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There was a lot of love in the room on Wednesday when singer Jenny Morris was honoured by the music industry at a ceremony in Sydney. Morris was the recipient of the Excellence in the Community award in recognition of her achievements behind the microphone and as a fundraiser for charities such as Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia and Support Act, the industry body that offers financial and other assistance to musicians in difficulty. Support Act was the host for the fundraising Music in the House event at the Ivy Ballroom on Wednesday and a star-studded roster of talent turned up to lend its support as well as to honour Morris. Actors Sam Neill and David Wenham were there, as was actress Rachel Ward, who hosted the event. There were stellar performances of some of Morris’s best-known songs by other artists including Montaigne, who offered an admirable acoustic reading of She Has to Be Loved, and Morris’s younger sister, Shanley Del, who did Everywhere I Go. The star trio of the afternoon, however, featured Neil Finn, Mark Lizotte and Jimmy Barnes. The large crowd got more than it bargained for when the supergroup of sorts accidentally performed the two songs on its set list — You I Know and Tears — together instead of leaving Tears for the finale. Suddenly aware of their mistake, the three musos had to scurry off to the green room and learn a few more tunes with which to finish off the show after Morris’s gracious, funny and emotional acceptance speech. That turned out to be a blessing that sparked a standing ovation, with Morris, who had to stop singing after being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia in 2005, joining the three stars and members of her family for a spirited performance of Piece of My Heart, before the trio closed the show with Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over. The auction part of the function, conducted with some aplomb by ABC broadcaster Simon Marnie, raised thousands of dollars for Support Act, including $2600 from the sale of a black-and-white portrait of Morris by photographer Tony Mott. Recognition for musicians of a slightly different bent took place in Melbourne on Monday with the Jazz Bell Awards, the annual nod to all that is best in the world of Australian jazz. Among the prizewinners at Bird’s Basement were singer Michelle Nicolle, who took best jazz vocal album for A Flower is a Lovesome Thing; Tim Wilson & Andrea Keller Duo, whose Consider This took best instrumental album; and Stu Hunter, whose song
Eagle Fish from his album The Migration earned him jazz song of the year, as well as, like the others, $5000 and a lovely trophy. Fifty years ago last week the Jimi Hendrix Experience released its landmark album Are You
Experienced. To mark the occasion, a handful of Aussie guitar slingers will take the stage tonight to play the album in its entirety at the Blues on Broadbeach festival on the Queensland Gold Coast. Among those wielding a mean axe will be Melbourne’s young gun Harts, Kevin Borich, Ray Beadle and Screaming Jet Jimi Hocking. Also on the Broadbeach bill tonight are Cash Savage and the Last Drinks as well as Slim Jim Phantom, while tomorrow Bonnie Tyler and Ian Moss are among the headliners.
Barnes, Morris, Lizotte and Finn