On Saturday night the Paris Cat purred to the velvet sounds of Frances Madden & Band in a sold out 'one night only' performance that left the audience wanting more. This show marked the finale of the Paris Cat's 'Diva' month, with exciting news that the Paris Cat will open a jazz club in Bali in early 2017.
Courtesy of Frances Madden
Frances Madden is one of the newest 'divas' on the Australian Jazz scene, and like a good vintage continues to produce a bouquet of elegant jazz melodies, infused with earthy 'blue' undertones, finessed with brilliant mastery of the piano. She is refined, graceful, soulful and held quiet command of her ensemble whom did not miss a beat.
Sam Anning at Paris Cat - photo by Ilana Rochelle Abratt
The Frances Madden 'Band' included royalty from the Australian Jazz Real Book with Paul Williamson on saxophone and James Mustafa playing trumpet and flugelhorn. Frances' drummer Tim Geldens (Sydney) delivered an impressive 'bare hand' drum solo, followed by the agile dexterity of Melbourne's Sam Anning on bass, Craig Fermanis on guitar, and Harriet Allcroft on backing vocals. We were truly spoilt by the phenomenal breadth of musical experience in one location.
Frances Madden, Harriet Allcroft and Sam Anning - photo by Ilana Rochelle Abratt
The audience was putty in Frances hands as she sang her original songs 'Haunted Melody' and 'Rain Down On Me', then seduced by 'La Vie En Rose / I Love Paris' melody (Piaf, Louiguy, Porter), and transported to 1940's America with hot rhythm and blues classic 'Route 66' (Troup/Nat King Cole) and 1960's England with 'Can't buy me love' (Lennon & McCartney).
However, my favourite of the night was 'Besame Mucho' (Conseulo Velazquez) which exhibited Frances versatility to sing in Spanish, French and English. Luckily I have a copy of Frances Madden Live at the Basement and Foundry616 Sydney to keep reliving the memory, with the promise of a second album to be released soon. Of course, another option would be to see her next show at Foundry616 in Sydney on 10 December.