THE peerless singer Carol Kidd, whose concert on Wednesday night kicked off the Fruitmarket strand of the Glasgow Jazz Festival, is a woman on a mission.

It's possibly a kamikaze mission if this week's concert is anything to go by.

Having completely mesmerised the packed Fruitmarket audience with a gorgeous Skylark and a heartfelt Time After Time – and despite saying "I won't talk; I've got so many songs to get through" – she abruptly broke the spell by announcing "I don't give a monkey's if you like these songs or not".

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Well, that's one way to alienate your audience; drawing attention to individual members for taking a toilet break is another, which she also deployed early on in the proceedings.

Still, once she'd got that out of her system, she (at least) seemed to relax.

Despite having a top-notch, though slightly uncomfortable-looking band onstage with her, only her long-time guitarist Nigel Clark was given much solo space.

Indeed, his duets with Kidd were highlights of the evening.

On Moon River, a song they have made their own, he dished up a solo of exquisite tenderness, while Songbird and their own original number Tell Me Once Again underlined what a wonderful musical couple they make.

Kidd, whose first major gig this was after being treated for breast cancer, sounded a bit bruised.

The voice may not have soared with the trademark Kidd purity, but she put over those ballads as movingly as ever.

Other highlights included an appearance by a Spanish saxophonist friend, introduced simply as Santiago, who stole the show with his gorgeous take on the waltz Emily and singing the Antonio Carlos Jobim part on Corcovado.

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