Where: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
When: Saturday 15thJune 2019
Genre: Jazz / Swing
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
Wow, wow, wow!!!! I only came to this show because I was lucky enough to see Willy Zygier and Deborah Conway at The Gov a few weeks ago. Just before starting her final song of their set, Deborah informed us that their daughter, Alma, was playing at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and “she has way more talent than both of us”. My first reactions were: “I gotta see this” and a movie title “Mission Impossible” – after all, it would be a miracle to have more talent than Deborah Conway!
I am very happy to announce that their daughter, Alma, is incredibly talented – more than her parents? That is debatable, but definitely on a par and could even be marginally ahead!
It was amazing to see such a young lady (so much like her mother too!) who has a passion for pre-war jazz and swing. Alma lives, breathes and feels every note of every song. She absorbs the characters depicted in each song and it was incredible how she could switch from a beautiful, soulful ballad to a lively, fun rhythmic song in a matter of seconds and take on the persona of each song to perfection.
This show was absolutely flawless – not a note wrong, perfect harmonies, and an incredible band. Even when there were extended periods of solo instrumental performances, you could see that Alma was feeling and absorbing every single note. All the musicians were outstanding – clarinet, double bass and two acoustic guitarists.
I am still fascinated how she switched moods and persona to suit each song – from the Jewish up-beat Let My People Go to Everybody Loves My Baby to My Funny Valentine to A Good Man Is Hard To Find. After performing her favourite song (both to perform and listen to) Somewhere Over The Rainbow she did an awe-inspiring version of Summertimefrom Porgy & Bess before finishing the set with the more up-beat The Trouble Song.
After about a 10-second break they came back for a one-song encore – Alma saying “you didn’t need to clap that hard, we were coming back anyway” – Just a Gigolo(by David Lee Roth – but not sure if that was an original or a cover, but I suspect the latter).
My friend and I were both ecstatic and both said this was an incredible performance! Mum (Deborah Conway), you should be extremely proud of your daughter.
Her last show is this Sunday 16thand I am seriously considering paying to go back again – they were that good!