Dinner at the Bistro in the Dunstan Playhouse was tasty. I had Lamb shanks, with the meat falling off the bone, a very drinkable McLaren Vale Merlot followed by some indulgence. Well it is an early birthday treat for me. The pavlova melted in my mouth, a few too many times I think. I tried not leave any.
It is a handy restaurant to the Festival Theatre and it was a quick, but brisk walk across the Plaza to the venue. What annoyed me was that Bass, the ticket agents, slug you $11.59 for the privilege of booking online and paying by Visa. A dam rip-off.
The promo for the event calls it a night of jazz with three musical geniuses. A little poetic license though, but two out of three is not all that bad. James Morrison is brilliant. I have seen and listened to him a number of times since the late 80s and he just keeps getting better. His supporting jazz band was excellent. The outstanding surprise for me was the pianist, Marian Petescu. I had not heard of him previously and what a wonderful master of the keyboard he is. His fingers were a blur of movement and his ability to play any style of music (perfectly) from the classics to jazz was mesmurising. What a talent.
James and Marian, earlier in the week, were at the UniSA Jazz Music Academy in Mt Gambier. This is a unique learning environment for up and coming jazz musicians and makes me proud to be part of the UniSA teaching environment. Of course I can not longer hold a tune or play a note on the trumpet.
However, the vocalist supporting the jazz band tonight was disappointing. Megan Washington has a sweet, clear and captivating singing voice, one I could listen to time and again. However, her stage presence was pathetic. I had to either look away or close my eyes. I could not work out her gyrations, maybe she was constipated, or the mic had a short in it and was giving her electric shocks. Her voice was a delight, but her time on the stage spoilt the evening for me – and judging from other comments I heard, I was not the only one.