Touché Vocal Jazz
Friday, 12 August 2011 at 5:30pm • Chris Church Cathedral

Performers Sandie Irene Johnson, Rikke Knudsen, Fie Byberg, Mia Søndergaard, Stine Holmstrøm Have, Pernille Mejer, Anna Mose, Charlotte Rose Lauridsen, Lise Kroner, Martin Dahl, Niels Bosworth, Søren Baun, Morten Lundsby

Reviewer Greg Ewan

Crisp, dynamic, animated, and energetic are but a few words that best capture the essence of Touché Vocal Jazz.

It’s obvious to even the most casual observer that the members of Touché love what they do and that they have a lot of fun doing it. By their own admission, they are just as excited to have the opportunity to perform over here (at Musicfest) as we are to have the chance to listen to them.

Their opening song, Whirly Bird, set the tone of the concert from start to finish… fast, fun, a little flirty, and a professional finish for good measure. What followed was an entertaining selection of songs, dating from the big band era to somewhat more contemporary pieces… some of which were arranged by their own Jesper Holm.

While there was a lot of wonderful musicality on display, a few pieces stood out as exceptional. One such song, and perhaps the most technically impressive to my mind, was their performance of the “Yardbird Suite”. Not only was the piece fast paced and difficult to perform, but it also demanded that the singers mimic the musical styling’s of Charlie Parker, perhaps the greatest jazz saxophonist to have graced the genre. From my own experience, I know how hard it is to capture the essence of the original artist, especially in a signature piece… however, the singers of Touché managed to do just that.

Also, the singers displayed their vocal prowess by imitating many musical instruments during their performance. Despite how effortless they made it seem, it’s something that is incredibly hard to master. Their ability to bring the right intonation and timbre to their mimicry enthralled the audience, especially during their rendition of A Clear Day.

The audience, by the way, ranged from young adults to seniors… all of whom seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. This is a fun for all-ages show with a run time that doesn’t leave you looking at your watch.

© 2011 Greg Ewan