When Dutch-born chanteuse Caro Emerald burst on the scene in 2010 with the excellent Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor album, the jazz singer was a breath of fresh air with her nostalgic brand of Latin inspired songs both beautifully played and performed.
With influences like the Andrew Sisters, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan her music reminiscent of the Jazz Age of the 20s and 30s but with a current twist, was certainly the perfect recipe to warm the stomach when compared to the overly produced, stir-in-cup Muzak that TV pop factory spat out.
An appearance on Jools Holland’s 2011 Hootenanny, was just the exposure for her music thrive on and she’s delighted live audiences ever since, even if her sad lack recorded work was proving a bit of a disappointment with another gem of a recording, The Shocking Miss Emerald in 2013, her only other recording.
Fortunately for her fans, both albums featured heavily during her performance in front of a packed, sell-out crowd at St David’s Hall with her stylish brand of Jazz and Latin tunes mixed with a heavy dose of swing,hip hop and other genres too numerous to mention.
Fronting an excellent seven-piece band if you closed your eyes long enough you could easily be transported to a Cuban nightclub or the Hot Club de France. The playing was immaculate whilst Emerald’s voice was as powerful as it was soothing whilst visually, with the band animated, the projected images behind them helped create a real party atmosphere that was infectious.
Opening with the bouncy Riviera Life there was no let up in the pace with “Absolutely Me and”, “Tangled Up” and “Mambo Shuffle” all played in quick succession and little time to catch one’s breath.
It was obvious that more familiar songs like “Liquid Lunch” and the brilliant “A Night Like This” would get a big reaction from her audience yet in such a packed set each song received a rapturous response with her cover of “Havana” leaving the timbers shaking and everyone on their feet.
Another album would be great and her recent EP is a sweetener but until then, as a live artist she reigns supreme.