Skillfully recreating the legend of Piaf

Celebrating a Legend, Edith Piaf, Tina May and her Musicians, Haverhill Arts Centre - Nov 29 EDITH Piaf had an all too brief life that saw her rise from literally singing on the streets of Paris to pay for every meal to a comparatively young death due largely to a decadent lifestyle.

Celebrating a Legend, Edith Piaf, Tina May and her Musicians, Haverhill Arts Centre - Nov 29

EDITH Piaf had an all too brief life that saw her rise from literally singing on the streets of Paris to pay for every meal to a comparatively young death due largely to a decadent lifestyle.

It is a compelling story that was brought to life by singer Tina May and her trio. Ms May has the advantage of having been a student in Paris speaks fluent French and so she was able to sing the songs in French and narrate the gripping tale in English.

She also had the advantage of being accompanied by three superb musicians who real had the feel of the music. . . particularly Karen Street, the vastly experienced and versatile accordionist - she is equally at home playing classical concerts as she is pop with the likes of Debbie Harry and Elvis Costello - almost an essential for things musical in France.


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They quickly got into the mood with a lively version of Pigalle, followed by J'attendrais, and then came a highlight of the evening with Ms May's version of the melodic Autumn Leaves sung in both French and English.

By now, the audience, seated cabaret style for the occasion, were in the right mood and after a spirited version of La Vie En Rose (Take Me To Your Heart), they took up Ms May's invitation to join in the chorus for MiLord..

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The trio presented an superb version of September in the Rain and La Mer, that allowed Nikki Iles to reveal her jazz pedigree and she was given equally superb backing by Julie Walkington on double bass and Karen Street.

In the second set Ms May opened with Hymn L'Amour that was followed by the jaunty Padam, another number popular with the appreciative audience.

Dressed in a slinky, off the shoulder black dress, Tina May looked and sounded the part and was able to get into the many moods of Piaf, much of it likened to the life of Billie Holiday.

Long established as a star of the UK jazz scene, Tina May has also shown how good she is at sacred and spiritual music and now she has shown that she has an abundant talent for so much more. She is ready to take off for a starring role in a West End musical.

As one of my colleagues in the audience put it: "She would make a splendid Nancy in Oliver".

Alan Crumpton

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