Music: Biondi welcomed as start at Ronnie Scott's

First of six sold-out shows in London, fans thrilled

02 February, 16:56

(ANSAmed) - LONDON, FEBRUARY 2 - Outside it is a cold London evening with below-zero temperatures. Inside the legendary Ronnie Scott's club, the powerful voice of Mario Biondi and the extraordinary jazz band that accompanied him heated the atmosphere, thrilling a crowd of British fans. Biondi was welcomed as a real start in the first of his six shows in London, all sold-out. Before the concert in Soho, with the singer outside the club, many people asked him for autographs and pictures (''I can't even go outside for a smoke'', Mario commented). The show started with a real ovation. In fact the singer in a way made his international breakthrough here, thanks to the BBC's attention for his song 'This is what you are'. Biondi, in good vocal shape despite a few technical problems (though the acoustics were perfect in the audience), performed a line-up including jazz, soul and R&B, giving him a chance to show his versatility. He started with Serenity, followed by Never die and A child runs free; then he sang a duet with the great singer from Denmark Hanne Boel: Funny how time slips away, and immersed in the languid Slow hot wind. Mario, first wearing a shiny smoking, then a vaguely pirate-like long overcoat and black shirt, bought at Camden, felt immediately at east. He also joked about his voice resembling Barry White's: "Me? I am very white".

Mario Bondi was accompanied by a group of Italian jazz musicians who produced an elegant and massive sound: Daniele Scannapieco on saxophone, Beppe di Benedetto on trombone, Giovanni Amato on trumpet, Claudio Filippini on piano, Tommaso Scannapieco on contrabass and Lorenzo Tucci on drums. Together they played an enhanced version of Billy Joel's Just the way you are, a soul version of My girl and even a jazzy 'O' sole mio'.

People even started to dance in the London music temple, with its red lampshades on the tables, when This is what you are started(which was also the encore). Even some waiters were caught by the rhythm and danced behind the bar. There isn't much time to enjoy the success of the first night however: tonight is the next one, continuing to the 4th of this month (the final two days with day-time shows). The freezing temperatures in the UK will continue until Sunday, according to the forecasts, but at least Ronnie Scott's will be warmed by the heat of jazz with a Sicilian heart. (ANSAmed).

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