The phrase ‘dulcet tones’ is now generally applied ironically, but in the case of Di Clark, the term is genuinely applicable.
Di’s superb vocals and relaxed confident style were accompanied last night at the Brisbane Jazz Club by Libor Smoldas on guitar, BJC favourite Peter Walters on bass, and drummer Paul Hudson.
On a warm, humid evening, jazz can strike the perfect note. Add in the outstanding riverside location of the BJC, its intimate venue nestled under the beautiful and historic Story Bridge, with atmospheric views of the Brisbane Customs House and surrounding city lights reflected on the water, and we were treated to the perfect end-of-week wind-down.
Libor Smoldas, the virtuoso jazz guitarist from Prague who is fast gaining a worldwide reputation for his talented and intuitive interpretations in the genre, is sadly nearing the close of his most recent visit to Australia. Libor and Di began their musical association in the Czech Republic, and have played many venues together both there and in Australia.
During solo segments of the performance, Libor’s absorbed concentration and beautiful playing often enthralled the audience. But his modest, self-effacing talent also allowed plenty of room for the other musicians to shine, with Peter pulling out the impossibly deep notes of the double bass and Paul gaining the biggest audience cheer with their appreciation of his drum solo during the penultimate number.
Di’s set, with some songs containing additional self-penned material, weaved its way through a programme highlighting many jazz greats (Ellington, Fitzgerald, Jobim, Porter) but also contained some interesting jazz versions of pieces from other genres. Kiss’s “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” and Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” worked well in a way that can’t really be explained on the written page.
All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, the perfect combination of exceptional location, ambiance, superb musicianship, an attentive full-house audience, and just the right weather for jazz! We look forward to hearing more of both Di Clark and Libor Smoldas.