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I Am Like The Rain: The Music of Paul Simon (Allira Wilson, Harry Mitchell, Ben Vanderwal and Karl Florisson)
‘The Sounds of Silence’, ‘Graceland’, ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’ – Paul Simon has one of the richest and most-loved catalogue of songs of any songwriter who ever lived.
On I Am Like the Rain, a quartet of Australia’s most exciting jazz performers have reimagined these iconic works, with gorgeous late-night arrangements that celebrate Simon’s artistry while revealing new aspects to these songs you’ve heard a hundred times before.
Vocalist Allira Wilson is one of Australia’s most exciting talents, skilfully combining jazz harmony with a contemporary edge and soulful dynamic. Her exquisite voice and sensitive, nuanced phrasing draw out all the beauty, melancholy and humour in these songs, combining effortlessly with Harry Mitchell’spiano playing and arrangements.
These songs are effortlessly brought into the jazz sound world thanks to Mitchell’s arrangements, and some superb playing by Ben Vanderwal (drums and percussion) and Karl Florisson (double bass). The album also features beautiful guitar playing by guests Carl Morgan and Harry Winton, all warmly enveloped in Vanderwal’s lush, sensitive production.
At times upbeat and fun, at times dripping with wistfulness and regret, this is a gorgeous album that pays homage to one of the great songwriters.
Allira Wilson is one of Australia’s most exciting young talents, whose musical approach has been described as ‘brave and raw as it is supple and intricate’. Endowed with a powerful voice, her innovative twists and youthful approach not only revitalize the music, but create a distinctive and fresh sound. She has performed regularly with her own projects as well as Jamie Oehlers’ Blowfish, Mace Francis Orchestra, Alice Humphries’ Ecila ensemble and the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO). Allira also is a member of Gian Slater’s vocal ensemble Invenio. Allira received an Australian Jazz Bell Award for Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album for her debut record Rise and Fall.
Harry Mitchell has been playing piano since the age of eight, and playing jazz since the age of 13. Since then, he has performed with many artists across Australia and overseas, including Vincent Gardner, Kate Ceberano, George Garzone, Vince Jones, Troy Roberts, Jerome Jennings, Veronica Swift, Charlie Watts, Katy Steele and many more. He has played on numerous recordings including the Hank Marvin record Without A Word, the recent Jamie Oehlers album Night Music, and the Daniel Susnjar Afro-Peruvian band CD Spark. In 2017 he was awarded Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year at the Australian Jazz Bell Awards, as well as being awarded Jazz Song of the Year at the2016-17 and 2017-18 West Australian Music (WAM) Awards, and Best Pianist at the 2017-18 and 2018-19 WAMs. Harry has released three albums with his standards band TrioTrio and four albums of his original quartet/quintet music.
Ben Vanderwal is one of the most in-demand jazz drummers in Australia. From an early age he encountered the legendary drummer/teacher Frank Gibson Jr, who helped unravelled the mysteries of that strange, fascinating music – in Perth, of all places. Originally from there, Ben has also spent time in New York and Melbourne and performed around the world including tours of the UK, France, Ireland, India, USA, China, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand. He has played with John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Howard Levy, Madeleine Peyroux, James Morrison, Chris Potter, George Garzone, Kate Ceberano, Mark Murphy, Ernie Watts, Lionel Rose, David Campbell, Rhonda Burchmore, Nigel Kennedy, Don Burrows, Deborah Byrne and Normie Rowe. Ben has performed on over thirty recordings with a wide variety of artists.
Karl Florisson is one of Perth’s most in-demand bassists. He has appeared on countless recordings, and been nominated for multiple West Australian Music (WAM) Awards for best bassist. He has performed with the likes of George Garzone, John Scofield and Vince Jones, and regularly plays around Perth with artists including the Russell Holmes Trio, Libby Hammer, Harry Mitchell Trio and Jamie Oehlers’ Blowfish.
1. Kathy’s Song 3’36
2. Mrs Robinson 3’49
3. Baby Driver 2’55
4. Bleecker Street 3’52
5. Graceland 4’24
6. Still Crazy After All These Years 4’11
7. Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard 4’33
8. The Sounds of Silence 4’58
9. Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover 5’12
10. Scarborough Fair / Canticle 5’11
Allira Wilson vocals• Harry Mitchell piano
Ben Vanderwal drums and percussion
Karl Florisson double bass