Come In Spinner The Concert with Vince Jones and Nina Ferro.
Musical Director Matt McMahon,
The Festival Theatre. Adelaide Festival Centre,
June 11 2023.
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
There are artists who can make their performance appear so effortless that an audience is left in wonder at their art. Vince Jones is such an artist. Passion and experience fuse in a performance of jazz that is so laid back, so cool and totally mesmerizing. He is the consummate exponent of jazz, a three time Aria Award winner and the genius behind the highest selling Australian jazz album of all time. The Adelaide Cabaret Festival has included the songs from the soundtrack of the ABC Television series Come In Spinner in an exclusive Adelaide premiere concert. Jones is accompanied by thrilling jazz singer Nina Ferro and backed by a 17 piece big band in the tradition of the big band jazz era and under the musical direction of Vince Jones’s long time collaborator Matt McMahon. Come In Spinner The Concert harks back to the Golden Age of the 40’s big band era. Time and the economy have diminished the size of the bands but not the grandeur of the sound, nor the transformative effect of the jazz rhythms.
Jones slowly sidles up to the lectern warming up to George Gershwin’s classic You Go To My Head as the trumpet solo soars through the air and Jones follows through with Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo. He welcomes Nina Ferro onto the stage to sing George and Ira Gershwin’s The Man I Love . Ferro is a natural against Kathryn Sprout’s nightclub setting of the elegant era of Swing. She is world class, lighting up the Festival Theatre stage at her first Adelaide Cabaret Festival with the Billie Holiday classic The Man I Love.
Jones follows with a rendition of
Hoagy Carmichael’s song of love’s confusion I
Get Along Without You Very Well. The classics keep coming and the band gets
into the swing of the night under Matt McMahon’s guiding musical direction at
the piano. The arrangements are surprising and captivating, carrying the
audience with a sense of eager anticipation. The numbers appear new minted
under the spell of Jones and Ferro and the band. This is a classy concert by consummate
jazz singers and musicians. This is an evening of seductive memories and emotions.
With jazz favourites like Body and Soul
every song transports the audience beyond a world of care and woes to the sweet
meditation of music and song. These are songs of love and contemplation like
Hoagy Carmichael’s The Nearness of You.
One can almost hear the rain falling outside the window pane or the flames
flickering in the warmth of a wood fire. One can see the lovers walking by the
stream. These are the sweet sounds of love and the lonely sounds of regret.
Come In Spinner The Concert is a soothing and stirring collection of jazz favourites that draws one into the great jazz classics of yesteryear when the world was less complex and music really was the soother of the soul. Jones and Ferro lead us into the very recess of our heart. We feel the aching longing of love, the sweet sound of romance, the burning flame of passion and the optimism of hope. A one night stand is not enough to do justice to the remarkable talents of Jones, Ferro and the musicians for Come In Spinner The Concert. Those who got to see jazz artists at the top of their game at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival will have left the theatre at the end of an unforgettable evening of scintillating jazz.