[CABARET/R&B ~ USA ~ IF YOU LOVE… MUSIC THAT MOVES YOU]
Dunstan Playhouse, Fri 7 Jun.
Grammy-winning powerhouse vocalist Ms Lisa Fischer comes with impeccable credentials. Anyone who has sung with The Rolling Stones, Sting, Tina Turner and their ilk is obviously going to be great. In this return performance to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival she fronts her band, Grand Baton, with a grace and power that is quite bewitching.
Though the program notes boast that she is at ease singing soul, jazz, rock gospel, pop, folk and classical songs, it was soon clear that this would be music that holds little respect for boundaries. The members of Grand Baton are all virtuosos in their own right (percussion, bass, guitar), and Fischer injects her extraordinary voice as a fourth instrument and in the process expands the idea of what it means to sing. Her voice soars, groans and floats over, under and around the other instruments in a free-flowing exploration of creative expression and live innovation. Fischer and Grand Baton don’t so much as play songs as create music as they go in an intense and delightful relationship where everyone is communicating – talking with instruments.
Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song followed an entertaining story about her origins, and Fischer’s own How Can I Ease The Pain was a tour de force. A fascinating version of The Stones’ Jumping Jack Flash was in the mix as a nod to her days of touring with them, but in reality every ‘song’ was simply a starting point for Fischer and her band to take it wherever they wanted.
Fischer often worked two microphones at the same time – to great effect. There were other moments where she sang incredibly powerful high notes with barely any microphone and produced sounds of pure, primal resonance.
At times I felt like I was back in the seventies dancing down the front near the band at a local pub gig, applauding drum solos and awash with joy and sweat, but this is the older and way more sophisticated version of that music forty years on.
Ms Lisa Fischer With Grand Baton continues at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, at 2pm and 6pm, until Sat 8 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Cover image courtesy of Mark Glassman
Centre image courtesy of Djeneba Aduayom