FRINGE MUSIC – Louise & Sally on Tin Pan Alley – Queen’s Theatre – Kryztoff 5K


scaled_low-res-LouiseSally-800x800Alexander Ewers

Louise Page has a voice that almost defies description. The moment she utters her first words of introduction, any uncertainty about “Louise & Sally on Tin Pan Alley” is definitively laid to rest. There is a timbre about the spoken word that promises magic in song, and Louise does not disappoint. In every aspect Page’s peer as artist and musician, Sally Greenaway delivers a piano performance worthy of the jazz halls of bygone eras. The term accompanist would be insulting – compositional and musical virtuoso is perhaps a more appropriate title.

West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Manhattan, New York – aka Tin Pan Alley. “Louise & Sally on Tin Pan Alley” pays tribute to the golden era of early 20th Century jazz, blues and swing, but also transports one directly to the creative heart of this movement. With renditions of Cole Porter, Scott Joplin, George Gershwin and referencing innumerable other icons of both genre and era, Louise and Sally retell the birth and evolution of the music that defined a generation and still resonates today. Both of these artists deliver a tour de force in their own right. Each could (and at times does) command and enchant as solo performer. Together, a conversation unfolds on stage, with spine-tingling vocals answered and matched, complemented and even rivalled by an exultant, dancing instrumentation that marries Bach with Greenaway originals, and Gershwin with Judy Garland’s “Song of the Century”. The resultant jazz-classical fusion is a paradisiacal ecstasy of experience – “got rhythm; got music …. who could ask for anything more?”

Allow the reviewer the indulgence of mentioning a couple of lasting personal impressions. Sally Greenaway caressing improbable variety of depth and tone from the ivory keys of the grand piano, effortlessly transitioning between nonchalant improv and classical motifs. Louise Page – statuesque, every movement and expression weighted, poised. Transcendent vocals, evoking the nostalgic and the sultry, an incredible power finessed from both extremes of register but perfectly balanced by commensurate control.

Page and Greenaway are artists of such sublime and superlative calibre, that this reviewer feels it irreverent to attempt a full dissection of either’s virtuosity. Their litany of individual achievements and awards speaks for itself. The performance provides a smorgasbord of heartfelt moments – frissons of tingling delight, moments adrift in poignant solitude, surging compulsions to dance, ripples of collective and communal pleasure. It is a rhapsody, painted not just in blue, but in all the colours and the language of the soul.

One leaves the embrace of Queen’s Theatre, Playhouse Lane feeling satiated. Sated on happiness and emotion and music, and yet at the same time hungering with newfound appetite for more of Louise and Sally, and for more of Tin Pan Alley. Not just for jazz aficionados, anyone with an appreciation for music should come, drink, and drink deeply!

Kryztoff 5K

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