I was fortunate enough to be able to join a capacity audience at the small Corn Exchange in Wallingford, Oxfordshire to see the return there of talented singer and songwriter, Purdy - also known to some of us as Rebecca Poole, her birth name.

Purdy grew up on a farm estate near Wallingford which formerly belonged to James Bond creator Ian Fleming and his family, so this was a return home for her. These days, Purdy performs extensively in London (often at Ronnie Scott's, sometimes at Wembley or the Royal Albert Hall) plus nationally and internationally. She has worked with Jools Holland and has sung at events with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and many more. As all these big names recognise, Purdy is one of the most expressive jazz singers of her generation, but is very versatile, singing and writing across many musical genres.

As ever, the Wallingford audience were enraptured by Purdy's rich, velvety voice singing a wide range of well-chosen material and her unique playful, witty, alluring connection with all of us in the hall. She combines her own distinctive style with nuances of Nina Simone, Nancy Sinatra, Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Julie London and many more vocalists. She has great stage craft and a certain playful swagger which all age groups relish.

The evening included a sublime selection of classic jazz, Latin and mainstream standards plus many of Purdy's own beautifully crafted and romantic ballads.

Accompanying her (as on many of her live performances) were the masterful jazz and acoustic guitarist Hugh Turner with talented Stuart Henderson on trumpet, flugelhorn and percussion plus the amazing Raph Mizraki on bass, cello, tuba and more. As Purdy acknowledges, she is fortunate to have such impressive and versatile players supporting her.

Any evening watching Purdy (or Rebecca!) is always wonderful - but this particular “homecoming” performance was very special.

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Commenting On: Corn Exchange, Wallingford, 21/9/2019 - Purdy

ie London, England

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