Bossa Britannia

With his German and Jamaican parents, singer Mike McKoy doesn't have the most obvious background to interpret the samba songs of Joao Gilberto. But if he hadn't announced his roots on stage, only a Brazilian would have known. McKoy, who made a powerful impression playing opposite Elvin Jones at Ronnie Scott's in London last year, is a big man who cares about the little things - and he makes this meticulous attention count without suffocating improvisation. Every drifting nuance and vaporous inflection of this most ethereal of idioms was carefully cherished in a performance of bold coolness, which grew in stature as the battle with a noisy packed house increasingly went McKoy's way.

John Fordham the Guardian's main jazz critic
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