03 February 2008

Casinò senza casino

It was a relaxing set from Leisa Keen at the Casino last night. Known standards played calmly, with no rush between tunes. I guess that’s appropriate. The crowd has other matters on its mind. This is the soothing background, although I’m not sure if it would do much good if you’re on a losing streak. Leisa told me she’s been working there for a year, and gets good reports from the croupiers like the relaxed jazz atmosphere. They are working at a frenzied pace, and need to keep their heads together, so I imagine it’s just the ticket/token/chip.

I can’t provide a pic because cameras aren’t allowed. Strange, given the huge number of CCT cameras obviously ensconced in domes in the ceiling. But this is another, monied world. A bit tacky perhaps, but it pays and jazzers are getting two gigs a week, so that’s good. And there’s a little patch of bar area for a beer and a listen.

Leisa Keen (vocals, piano) impressed by playing a range of tasks with considerable competence: singing and piano comping, bass lines and soloing. Nicely done. Her trio includes Graeme Reynolds (trumpet) and Ian McLean (drums), so there’s a nice range of tones here. Trumpet is a rarer beast out front, doubly so in trios, so we have a different sound. The tunes were well known standards: The way you look tonight, Almost like being in love, Autumn leaves, My baby just cares for me, Honeysuckle rose, Perhaps3, etc. Leisa’s website shows she’s active in a range of musical formats: choir, musical theatre, cabaret: quite a multi-talent.

There are lots of young girls dressed up and blokes dressed down, as is the way. If you want a night on the gaming floor, or a hint of the greater glories of Monte Carlo or Las Vegas, entrance is free there’s some comformable background music from a range of local jazz outfits each Friday and Saturday evening from 9pm.
  • Leisa Keen's website
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