Entertainment Hive 2020

James Morrison & his Academy Jazz Orchestra

Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide Friday, 8 September

Review by Honey B

Leader of the band James Morrison wowed the audience with his musical wizardry and that of his 18-piece jazz orchestra. Morrison not only led the student ensemble but he also let all of the young musicians shine in their own light over a range of jazz standards. As students of the genre the musical interpretations followed from Louis Armstrong’s classic What a Wonderful World and another Armstrong song, Struttin’ With Some Barbecue to Count Basie and Morrison’s own, No Regret. The surprise of the evening was Morrison’s jazz re-workings of two Latvian folk songs. Morrison had been invited to re-interpret the folk tunes without having heard the originals and he certainly jazzed up one about a runaway bride-to-be and the other featuring a man adrift on a log full of bees. It was a pure treat to hear Morrison’s take his trumpet soaring into its highest register and he had a wonderful banter going on with his students and the audience. Adelaide’s own Bernard Alexander took the lead on several songs with his alto saxophone and drummer James ‘Sticks’ Owen shone with an amazing drum solo. The highly talented students definitely took centre stage in this marvellous concert which was led by their ever chatty jazz band leader Morrison and his soaring trumpet. (Shows rated out of five stars)
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