Although I have known Sarah for some time, this was the first time I had really listened and appreciated her talents as a jazz singer.
Sarah sings the Blues…. could easily have been the title of this show, featuring our very own Sarah Collyer. A quiet Thursday night with a small audience perhaps contributed, if anything, to the beautifully laid-back and well thought out performance that Sarah had prepared. There is something profoundly Blue about Sarah’s style, and while her delivery does not have the heart-rending blues feel of many American jazz singers, her gentle but persuasive voice gets you into the mood just the same. Her smooth and never-frantic style suits the tenor of her own self-penned songs to a tee.
When you are not caught up in the emotion of a song, you have the chance to absorb the lyrics and, believe me, Sarah’s lyrics are up there with the best. Sarah performs her own songs so well that hearing her announce a standard comes as a little bit of a surprise. While her renditions of Beautiful Love, In the Wee Small Hours, Valerie and Reckless were well appreciated, I’m sure she could draw the same appreciation from the audience if her whole program were originals.
The Achilles heel of any vocalist is the quality and sensitivity of their backing, which can easily make or break the performance. Peta Wilson on piano, Dave Galea on bass and Trent Bryson-Dean on drums, provided the right amount of sensitivity and panache to complement Sarah’s engaging performance and, if any embellishment was required, then Forbes Scotney on trumpet was there to provide it in good measure.
Jazz, and the Arts in general, is not about how it appears or how it sounds, but how it makes you feel……….thank you Sarah – you made me feel good!