An un­likely union be­tween an Aus­tralian trum­pet mae­stro, a Ro­ma­nian pi­anist and an in­die pop singer is set to de­light jazz fans

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

I like hear­ing me play when I am with him.’’

Even though they live at op­po­site ends of the planet, Mor­ri­son in Aus­tralia and Pe­trescu in Fin­land, they get to­gether as of­ten as they can.

In his role as artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Queens­land Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, Mor­ri­son in­vited Pe­trescu to Bris­bane to play in 2013 and he re­turns for the QMF for a con­cert with Mor­ri­son and Me­gan Washington, the open­ing night of an Aus­tralian tour for the trio.

“With Mar­ian, it’s the most com­plete pi­ano play­ing I have heard,” Mor­ri­son says.

“He’s clas­si­cally trained and draws on all the mas­ters, Chopin, Rach­mani­nov, Liszt, and then he brings in his jazz in­flu­ences. First and fore­most he’s a player of the pi­ano and he uses that as a ve­hi­cle to cre­ate jazz.

“Start­ing out in Ro­ma­nia, you are go­ing to have your own jour­ney. Of­ten as a jazz mu­si­cian that’s the hard­est thing to find, your own way of do­ing it.’’

Pe­trescu has al­ready been to Aus­tralia this year to record an al­bum with Mor­ri­son. The tour also marks Washington’s re­turn to jazz, which is what she was singing as a stu­dent at the Queens­land Con­ser­va­to­rium of Mu­sic when Mor­ri­son first heard her.

“She won a com­pe­ti­tion where I was ad­ju­di­cat­ing,” Mor­ri­son says. “She hasn’t been seen in public as a jazz singer for 10 years and she has many fans who have never heard her sing that way.

“The con­cert for the QMF will be spe­cial. There will be fans of Me­gan, there will be fans of my­self and Mar­ian play­ing jazz and prob­a­bly not many who are fans of both. It will be ex­cit­ing for her fans to hear her this way and for fans of jazz to hear her too. I think there will be lots of fans of both by the end of the night.’’

Mor­ri­son is a vir­tu­oso in the true sense of the word.

The multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist, who al­ways de­liv­ers an un­for­get­table per­for­mance, has per­formed with ev­ery artist imag­in­able around the world.

His long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with mu­sic con­tin­ues to de­velop as he ex­plores new ways of re­fresh­ing a clas­sic genre.

“I fo­cus on what’s hap­pen­ing now or what I’m do­ing next,” he says.

“I have the free­dom to say ‘let’s just do what we feel like’ ... it’s a bless­ing, I’m very lucky.”

The trum­pet mae­stro cel­e­brated three decades in the busi­ness last year with the re­lease of his first great­est hits al­bum The Very Best of James Mor­ri­son.

“When it did come around to me choos­ing songs, I wanted to make sure there was a spread of in­stru­ments, styles and com­pi­la­tions,” he says.

“It had to grab me … it didn’t take me long to pick for a dou­ble CD, I could do five of them with what I wanted.”

James Mor­ri­son will join Mar­ian Pe­trescu and Me­gan Washington on stage.

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