Kristin Berardi vocals; Aaron Flower guitar; Steven Barry piano; Brendan Clarke contrabass; Evan Mannell drums & cymbals; David Theak, Murray Jackson, Richard Maegraith, Matt Keegan, Nick Bowd saxophones, clarinet & flute; Simon Sweeney, Angus Gomm, Simon Ferenci, Andy Fiddes trumpets; Jeremy Borthwick, Dave Panichi, Lucian McGuiness, Justin Kearin trombones
IT is testimony to the talents of six arrangers, 17 Mothership musicians and vocalist Berardi that her compositions are rendered so sensitively.
Under saxophonist David Theak’s direction the ensemble displays such subtlety, exquisite control and empathy that Berardi’s evocative and finely crafted vocals are given vital space.
The soloist is able to weave with fluidity and agility between layers of instrumentation, the sensibility and insight of her lyrics — exemplified in Ode to Oli and The Old Fashioned Way — never lost despite the ensemble’s size.
And vocal solos are not the only attraction of this outing. Given the improvisational room, Mothership players deliver in spades.
Download: Ode to Oli, Mr Jackson
File between: Mace Francis Orchestra, Johannes Luebbers Dectet
This review also appeared in the Play liftout of the Sunday Herald Sun on October 2, 2011