Tag Archives: Van Morrison



Vanessa Perez, Jan Vogler, Bill Murray, Mira Wang. Pic Ben Apfelbaum

Bill Murray opened his Sydney Opera House show by reading from the last interview Ernest Hemingway granted. “Hemingway: I used to play cello. My mother kept me out of school a whole year to study music and counterpoint. She thought I had ability, but I was absolutely without talent.”

Murray could well be warning us that he is without talent as a singer but that he believes in himself, or perhaps his mother believed in him, and he enjoys singing, and his acting skills allow him to convey the story and emotions of the songs he chooses. He is accompanied by an exquisite world class, classical trio which would be a joy to listen to on their own but they are absolutely enthralling as they blend with Murray’s performance.  The trio is made up of cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez. They have performed as soloists for world renowned orchestras, including The New York Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Bill Murray recites, reads, sings, and dances his way through a variety of works. After opening with George Plimpton’s interview from The Paris Review with Ernest Hemingway he read an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road: “Let us go! whoever you are come travel with me! Travelling with me you find what never tires.” This was followed by nature lover James Fenimore Cooper’s The Deerslayer, fittingly coupled with the music of another nature lover, Franz Schubert. Continue reading BILL MURRAY, JAN VOGLER & FRIENDS : NEW WORLDS


Vince Jones
One of Australia’s premiere jazz vocalists and trumpet players Vince Jones

My ‘home on high’ on Saturday night was the City Recital Hall. It was in this hallowed Concert Hall that  I saw the great Vince Jones backed by a crack band, aptly named the Astral Orchestra, perform all the tracks from two classic early Van Morrison albums- Astral Weeks and Moondance.

For the first set- many consider Astral Weeks to be his greatest work- Jones sang solo and delivered memorable interpretations of songs of the soaring nature of Beside You and Ballerina to flowing, rhythmic pieces such as Sweet Thing  and The Way Young Lovers Are. 

Jones gave a brief intro to each song, providing the audience with a bit of a back story/insight.

My favourite anecdote was when Jones described how the band that Morrison employed for his album couldn’t quite understand what he was trying to achieve. They sought some clarification from him. Not the most articulate or musically knowledgeable of artists but certainly one of the most intuitive, Morrison told them, ‘just follow me’! And that was how one of the great rock albums was made.

After the darkness of the album’s final song, Slim Slow Slider, Jones and his Astrals took a well deserved break, and the enjoyed went out to enjoy some light refreshments and partake in some foyer banter.

The second set began with the wonderful And It Stoned Me. Then Jones was joined on stage by the lovely Justine Clarke.  Clarke spoke about her love of Morrison’s work and how she could chart her life via different Morrison albums. Together the duo delivered a great version of Moondance. Other second set highlights were a rousing version of Brand New Day- I had forgotten what a great song this was, Clarke’s lyrical rendering of Crazy Love,  and the high spirited delivery of Come Running.

All in all, a great night at the City Recital Hall.

Yes of-course it would be wonderful if the great Irish troubadour would come out and play Australia again.  Perhaps this is an unlikely prospect. Anyhow, hey,  this concert was a great next best thing.