormé debuted as drummer with Chico Marx, had love affairs with Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner and collaborated with Nat King Cole.

Then Okin dealt with João Gilberto, O papa da Bossa Nova - the father of Bossa Nova. Gilberto invented bossa nova by mixing jazz and samba and when he met Antonio Carlos Jobim, they made a music revolution, using not lyricists but poets, for example Vinicius de Moraes.

The second set opened with Don’t Smoke in Bed. Earl Okin kept on telling the lives of the three people inspiring the show and performed more songs, such as You Go to my Mind, P.S. I Love You, some Christmas songs, to finish with The Girl from Ipanema, Besame Mucho (with Joan Shenton) and Mango in the version of Peggy Lee. The encore was the Gilberto bossa nova version of ‘S Wonderful.

“Today show, which was a tribute to one of the things that inspired me, I’ve done once before at the Edinburgh Festival many years ago, but in a shorter version. And when Joseph Paice invited me to perform here tonight, he said instead of doing a normal show, have a think to it. So I thought of these things I’ve done years ago and I thought yeah I should do not the usual thing which is all about one person, but it’s more about how I became an artist, the influences that made me what I am and the people I fell in love with over the years, from listening to their records.”

Earl Okin is a pianist, singer song-writer, comedian and guitarist. Okin is a persona more than an artist. His ability to entertain audiences comes to his multifaceted personality and his unusual approach to the stage.

As entertainer, Earl Okin is a natural talent. On stage he constantly makes jokes, and interacts with the public. His way to dress in normal life is unique, always wearing spats, suit and waistcoat, an old mannered genuine gentleman style.

One of the world’s finest Jazz singers, Earl Okin is considered to be one of the best talented Bossa Nova artists outside Brazil. His carrier started in the 1960s, and throughout the decades he worked with many artists, including Paul McCartney and the Wings, Bing Crosby, Van Morrison, Fairport Convention, Cilla Black, and Georgie Fame.

The show was great and it is definitely suggested to attend the next one.

Add Your review?

Have your say, add your review

Other recent reviews by David Franchi
Sunken Cities: Egypt lost worlds
Ancient Sunken Cities in Egypt by David Franchi
Ludovico Einaudi concert
Einaudi concert celebrates the Elements by David Franchi
Fairport Convention concert - Wintour 2016
Folk rock legends at best by David Franchi
Ennio Morricone - My Life In Music, World Tour
Amazing Morricone concert delights London by David Franchi
Andrea Pozza Trio - EFG LondonJazz Festival 2015
Great Andrea Pozza Trio concert by David Franchi