In an unusually chilly Royal Clifton ballroom, she took a while to find her fire, but once she warmed up she was as hot.
Looking gorgeous, with a voice to make grown men swoon, she is a charismatic and skilled vocalist. But arriving directly from Paris perhaps left her a little lagged and in early songs, such as Thelonious Monk’s "Well You Needn’t," this reviewer had the feeling that Tina and the band were holding back.
Tenor sax and band leader Mike Hall was particularly shy in the opening up-tempo numbers, giving the odd toot instead of the throaty solos we’ve come to expect from the Royal Northern College of Music maestro.
But, suitably, everything changed with a ballad called "You’ve Changed." Here we got to see at last May’s quiet, confident power, which was complimented perfectly by Dan Whieldon on piano. Whieldon really came into his own in the second half. Indeed, fortified by their half-time coffee, it was like watching a different band.
Numbers like "I Do it For Your Love," "September in the Rain" (sung mostly in French) and "How the Time Goes By," were inventive and warm. Hall began to blow and there were class solos from Steve Berry on bass and Eryl Roberts on drums.
The climax came with a superb rendition of one of Duke Ellington’s sacred scores and the bands signature tune Take the A Train.
A fantastic finale and a suitable way to celebrate Southport jazz club’s fifth birthday.