15 November 2011


Gossips played over the weekend at the 2011 Cosmo Cabaret fund-raiser for Timor. Other returnees were soprano Kirsten Mann and The Cashews. Newbies this year were Anton Wurzer and the K-Motion dancers presenting a display on Argentinian tango. A busy night of varied entertainment and goodwill and chatter.

Gossips opened with a short set. We touched on the ‘40s theme of last year, but there was more a sweep of the 20th Century. Leanne even got to revisit a Goth past when we played Love cats. Most fun was the set with Anton, but more on that later. Kristen was again accompanied by Mike, but she sang a more earthy set this year. Firstly an Erik Satie song, obviously in French and more folksome than last year’s Debussy, but later a Celtic-sounding song of a barmaid who makes some extra money on the side from disreputable activities. The soprano technique does not make for lyrics that are easy to understand, but we got the message. The Cashews followed with their wonderful, sometimes touching, always clever songs of Canberra life presented with smiles and wit and exemplary interaction with the audience. Alison and Pete have the sweetest of mingling voices and unobtrusive harmonies and match it with a decent folksy instrumental technique. And was that an 8-string uke that Pete played?

The K-Motion dancers came after the break. The tango is a thing of some interest in jazz circles, but I only see the dance in films. It started with four couples that form from an inner circle surrounding the dance floor. The male, red jacketed, seeks a female and the sultry, seductive encounter begins. This is tightly framed, closely moving dance, bodies close and suggestive, even if faces are distant and formal. Anton followed with a solo set of lively, flexible tunes from fleeting fingers. There was some humour to end with a medley that included Stairway to Heaven, but mostly it was busy, enlivened improvisation. Anton plays a hot accordion, and I love that sound. It’s not one that we often hear in jazz, and perhaps the only one that we hear in jazz in Canberra, but it deserves more popularity. Perhaps it’s my Italian background but I love that sound and Anton plays with vigour and fluency and improvisational skills that makes it such a pleasure. Gossips returned for a few final tunes with Anton, and this is where I particularly noticed. One was a boppy 5/4 original by Anton, another was a hot bop blues, but it was Bluesette that particularly fitted. It’s a composition of Toots Thielemans so the tone fits perfectly with the snappy wind tone of the accordion.

So a very pleasant night of considerable variation and some new exposures. Much enjoyed. The Gossips are Leanne Dempsey (vocals), Mike Dooley (piano), Richard Manderson (saxes), Eric Pozza (bass) and Brenton Holmes (drums). Kirsten Mann (voice soprano) was accompanied by Mike Dooley (piano). The Cashews are Pete Lyon (vocals, guitar) and Alison Procter (vocals, guitar, accordion). In individual K-Motion dancers are unknown to CJ. Anton Wurzer (piano accordion) performed solo and with the Gossips. And this all happened at the Second annual Cosmopolitan Cabaret in Curtin.


whisperinggums said...

Lovely post Eric of a lovely evening. Great photos too ... Surer played accordion in ways I don't recollect hearing before but maybe that' because I'm not Italian! It was good but

whisperinggums said...

Silly spell check, not Surer but Wurzer.