HAVING only jetted in that afternoon from gigs in Spain, the Gelato band displayed no loss of energy or enthusiasm. Their high octane performance justified the health and safety warning on display that offered free ear plugs. It was a fitting finale to the third South Coast Jazz Festival organised by Julian Nicholas and legendary jazz vocalist Claire Martin.

Gelato and his six fine musicians created the sound of a much larger band as they paid tribute to some of the past masters of swing and jazz – Buddy Greco and Louis Prima were celebrated along with Louis Jordan’s jumping jive. A blistering Flying Home and Dark Eyes, with fine piano and drum solos, paid suitable homage to Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa respectively.

An exciting, quirky The Boulevard of Broken Dreams led by Gelato’s saxophone suggested that a better balanced programme would have featured less of his vocals and more of his playing. Also a few more slow ballads would have provided gentle contrasts. Sadly Claire Martin was underused and denied any solo work – the nearest being the lead singer in the rousing encore.