AS part of the outstanding Bournemouth & Poole Jazz by the sea Festival, the Julie Dunn Quartet once again brought their smooth infectious jazzy sound to the wonderful Shelley Theatre.

Fortunately, unlike last summer’s show which was moved to an uncomfortably bleak hard-seated area completely devoid of atmosphere, this year’s concert took place in the intimate historic theatre with its superb acoustics, comfortable seating, and the evocative ghosts of author Mary Shelley, poet Percy Shelley, and Robert Louis Stevenson all around.

Julie Dunn on smooth vocals and distinctive keyboards delivers high quality music, with mesmeric Ray Butcher on trumpet, melodic Pete Maxfield on double bass, and incisive Ben Kill on drums.

Opening with Tokyo Blues, with its honkin’ trumpet and Japanese feel, Dunn and her three superb musicians delighted an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience.

Julie Dunn is not only a sparkling jazz vocalist and pianist, she’s also an accomplished songwriter with her moving Lullaby Baby, dedicated to her grandchild being especially effective.

Also compelling is the tight funky Song For My Father, a swirly bossa nova in 4/4 time.

Amusing and original is Dunn’s Waiting-room Blues, dedicated to doctors and dentists everywhere.

One of the show’s highlights is the Hal David & Burt Bacharach classic ballad What’s It All About, Alfie with Julie Dunn’s longingly moving vocal embroidered by Ray Butcher’s plaintive sensitive mute trumpet.

Brendan McCusker