Jazz in Doha Oryx Rotana

Elena Forbes
A good night was had by eight of us yesterday at the Doha Rotana Jazz Club. Many Doha music fans still don't know of the existence of this club, or even of the Oryx Rotana itself, probably because the hotel, located close to airport immigration, is a relatively low rise building not easily seen on the skyline. The band currently resident is called Turning Point, with a back line of drummer (who also sings well), keyboard and bass, interestingly a six-string electric, fronted by an excellent tenor sax man and feature vocalist Elena Forbes. Ms Forbes made quite an impression before singing a single note, by turning up in the lowest cut evening gown Doha has seen for a long time. The one she is wearing in the publicity pic is modest by comparison. But that aside, she could hold her own vocally even dressed in a sack.
The venue itself is very pleasant, and the staff were friendly and attentive. Late in the evening, we were even treated to a spectacular juggling display by one of the bar staff. The only downside in the evening was the extremely loose correlation between drinks consumed and drinks itemised on the final bill. Another time, we might opt for pay as you go.
For serious jazz fans, try to arrive in time for the band's first set around 9 p.m. This was laid-back, cool and very accomplished. Later in the night, the repertoire tended more towards rock/pop standards and show tunes, still very well delivered but for me at least, less interesting.


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