Re­laxed show, in­fec­tious fun

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RE­VIEWED BY PA­TRICK SHEP­HERD.

up for re­lease and also per­for­mances in the jazz fes­ti­val, so if you can get along, do be­cause she re­ally has a voice that you’ll want to hear again and again. Whether in ballads such as Ten­derly or My Ro­mance, or knock­ing out an up-beat stan­dard like That Old Devil Moon, Bai­ley has a great voice and uses it well.

She showed ex­cel­lent con­trol on those long held notes (My Ro­mance) and melodies were al­ways em­bel­lished with a clear sense of style and pur­pose.

The for­mat of each song was pretty much the same, with first Bai­ley, then a Rainey solo, fin­ish­ing with them com­ing to­gether again, but there aren’t many other com­bi­na­tions for a duo and for it to work you need a strong singer and an in­ven­tive pi­anist. I’ve cov­ered this ground be­fore, but I love Rainey’s im­pro­vis­ing; hear­ing so many ideas and styles han­dled with such pol­ish is al­ways a de­light. For ex­am­ple, the use of straight quar­ter-note chords in Ten­derly was mas­ter­ful, and sur­pris­ing, but wo­ven around that was singing and play­ing of – ap­pro­pri­ately – ex­quis­ite ten­der­ness. Rainey went into a more lin­ear Bach in­ven­tion mode in I’m Old Fash­ioned, and that just gave the song a whole new spin.

My ‘‘wow’’ moment came with Bacharach’s The Look of Love, a song I have never liked, in spite of it ap­pear­ing in the Bond movie Casino Royale (the old, spoof one). Bai­ley con­verted me with a more heart­felt, soul­ful ren­di­tion than Dusty Spring­field’s rather breath­less ver­sion. The mooching ac­com­pa­ni­ment also added an­other di­men­sion and I found my­self ac­tu­ally lik­ing the song. Won­der­ful stuff from two out­stand­ing per­form­ers.

SUPPLIED

Jen­nine Bai­ley (jazz vo­cal­ist) and Tom Rainey (pi­ano).

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