What: Roscoe James Irwin – Lost In A Dream
(Reviewed by Dale Anninos-Carter)
The Bamboos/The Cat Empire’s trumpeter, Roscoe James Irwin, dazzled the Adelaide Festival Centre with his Chet Baker tribute show, ‘Lost In A Dream’.
Irwin was the brains behind the show, having a connection with the late singer who inspired him on his musical journey. Irwin balanced his time during the show as trumpeter and vocalist, joined by an all Adelaide string quartet, jazz trio and a brief appearance by a talented 15-year-old female vocalist with Ella Fitzgerald vibes.
At times throughout the performance, you could probably hear a pin drop. The focus from the audience suggested the awe – perhaps being transported to 1950s California, where icon Chet Baker lived, partied and composed.
Irwin put his spin on the spectacular tribute show, re-working the classics from the album Chet Baker Sings. Tunes included; I Fall In Love Too Easily, It’s Always You, and of course, the infamous My Funny Valentine.
The sweet mellow sounds of each song were carefully delivered by the stage full of musicians. The passion was clear with each delicate note produced that night. The addition of the string ensemble was truly something special – giving Baker’s original work beautiful extra depth.
Baker’s melodies are able to resonate with audience far and wide, either from the 1950s or in 2019, as many of his songs are about love – something most of us can relate to.
Between songs, Irwin introduced each with a story – whether it was about Baker himself and his struggle with drug addiction, or whether it was an emotional description of how Baker impacted his career. Either way, the show felt like a meaningful story, a history lessen even, opposed to a focus purely about the music – this really made for wonderful audience engagement.