Jessie Gordon, 8-time award winner at FRINGE WORLD and internationally renowned jazz and blues singer, begins her set with a tutorial on vocal looping.
Without any instrumental accompaniment, Gordon uses only her voice to record a bass beat, then melodies, lyrics and a chorus.
She then single-handedly produces a song by mixing and playing all of the recorded loops together using an iPad. It’s the musical equivalent of cooking with one ingredient for endless possibilities.
Gordon’s vocals are exquisite, ranging from breathy and soft to hearty and raspy, changing with each style of song. Her musical expertise, rhythm and timing are mesmerising.
It’s like watching the birth of a song in real-time, each element added layer by layer, building and changing texture with each added loop.
Hearing familiar jazz and blues standards like “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess and Nina’s Simone’s “Feeling Good” stripped down and deconstructed and put back together gives each song a freshness and rawness that doesn’t exist with ensemble live performance.
Gordon shakes up the energy about halfway through the show when she invites two guest singers onstage to lend back-up and spotlight vocals for “Waterfalls” by TLC and “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King, the trio sharing laughs and dance moves in spite of some forgotten lyrics.
Between sets, Gordon exudes a candid and self-deprecating charm, effortlessly explaining the improvised nature of looped music.
From impeccable pronunciation in the delightful French tune “C’est Bon”, she also impresses by challenging herself to create a new song purely from audience suggestions.
With words like “chandelier”, “luscious”, and “alley cat”, our audience doesn’t make it easy for her, but she delivers a knock-out up-tempo blues original with surprisingly cohesive lyrics.
Jessie Gordon is a local wunderkind on the rise to international acclaim. Go see her now-in this show and her other fringe shows-before she gets too famous for Perth.