Entertainment Hive 2020

Alma Zygier Quintet

Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Space Theatre, June 15-16

Review by Eleanor Miller

You can bring food and drink into this table-seated show in the Space Theatre, but if Sunday night’s performance by the Alma Zygier Quintet is anything to go by, it might be better if you don’t. Star of the show, jazz vocalist Zygier, holds the audience in the palm of her hand to such an extent you could hear a pin drop during pauses in the music of her set, and no one dared rustle a chip packet. The young Melbourne musician has something of a zany air about her, with a thick mane of unruly curls, a mischievous grin and her own quirky dance moves. When she opens her mouth, out comes a big, husky New York jazz sound, with plenty of passion, that will stop you in your tracks. There is not a lot of talking in this show, but when Zygier does address the audience, she reverts to her broad Aussie accent and you can’t help feeling a little jolt of surprise at realizing it’s still 2019. At one point she endearingly tells the audience her first concert was Hillary Duff stage show, and later she apologises to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival staff for not following up their emails. Backed by a classy, high-energy quartet on clarinet, guitar and bass, Zygier reels off a string of jazz classics, with toe-tappers you’re bound to know including A Tisket A Tasket, The Trolley Song, and the more romantic My Funny Valentine and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It’s an intense, high-energy show that will definitely help shake off any winter blues
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