Thursday, May 17, 2012

Concert - Charl du Plessis Trio with Musa Sakupwanya

Suzette Lombard, Music Librarian
SABC Music Library

With everything in life the novelty eventually wears off. If you attend concerts or shows regularly, you find yourself attending a lot of events that are good and even exceptional, but still leave you fairly cold. But once in a while you might be fortunate enough to hear something that blows you away.

A case in point is the concert I attended last Sunday at the Linder Auditorium. The Johannesburg Musical Society presented a concert featuring the Charl du Plessis Trio with the vocalist Musa Sakupwanya. The all-Gershwin programme was beautifully planned and executed by four extremely talented and accomplished musicians.

To say that I loved it is an understatement. The trio played brilliantly, a wonderful blend of classically-trained polish and honest foot-stompin’ jazz. Charl with inimitable style performed a fiendish arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue in which he was the conductor, pianist and orchestra all rolled into one. Most numbers started with the piano, and with the bass and percussion joining in, one felt surrounded by a warm, luxurious blanket of pure sound. A sense of well-being and absolute enjoyment prevailed throughout.

Some gooseflesh-moments were had when Musa sang songs like S’Wonderful. Musa has the perfect jazz voice, all velvety smooth. But he also has the sense of timing and execution that a true artist needs to keep the audience spellbound, as he proved with Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off. Werner Spies on double bass and Hugo Radyn on drums were by no means left out of the limelight, their accompaniment and improvisations equally impressive.

The trio’s latest CD Shanghai Brunch has won a Ghoema Award and is nominated for a SAMA. When mentioning the CD, Charl spoke about the warmth and personality of the Steinway concert grand piano which he had hired from the SABC for the recording.

Sunday’s programme included favourites like Three Preludes, I Got Plenty O’Nuttin, Someone to Watch Over Me, and Summertime.  And I Got Rhythm. They certainly have!

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