cabaret: tim draxl - the chet baker journey

adelaide cabaret festival - tim draxl - freeway: the chet baker journeyI've been in love with the music of Chet Baker since Sheba introduced me to him about ten years ago... so smooth, so beautiful and it always sounds as though he's singing just for you.

So it was a foregone conclusion as soon as I saw that Tim Draxl was performing Freeway: The Chet Baker Journey at the Cabaret Festival...

It was the perfect venue too... the little "club" they create on the Festival Theatre stage which always feels very secret and intimate.

Surprisingly, while I'm familiar with Baker's music, I really didn't know anything about his personal life, and this show (similar to the format of Nick Christo's show a couple of year ago) provides not only the music, but Tim speaking as both himself and as Baker. Turns out that Baker's life was as chaotic and intense as his music is cool and serene.

Rounding out the "Chet Baker" experience is Eamon McNelis who masterfully provides all the trumpet work necessary for Baker's music.

But the star of the show is Tim Draxl's voice... which is amazing... warm, masculine, strong and dexterous... like being wrapped in warm honey really. And it perfectly suits the style of the music.

It also has to be said that Tim Draxl is a very attractive man!

A beautiful performance of beautiful music from a beautiful man by a beautiful man... what more could you ask for really.

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Oliver G said...

Nice review - I googled to see what others thought and found yours.

I found it to be an excellent show, the theatrics were amazing and the whole form was so polished. He definitely has a fantastic stage presence. I enjoyed it a lot!

However, my girlfriend (a hardcore chet fan) and I were disappointed that Tim sang in a crooner style which is definitely not Chet's singing style (I disagree with you statement that Tim's voice suited the style). It felt like he made no effort to sound like Chet himself and just sang in his own way, which would have been fine if he had stated to the audience that he wasn't trying to sound like Chet. And he didn't scat at all!!

It was disappointing that it seemed like Tim thought Chet was a crooner.

This said, Tim Draxl is a great singer and his band was very solid (although the bassist's solos were substandard :P).

yani said...

Thanks Oliver. I definitely agree with you about the bassist... I don't know what went wrong with his solos, but they sounded all wrong to me.

I can't speak to the intention of the show, although I do remember him talking about people thinking he sounded like Chet when he was 16... I honestly don't remember him saying he was trying to sound like Chet (which isn't to say he didn't, it just didn't stick in my memory).

Not being as hardcore as you and your girlfriend, I either didn't notice or wasn't bothered by some of the things you mentioned, but it's interesting to hear a more knowledgeable viewpoint!


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