Edinburgh Festival Fringe music review: Movin’ Melvin Brown: Me, Ray Charles & Sammy Davis Jr, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jim Gilchrist.
Movin’ Melvin Brown has flying feet and a laugh like a drain. He first takes the stage, terpsichorean footwear rattling like Marley’s ghost, although Melvin is both much more cheery and more alive, launching into a fiery tap sequence over a recording of Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing, silver shoes flickering.
He’s a dauntingly energetic and good-natured stage presence, but the show, in which he celebrates two of his heroes, Ray Charles and Sammy Davis Jr, doesn’t really hold together. The first, Ray Charles, half is the most effective as he hollers out classics such as I Got a Woman, Georgia and What I Say? – his singing, like his dancing, tends to be set at full throttle, accompanied vigorously by what back in the day would have been termed a beat combo on keyboards, bass, drums and backing vocalist.
The Sammy Davis section, however, wears pretty thin as Brown channels everything from Sammy’s version of Sinatra’s All of Me, through Satchmo, to a daft collision between Michael Jackson’s robotic moves and Riverdance. Sometimes sheer, indefatigable energy just isn’t quite enough.
Assembly Checkpoint (Venue 322) Until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 13 August 2015
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