This performance is a mini-musical designed to showcase original music by James Flynn. Somewhat of a change of pace for him as he is best known for his slick cabaret shows featuring particular artists, for example Wonderful, Celebrating Stevie Wonder and Simply Sinatra. These he performs brilliantly. They are always a reliable treat.
In Only You, Flynn creates a storyline about a young couple Joe and Marie, and the ups and downs of their romantic relationship.
Flynn kicks off his latest collaboration with a new star on the Perth jazz scene, the wonderful Leah Guelfi. A WAPPA graduate (in classical music), she is indeed, possessed of a superb voice and her excursion into jazz has been a great success.
Both are joined by a five piece ensemble consisting of the cream of Perth’s jazz musicians: Glyn MacDonald – Piano, Ray Walker- Guitar, Adam Springhetti – Bass, Simon Styles- Saxes & Ben Falle – Drums. A great combo who displayed excellent timing and were a perfect foil to the featured singers.
It is no mean feat to compose a full show with many numbers as well as score the accompaniments and dream up the lyrics. I take my hat off to Flynn. Obviously he revealed much more of his own personality than in his tribute performances. Things kicked off with the swinging I Love This Town. I think it was about Bangkok but I could have misheard, which leads me to the only real problem with the staging was that they used stationary microphones. Great if you're a stationary singer, but move about and words get lost. If they had been wearing mikes it would have been a far better option. Though she was not singing at the time Guelfi executed some sultry Latin moves as Marie vamping Joe.
Some of the memorable songs were the mellifluous Paint Me a Picture of Paradise and It’s Time. As the romance begins to curdle Don’t try to Fix Me and Broken, featuring a very nice piano solo from Glyn MacDonald.
Joe sets off to the single life with the vengeful I’m Gonna Have a Ball because after all Love is Just a Word. No Trace of Yesterday is a lovely number which demonstrates how beautifully Flynn and Guelfi can meld their voices.
An extremely appreciative audience lapped up this offering. Such an achievement deserves a re-run. Hopefully Flynn will organize further performances.
The Ellington Jazz Club
James Flynn & Leah Guelfi
Venue: The Ellington Jazz Club | 191 Beaufort St Perth WA
Dates: 30 October 2019