Vocalist Jeannette d’Armand and acoustic guitarist John Patrick Lowrie present a breathtaking evening of memorable songs by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Sting, Charles Mingus, Richard Rodgers, George Harrison, and many others. An evening with the two of them is balm for your heart and soul.
Review of Jeannette and John’s show “Round Twilight” by Eric Lane Barnes – March 2019
I have a confession: I am usually not super jazzed about seeing cabaret shows. I’ve accompanied and seen hundreds of cabaret shows in my life – an unfortunate number of them fall into a more or less ‘tried and true’ format. One starts to feel ‘I’ve seen this cabaret show a dozen times before.’ Now, I know Jenny d’Armand to be a versatile singer with an amazing voice, so I came expecting a quality set of interesting songs. What I didn’t expect was to be as thoroughly and increasingly amazed as I was.
The first thing I noticed was that Jenny was performing with an acoustic guitarist, something of an anomaly in the piano-dominated world of cabaret. The sound of the guitar and Jenny’s voice were perfectly balanced. The two of them breathed together, phrased together, knew each other’s pauses and accelerandos to such a complete extent that I found myself breathing with them. Rarely have I seen such a sense of complete, effortless ensemble between two musicians.
The set began with ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ which I found a surprising and charming opener. With the second song I found myself surprised again (‘Sister Moon’ by Sting) by both the choice of song and the style in which it was presented. By the third song (Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus’ ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’) I was aware of three things: 1) Jenny clearly loves these songs and sings them from the depths of her soul 2) the choice of the nine songs presented was as carefully curated as a Michelin 3-star meal and 3) never have I heard Jenny’s voice in better form. The way she worked her range was truly astonishing: at one moment flitting among the top notes like a swallow riding a breeze and at the next dipping into her gorgeously warm low tones with the strength of a miner digging for fire. The ease, the confidence, the grace, the precision, the soul, the utter generosity of her singing had me wondering if this was what people felt when they first heard Ella sing at the Savoy Ballroom.
I have a second confession: I am often ready for a cabaret performance to be over long before I hear the words, ‘I have one more song for you.’ The direct opposite was true when I was reveling in Jenny [and John’s] performance. I could have happily sat through another hour of these meticulously chosen and miraculously performed songs. As the crowd stood and applauded madly after the set was over I found myself wanting to tell the world: ‘People! This is what performing is all about!’
Eric Lane Barnes