Marlene VerPlanck swings into spring

SALLY EVANS-DARBY looks forward to Marlene VerPlanck's UK tour dates through March 2012

Marlene VerPlanck

Marlene VerPlanck with John Pearce (p), Paul Morgan (b) and Bobby Worth (d). Pic by Gordon Sapsed

Fans of songbook standards performed with polish and verve will be in for a treat this month. Marlene VerPlanck, who has been recording since her early 20s and has performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Mel Tormé, begins her UK tour on 29 February in Kent, finishing up in Chichester on 31 March.

Heralded by the New York Times as "the most accomplished interpreter of popular material performing today," Ms VerPlanck is well known for taking some of the greatest songs from composers such as Arlen, Berlin and Gershwin and delivering them with wit and warmth. As well as tunes everyone can hum along to, she also delights in unearthing the rarer, less recorded songs by American songbook composers and putting her own spin on them.

It's not just the golden oldies Ms VerPlanck interprets and makes her own: her latest album, released in 2011, includes tracks from newer songwriters, plus several that were written or arranged by her late husband, Billy VerPlanck. So expect to hear familiar melodies, but plenty of new material too, all of it stamped with Ms VerPlanck's signature swing style.

Marlene VerPlanck plays at The Stables, Wavendon (11.30am, 4 March, tel 01908 280 800), Green Man, Rackheath, Norwich (6, tel 01603 614 169), Concord Club, Eastleigh (7, tel 02380 613 689), Bonington Theatre, Nottingham (8, tel 0155 956 0733), Ronnie Scott’s, London (noon brunch, 11, tel 020 7439 0747), Goodfellowship Inn, Cottingham Rd, Hull (14, tel 01482 346 239), Southport Jazz Society, The Royal Clifton Hotel (18, tel 01704 541 790), Swansea Jazzland, 38 James Crescent, Uplands (21, tel 07802 912 789), with John Ruddick's Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, Westley Hotel, Acocks Green, Birmingham (lunchtime, 25), The Kings Head, Bexley (26, tel 020 8467 1350), Fleece Jazz, Stoke by Nayland Hotel (30, tel 01787 211 865) and Chichester Jazz Club, South Pallant (31, tel 01243 781 466).

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