Mama Alto brings the soul back to jazz
By Letti K-Ewing
PUBLISHED 18 FEB 2019
Original Post at Fest Mag
Transcending the modern era, Mama Alto’s voice seems to exist in all times and places. At moments it’s hard to believe the performance is staged in Adelaide’s converted Freemason’s Hall and not a Downtown New York jazz club.
A vocal doppelgänger of Billie Holiday, Alto similarly employs instrumental vocal gestures and improvisational reprisals of some of Lady Day’s most notable works. Between Holiday, Mathis, and Monk, Alto delights the crowd with light-hearted banter and boastful anecdotes about her life and the legacy of her idols, which she delivers with absolute charm.
Reminding the audience of the multidimentiality of divas and their ability to evoke innumerable sensations and feelings, Alto’s history lesson on the power of femme performers is an important one. The audience is utterly hers and the only downside is there is only an hour to experience such musical prowess.
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