Festival Theatre Stage, Thu 16 Jun
Emma Pask is one of Australia’s finest vocalists. Having sung with James Morrison since she was a fledgling at sixteen, she is totally at home on the stage and in front of a huge band of some of the best jazz musicians in the country. Launching her new album Cosita Divina with her first appearance in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, she served up a scrumptious feast of her Latin Jazz favourites and spiced with some originals, and it was a smorgasbord to remember.
The band was spectacular, and too big to name individually, but the five-piece brass section featured the legendary Dale Barlow, with a mix of excellent Sydney and Adelaide horn players. Also gracing the stage was pianist extraordinaire Kevin Hunt, Adelaide’s own gorgeous guitarist James Muller, the amazing bassist Phil Stack (also member of James Morrison’s band), with the fabulous Tim Firth on drums, and a wonderful percussionist and backing singer. 12 people in all and the fare was smooth, exciting, fun and absolutely delicious.
Emma is a warm and friendly host with a beautiful voice and great love of Latin music, largely inspired, she tells us, by her Latin husband. One of her songs, the sweet Cu Cu Cu Ru was about their love. She tells interesting stories and gave us much of the background to many of the songs and their composers.
Changing the line-up regularly, we got to hear thrilling solos from most of the band and couldn’t really get enough in the 70-minute show. One of the many highlights was Emma singing Afro Blue as a wonderful duo with her good friend and co-producer, Phil Stack on double bass, showcasing his amazing expertise and showing why he is such a formidable force in the jazz music world.
Some famous Latin classics like Mas Que Nada and Quizas, Quizas, Quizas were very satisfying and she selected lesser known pieces from a variety of Latin composers, like Samba Da Minha Terra and Crickets Sing For Anamaria. This show is a totally nourishing and uplifting feast of Latin Jazz at its absolute best.
Emma Pask performs A Latin Fiesta at Festival Theatre Stage, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times until Sat 18 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Kurt Sneddon
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