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Sunday, January 13, 2019


(Pic by Barry Meehan)

A formidable line up which delivers in loads in this superb, entertaining and not to be missed production. (Review by Keith Millar)

Currently appearing at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo is KZN’s premier swing jazz combo, Platform Jazz.

Due to a problem with the three phase power at the opening show last night the air-conditioners were not operating. This resulted in the full house Rhumbelow being a rather hot and steamy venue. However the band and the music they played was certainly super cool.

Entitled Our Favourite Swings, which is a play on the title of the Sound Of Music song, My Favourite Things (which is included in the show), the production, along with an excellent sound mix by Andre Norden, offers a wide and varied selection of items which delivers delight after delight – not unlike the lyrics of the song.

For starters, as if commenting on their state of mind, as well as that of the audience for that matter, the combo performed the massively popular Glen Miller tune In The Mood. And that to my slight disappointment, being something of a Glen Miller fanatic, was the last we heard of the iconic bandleader’s music for the night.

Be that as it may, there was much, including the outstanding sound mix by Andre Norden, to keep everyone happy during the rest of the show.

It started with the fabulous four song tribute the great Louis Armstrong. This introduced the vocalist for the show, the charismatic and multi-talented Durban theatre all-rounder, Bryan Hiles.

He delivered Basin Street Blues, When The Saints Go Marching In, C'est Si Bon and What a Wonderful World with some flair and charm, - and, thank goodness, no attempt to replicate the famous Satchmo gravel voice.

We were then treated to an original by pianist Melvin Peters called a Bag Of Marbles after which Hiles returned to sing Blue Moon and the Frank Sinatra standard Beyond The Sea.

The combo then performed an instrumental version of Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain as well as Miles Davis’ Four.

No production featuring swing music would be complete without a look at the input of Frank Sinatra and to that end we heard Fly Me to The Moon (with an excellent flute solo by saxophonist Jeff Robinson), Come Fly with Me and I’ve Got You Under My Skin.

The second half featured wonderful old songs such as Mack The Knife, Mr Bo Jangles Something Stupid and Have You Met Miss Jones – all songs that have recently been brought to the fore by the likes of Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart.

There was also a section of Latin beats which featured Cole Porter’s Night and Day, Duke Ellington’s Caravan and Camila Cabello’s 2017 hit Havana.

To round off the show, Hiles performed three songs from the modern day Mr Swing, Michael BublĂ©. We heard I’m Feeling Good, Everything and Sway.

Platform Jazz, led with charm by KZNPO trumpeter, Cathy Peacock, also included the gorgeous Kirsten Sayers on clarinet, Jeff Robinson on sax and flute , David Solomon on trombone, Andreas Kappen on double bass, and South African Jazz luminaries, Melvin Peters on keyboards and Bruce Baker on drums.

A formidable line up which delivers in loads in this superb, entertaining and not to be missed production.

Our Favourite Swings runs from January 12 to 20, 2019, with shows on Friday and Saturdays at 20h00 and on Sundays at 14h00. There will be an extra show on January 19 at 14h00. (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for drinks)

Tickets R150 (R130 pensioners, students with a valid student card).

Take along food picnic baskets. Braais will be available. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Rhumbelow Durban is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road in Umbilo.

Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636, email (also for group booking discounts of 20 or more) or visit – Keith Millar