Fringe World Perth 2016

Dirty Jazz, Fringe World Perth 2016

0 Comments 13 February 2016


Presented by Jessie Gordon

The Ellington Jazz Club

Review by Jen Perry

Jessie Gordon saunters on stage and promises, pink cocktail in hand, that at some point during the show we were going to feel gross. She wasn’t lying.

Ronan Chapple revved on the piano as the showbegan with a Fats Waller classic “Honeysuckle Rose”. Gordon’s smooth delivery and emphasis had us in stitches as we began to open our mind to all the filthy innuendo that lay in wait. The next tune depicted a woman’s newfound love of spinach – or does it? In case you’re wondering, there are enough dirty jazz songs about food to write a book (or show) on.

Gordon explains that the golden era of swing, or the ’30s to ’50s, is evocative to some as a simpler, purer time. When men were men and women were women, and a cup of sugar was nothing more than a cup of sugar. It quickly becomes apparent that this nostalgic resonance is nothing more than a lie we tell ourselves; and if our grandparents were listening to this dirty jazz, they have some explaining to do.

Chapple wows on piano, keeping perfect time with Jessie’s interludes of dialogue. The show’s crowning glory involved a particularly satisfying bout of audience interaction, wherein we all fill in the blanks of a song for Gordon to perform. The end product culminates in a number that is so dirty, I daren’t write the title. Suffice to say, Gordon delivers in spades.

Another highlight is Gordon’s on-the-nose rendition of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. Slowing down the verses and accentuating the lyrics proves that filthiness comes in many forms.

If dirtiness is indeed a state of mind, Dirty Jazz proves that this is a psychological plane we should all visit a bit more often.

Dirty Jazz runs at The Ellington Jazz Club until February 12th

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