In the immortal words of the prophet Jack Black: “friendship is rare”.
Never has that been more apparent than in the case of the adorable Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon, self-proclaimed best friends who have decided to commemorate their best friendship in the best possible way – on stage, in a show cleverly titled Best Friends.
Be prepared for an evening full of warm fuzzies as you watch the obnoxiously talented duo play a game of set list roulette with the crowd.
Trusting the audience with an alarming amount of responsibility, they request any number between 1 and 39.
The result could be anything – a soulful jazz tune, a heart-warming anecdote, a hilarious tangent. There’s 18 years of material here, and nothing is off limits. Or on limits, really.
It’s a show that is anything but linear, and you’re sure to witness a completely unique performance.
Opening yourself up to the whim of the crowd is always a risky move, but make no mistake, these two are highly professional musicians. The reason this off-the-cuff set is so amazing is how effortless they make it look.
Turner is quick and smooth, his fingers sliding across the fretboard like it’s made of silk.
He demonstrates the vocal range and improvisational ear of a seasoned muso, in between the shameless plugging of the duo’s latest CD (I guess it worked, too, as my girlfriend bought one as soon as it ended.)
Gordon’s voice is: wow.
It’s a powerhouse that swings with soul, sometimes sweet, sometimes sultry, and perfectly matched to the jazzy and bluesy set list.
Her vocals are rivalled only by her sly banter and an unrestrained passion for the uke.
There’s something about this relationship that is magnetic to behold. Whether it’s the love, patience, growth and trust that comes with almost two decades of friendship, or whether it’s just wine, there’s an undeniable honesty and beauty to this performance.
Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon spend most of the evening with great big smiles plastered on their faces. I challenge you not to smile back.