REVIEW: Clare Teal and Jason Rebello at Crazy Coqs

Jason Rebello (L.) and Clare Teal


Clare Teal and Jason Rebello
(Crazy Coqs room at Zedel, 25th October 2016. First house. Review by Sebastian Scotney)

Who could ask for anything more? The Crazy Coqs room works well for performers with experience, who know how to set up an easy rapport with each other and with the audience, and certainly worked a treat for the duo of Clare Teal and Jason Rebello last night, making their venue debut. The seventy-five minutes of their set seemed to pass by in no time at all.

Their programme was balanced, thought through, and by the time we got to a final rousing hard-swinging Ella version of Mack the Knife complete with Bobby Darin and Louis Armstrong, we had just heard a lot of very fine songs delivered with authority, style, professionalism and heaps of musicality. 'It's just so...approachable,' my companion said afterwards.

Clare Teal's way of engaging and cheering an audience is unforced and natural. There were great jazz moments too. For example, in Kern/Fields'The Way you Look Tonight. Clare Teal intuited that Rebello's solo with an insistent, sassy, fast-walking bass line was really building and going somewhere, so she made sure he took an extra chorus, and then rounded off the song with some wonderful and forceful 'out' singing. For the next song, the contrast was maximised, the mood was taken right down, with the duo taking all the time in the world over a beautifully controlled account of the (completely unfamiliar to me at least?) verse to Secret Love.

The variety of Jason Rebello's piano textures, the rhythmic positivity, and his occasional backing vocals and vocal percussion were also a delight.

This is one of those shows to take the kind of people to who say they don't like - or know anything about - jazz. And also, quite definitely, those who do.

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