Review by: David Smalley( Retired Maths lecturer, Ascot U.K.)
It is always a pleasure to travel halfway around the world from the U.K. and call in at the riverside home of the Brisbane Jazz Club.
On my latest occasion , December 2017, I was delighted to catch the “DIAMONDS IN THE SKY” show honouring the talents of departed musicians and singers , who could universally be described thebest of the best.
Written and produced by local afficiado and singer Jan Lennard, this two hour tuneful bonanza comprised of songs from megastar such as Ray Charles, Nat King Cole , Julie London , Sammy Davis Jnr. and Michael Jackson, covering succession of popular and instantly recognisable hits.
Given the full treatment of the two dominant lady vocalists, Di clark and Jan Lennard were backed by an inventive quintet of highly experienced players, all allowed to express themselves through their instruments and develop the themes of the show.
The formidable powerful solos from Di Clark were heard at their finest in such standards as Hard Hearted Hannah through to Cry me a river providing a great balance to the cultured mezzo soprano tones of Jan Lennard at her finest in Georgia , Let there be love and Give me the Simple life.
The outstanding pianist , vocalist Jose Mclaughlin , whose formative years were spent with the sixties favourites Gerry and the Pacemakers, together with the exquisite melodies from Russell Bayne on guitar provided brilliant excursions from the energy of the quintet behind the energy of drummer Roy Syntageros, saxophonist Neil Wickham all held together by the shows musical director Phil Jack on bass.
Rousing rendition’s of Hit the Road Jack and What I’d say, to wind up the evening bought the patrons to their feet…by finale time the “joint was jumping”