For jazz aficionados the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald will always be a strong favourite. And the opportunity to listen to some of her favourite tunes in the lush garden studio of the ACT (Australasian Chinese Theatre) company in Brighton promises to be a wonderful night.
Tegan Jones certainly has a very good voice. The two hour performance with an interval of twenty minutes contained some notable favourites including Mack The Knife, Its Only a Paper Moon and of course Oh Lady Be Good which is also the name of Jones’ cabaret style performance.
However, opening night jitters aside, Jones’ performance style and technique are still developing. Some song choices were clearly unsuitable and the strain and effort made on her voice were clearly visible. In addition, there was less the feel of a cabaret than a ‘jazz music lesson’ which resulted in a stilted mini lecture series. If conversational interludes were deemed absolutely necessary Jones would be better off with personal anecdotes rather than easily accessible information on google.
Supported by a very capable and enthusiastic band Jones has a good rapport with her musicians who includeDave Newington on piano, Pat Devine on double bass and Louis Sharpe on the drums. Newington was a particularly exuberant pianist (and although not a strong vocalist) was confident in his execution. Together the musical ensemble worked well together and a few more runs will almost certainly raise the standard of the performance.
The second set of songs post intermission were much better selected and Jones seemed to finally relax and as a result sang much better. As a young and ambitious singer she has far to go and much credit to her, has taken the first brave steps towards achieving a professional musical career.