Louise Blackwell gives us a beautiful night out in Paris
Reviewed at Nexus Arts on 20 February 2019
Presented by Louise Blackwell
Louise Blackwell is one of Adelaide’s treasures. A highly competent and innovative jazz singer, she has spent many years in France, and this Gallic sensibility pervades much of her work.
For this year’s Fringe she is presenting A Night in Paris: a selection of songs by some of the great, French, song-writers. Each of these works has been arranged within a jazz framework, by the extraordinary Mark Ferguson, who also joins her on piano. Making up the combo are Julian Ferraretto on violin, John Aue on double bass, Gary Isaacs on guitar, Joshua Baldwin on drums and Alex Taylor on a selection of brass, including the much maligned sousaphone! Each of these musicians is a treat to listen to in themselves; but put them together, and magic happens.
The playing is as tight as the traffic on Place de la Concorde at rush-hour, and most of the arrangements have a punchiness to them that freshens, whilst remaining true to the original sentiment. The energy is unrelenting.
Blackwell is in top, vocal form, her strong stage presence pulling the whole evening together. Each song is introduced, often with a brief translation of some of the main words or themes, but without any hint of a “lecture”.
Along with the expected works by Piaf, Aznavour, Juliette Greco and Gainsbourg, are songs by less universally known writers such as Yves Montand, Leo Ferre, Georges Brassens, and Barbara.
Obviously a treat for the Francophiles, this show is a must-see for anyone who loves good music, especially that which sits in the jazz space.
The show is being presented at various venues and times, outlined below. This is one of the gems of this year’s program: don’t miss it!
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
St John’s Anglican Church, Halifax St Adelaide Sunday 24th February 6.00 pm
The Pocket at Stirling Fringe, Mt Barker Rd Stirling, Tuesday 26th 6.30, Wednesday 27th 2.30
Nexus Arts, Thursday 28th February, 6.00 pm
Duration: 60-70 minutes