'You're small but you're perfectly formed,' Dave O'Higgins dryly informed the modest audience for the first of his two nights at Grappa's Cellar before performing two strong sets of hard-driving modern jazz, paying tribute to his heroes. For a man whose 'biggish band' recently sold out Ronnie Scott's in London, where he also performs as a member of the house band, the modest turnout was a surprise but he didn't let it compromise his playing or his engagement with the audience. A varied set, much of it drawn from his In the Zone album - to be released in February on Jazzizit Records - included strong originals such as Operation Yardbird, alongside Steve Grossman's Take the D-Train and Lee Morgan's Ca-Lee-So. O'Higgins brought young British drumming prodigy Josh Blackmore to play with the local musicians, and he gelled nicely with Eugene Pao on guitar and Sylvain Gagnon on bass. Pao and Gagnon have worked together extensively recently and it shows in the tightness of their playing. Artists appearing in the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Jazz Up Series of concerts usually bring their entire touring bands, and so it will be with Carol Kidd and Jacques Loussier, who are appearing only two days apart this week at City Hall. Kidd, a veteran Scottish jazz singer who has toured extensively in Asia in recent years, is bringing a quartet comprising guitarist Nigel Clark, bassist Mario Caribe, pianist Paul Harrison and drummer Stu Ritchie. Loussier on piano will be backed by his fine regular trio Andre Arpino on drums and Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac on bass. Kidd, 62, has been a presence on the British jazz scene - particularly in Scotland - on and off for decades, but really began to make her mark after an appearance on a TV show hosted by Annie Ross which led to a performance at Ronnie Scott's. Word of her talent reached Frank Sinatra who invited her to sing with him in Glasgow in 1990 and later described her as 'the best kept secret of British jazz'. Kidd is a huge Sinatra fan and got a major boost in confidence. The icing on the cake came after a similar compliment from Tony Bennett, who saw her at Ronnie Scott's and told her he couldn't understand why she wasn't world famous. She certainly is famous now in Britain, where she was awarded an MBE for services to jazz in 1998 and was voted best singer four years running in the British Jazz Awards. She also has a big following in Japan and Korea - where she had a No.1 hit in the singles chart with a version of When I Dream, beating Britney Spears and Robbie Williams to the slot. With a long list of awards to her name, Kidd is a singer's singer and a musician's singer. Cleo Laine says 'her control is thrilling' while the late Ronnie Scott observed that 'she is not only technically excellent but she sings the lyrics like she means them', very much a Sinatra trademark. Her serious recording career started late, in the mid 1990s, but she has about 15 albums to her name, many of them out on the Scottish audiophile label Linn, which also provided a home for another of her admirers, guitarist Martin Taylor, for a number of years. She's in town for one night only tomorrow. Expect great American songbook standards delivered with the kind of subtlety and verve that caught Bennett's and Sinatra's ears. Although the Jacques Lousier Trio has undergone no lineup changes since its last appearance here, also at City Hall a few years back, there have been modifications in its repertoire. Loussier made his name with the original trio, featuring the great Pierre Michelot on bass and Christian Garros on drums, playing a repertoire confined to swinging reinterpretations of themes by Bach. The new trio, formed in 1985, stuck to that policy for some years but eventually diversified into the music of Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as tackling some relatively modern French composers with Debussy, Ravel and Satie. Both Bach and the more recent additions to the repertoire will feature in this performance at City Hall on Thursday night. Both concerts will be well worth attending, and tickets are available from Urbtix. It would be nice to see a fuller house than Dave O'Higgins drew.