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samedi, juin 25, 2005

 Rani Singam @ Esplanade

Tony had a last-minute opening to see Rani Singam at the Esplanade - a late night concert which I thought would definitely be good (since Tony's a jazz guy - understatement), but her concert pretty much blew everything else I've heard out of the water: an hour is definitely not enough to hear all that Rani Singam has to offer.

She opened with the title track of her debut album, "With A Song In My Heart", also the title of her concert. A mid-tempo piece, it set the mood for the one-hour concert - smooth and elegant, yet lively enough to keep everyone's feet tapping the whole time through. I personally felt that she should have sang this as the third or fourth song, so that she could have gotten more warmed up a little more, but it worked out well anyhow.

The songs that I recognised (and what I managed to google-up) included George Gershwin's "Yeh Yeh" (I wish she had done it even more cheekily than she did!), Lighthouse Family's (?) "I Wish I Knew How It Would To Be Free" , Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" (very, very hard to go wrong with this song), Presley's "You Were Always On My Mind" (which I felt she shouldn't have done), Gerswin's "I've Got Rhythm" (which I also felt she shouldn't have done; it's been done to death, but I suppose she wanted to keep things mainstream), and Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World" (ditto) for their encore presentation.

The jazz idiot that I am, I was unfamiliar with most of the songs that she sang, but the energy that the band had was very, very good. Featuring Tama Goh (drums), Christy Smith (bass), Mei Sheum (piano) and Andrew Lim (on totally hot guitars!), the unspoken camadarie between members and their love and mastery of their instruments melded and formed a heady cocktail mix which the audience drank in eagerly.

I wish she had chosen more "middle ground" songs to present, like Janis Ian's "At Seventeen". Her selection was rather mainstream - but that's the only problem I have with the concert. Her sound is very much like Billie Holiday (with whom she has been compared) and her band is very tight (to the point of being waterproof - though Tony was a little sad at not being invited to play the bass.) She has demonstrated perfect vocal mastery over the classics (as much as a music idiot as me can tell), and I'm looking very forward to anything else she comes up with the next time round. Non-PC review: she's better than Jacintha! But not up to Babes Conde's standard... but Babes isn't Singaporean, so maybe not fair to compare...

[Rani Singam @ Esplanade]
Sngs Alumni @ 25.6.05 { 0 comments }


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