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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, November 21, 2014

John Wilson Orchestra - Cole Porter in Hollywood. Sage Gateshead.

John Wilson (cond/md/arr etc.); Anna-Jane Casey/Scarlet Strallon/Matthew Ford/Richard Morrison (vcls); +full orchestra).
(Review by Lance).
A lovely afternoon listening to some of Cole Porter's finest songs expertly arranged by John Wilson (of Gateshead) and sung by four of the finest interpretors of the idiom.
BSH's Elizabeth of York (AKA as Liz) had made the journey north and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
This wasn't a jazz gig, although there were one or two tasty sax/clarinet breaks and I think I recognised Colin Oxley on guitar, but the music of Porter is timeless and has fuelled the repertoire of most jazz musicians.
After the overture, a medley of Porter tunes, the four singers came forth for Don't Monkey With Broadway. This got the three tier full crowd in the mood for the contrasting I've Got You Under my Skin and then the superb You're The Top. Ford and Casey not only sang Porter's lyric - surely the best ever list song: -
You're the top/You're the Colosseum,/You're the top/You're the Louvre Museum/etc. - but with slight facial gestures that added to the humour of the lyric.
I swear that that song has more verses than Let's Do it which in fact they didn't do!
Space prevents me mentioning all of the highlights but Strallen's So In Love and Morrison's Where is the Life That Late I Led? - both from Kiss Me Kate - stood out. I didn't think the ballet sequence from The Pirate worked - with Gene Kelly and Judy Garland fine, but on its own? The instrumental ballet sequence that did work was the Silk Stockings score and From This Moment On, also from Kate. The latter had the vocal beginning but then went into the dance section. Nobody on stage was dancing but we in the stalls were metaphorically transformed into Bob Fosse, Tommy Rall and Bobby Van - Liz of course was Ann Miller!
Then there was the unknown You Can Do No Wrong that Andre Previn and Porter himself rated as his finest song. Not sure if it is his finest but it sure is fine - check out Judy singing it to Gene Kelly.
There was so much more - too much to mention.
The Broadway bounce of Anna-Jane, the neo-operatic charm of Scarlet, Matthew's belting baritone and Richard's dramatic tenor all combined to make this an afternoon few will forget.
All beautifully brought together by John Wilson and, of course,
Cole Porter!
Lance.

5 comments :

Liz said...

such an excellent review Lance, JW would be proud! Thanks again for a delightful afternoon spent in companionable perfection. We both chuckled in unison, did you notice?

Lance said...

We usually do - great minds and all that!

Phil Kelly said...

A wonderful afternoon at The Sage. Good to see you Lance.

Lance said...

You too Phil - envious of your Birdland T-shirt!

Liz said...

Hello Phil, good to meet you, you could auction that T shirt if times get hard!!

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