Last evening the enchanting Ali McGregor held the capacity audience in the palm of her hand from the outset, as she slipped onto the stage and offered up a sultry version of Loving You is Like Breathing In and Breathing Out.
Clad in a slinky black cocktail number, she was obviously feeling the heat (Perth is steamy just now) but it affected her vocal performance not a jot.
Hers is a classically trained voice and it shows in her wonderful breath control and length. Not to mention her crystalline diction. However, she revels in the cabaret mode of jazz and was delighted to be in "her spiritual home", the Spiegeltent, one of several she has performed in to date.
The set list was comprised of songs made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone and the like. However to mix it up a little she promised "a few trashy 80's and 90's classics".
McGregor was superbly supported by a trio of sophisticated and stylish local musicians; Tom O'Halloran on keyboards, Peter Jeavons on bass and Chris Tarr on percussion. It was a delight to watch and hear their excellent work and to see how appreciative McGregor was of their talents.
McGregor varied the pace moving from the Fats Waller classic prison lament Ain't Misbehavin' to a sensuous delivery of So In Love With You Am I. Her numbers were interspersed with relaxed, amusing banter with the crowd.
Then we got the promised "mash up" of Cry Me a River interspersed with lyrics from the Justin Timberlake number of the same name. The banality of J.T.'s lyrics in comparison was not lost on the audience!
Georgia was a tour-de-force of ensemble jazz presentation with McGregor letting rip, soaring though her considerable vocal range. She was patently in her element.
Citing the influence of Cleo Laine at a musical workshop in her youth, she then gave us a wondrous rendition of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, worthy of the Dame herself. It was a pitch-perfect ode to delicious sexual torment.
A full-on version of Oops I Did It Again, ranging from falsetto to an amorous growl had the audience in stitches, roaring with approval.
The luscious My Funny Valentine closed a wonderful show and sent the audience out euphoric.
Fringe World Festival 2012
Venue: The Spiegeltent | Urban Orchard, Perth Cultural Centre
Dates: February 13, 14, 17 & 18 @ 9.00pm