Elise’s upbeat music for a cold afternoon

Bella Groove at Smith, 2021.

Jazz / “Elise Walsh – Bella Groove”. At Smith’s Alternative, July 17. Reviewed by JOSH DAFERN.

ALTHOUGH the weather outside was dreadful, the warm tunes from Elise Walsh and her band were so delightful.

Singer, songwriter and flautist Elise Walsh marked her return to Smith’s Alternative with a collection of fun and jazzy original tracks. Accompanied by a band of excellent Canberra jazz musicians, the playful music was the perfect way to pass a chilly winter afternoon.

Walsh’s compilation of original new music provided a delightful playground for musicians and audiences alike. The opening track, “Running to the Sea,” was a lighthearted bossa-influenced number that, true to its name, captured the experience of a day at the beach.

Both of the band’s sets were full of energetic and groovy tracks, like “Get Movin”, another of Walsh’s originals. The rest of the band, consisting of Ben Marston (trumpet), John Black (keyboard), Somesh Putcha (drums), Chris Pound (bass) and Matt Lustri (guitar), further injected a burst of energy into these tracks with their gripping grooves and swinging solos.

A particular highlight of the second series was another original composition by Walsh, titled “The Chorus”. Inspired by the recent floods in eastern Australia, the track was built around the sound of frogs chirping in the bush and built a soft, ambient and groovy vibe drawing inspiration from the sounds of the natural environment.

On a journey through different styles and grooves, from funk and blues to pop and jazz, Walsh and his band managed to create a fun and relaxed vibe. Walsh’s original new compositions, brought to life by a talented group of musicians, were engaging and lively. In this cozy and fun concert, the music of Elise Walsh was a nice cure for the winter blues.

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Ian Meikle, editor