Georgie Aué may have won fans with a tribute show but her album launch reveals a rich catalogue of original material. Kristian Borring revels in an evening of laidback Latin grooves and lush vocals.
Desert Cry, Georgie Aué ·
Ellington Jazz Club, 18 September 2022 ·
When singer and pianist Georgie Aué moved from Melbourne to Perth five years ago, she quickly established herself as an interpreter of the American singer-songwriter Norah Jones, building an audience with her tribute show.
However, with the release of her latest album, Desert Cry, launched at the Ellington Jazz Club in Northbridge on the weekend, Aué reminds audiences that she also writes and performs her own music.
In arrangements with her father, John Aué, and trumpeter Max Grynchuk, Aué led the core quartet – guitar, bass and drums, herself on vocals and piano – through a program dominated by her own compositions. The sound was boosted by a three-part horn section and two backing singers in various combinations throughout the night.
Overall, the repertoire lent towards Aué’s passion for Brazilian music. From the second set opener “Come to Brazil”, reminiscent of 60s Sergio Mendez, to the slow bossa “Waiting for You” (a simple but effective arrangement by John Aué), listeners were treated to feelgood music with lush harmonies and mostly laid-back and “dance-like” Latin grooves.
After a first set featuring Aué’s older material, as well as a few Brazilian tunes, most of the music from Desert Cry was presented in the second set. The upbeat title track stood out, with an infectious groove by drummer Daniel Susnjar and an intricate three-part vocal arrangement featuring Victoria Newton and Owen Measday on backing vocals.
Not all compositions were stylistically inspired by Aué’s love for Brazil. The delicate “Let it Rain”, written during the January 2020 wildfires in NSW, brought to mind American singer Tori Amos, with Zac Grafton on bowed double bass. Grafton also featured on the sparse, orchestrated but pulsating “Falling Out of Love”, with vocal arrangement by Grynchuk.
By this stage the sound was blending really well, after some slightly jarring moments where the full horn section had been overpowering the vocals.
Aué, who is also the producer for the Perth International Jazz Festival, is a delightful and generous bandleader, allowing her band members to shine throughout the night and clearly enjoying every moment.
Highlights for me were her exposed vocals on “Waiting for You” and a beautiful solo from trumpeter Jess Carlton (though on flugelhorn) on another slow bossa, “Winter’s Sun”. This also featured a brilliant horn arrangement from John Aué, subtly shaping and supporting the composition.
Pictured top: Georgie Aué launches ‘Desert Sky’ at the Ellington Jazz Club. Photo: Mark Francesca
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