12 June 2015

Tin Pan Sally

This was cool: a meeting of jazz and opera. Sally Greenaway on piano and Louise Page on soprano voice. It had a nifty title, too: Tin Pan Sally. They had performed at Merimbula Jazz Festival and Louise commented on the good time and the chance to be cool. It's a crossover; a different world. Louise also observed that the backing changes every time, but she dealt with it perfectly well. Jazz is like that. Sally displayed a chart and explained it's reharmonised and then improvised with substitutions and the like on the day. This was maybe new for a Wesley audience, but it all went down a treat. I loved the songs - Gershwin, Kern and the like - but I usually hear them as instrumentals. The words can be twee, but they can take on a strange romantic authenticity with the music and Sally and Louise got this. I particularly loved their takes on The man I love and Over the rainbow. Such attractive melodies, such trivial lyrics, but what a joy combined! Sally did a 5/4 instrumental take on Charlie Chaplin's fabulous Smile. I enjoyed hearing the seldom performed verses for several of these tunes (jazzers usually just play the AABA-or-other refrain). Even the term Verse as the introductory material was new to me. Thanks for that, Sally. Then Sally talked of merging two songs and proceeded to demonstrate with an enhanced My funny valentine as encore ("It's think it's quite fun ... hold on"). I guess this mix would have discombobulated both Merimbula and Wesley but they probably all enjoyed it immensely, just like I did. What a wonderful little romantic musical mutiny!

Sally Greenaway (piano) accompanied Louise Page (soprano vocals) at Wesley singing songs from Tin Pan Alley.

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