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Janet Seidel – The Art of Lounge CD Review, Meldi Arkinstall

Coour close up Janet SeidelClose your eyes and you could be at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.

Australia’s own Janet Seidel recently turned the big six-o and is going stronger than ever, having spent 41 years as a performer.

Her album, The Art of Lounge is a lovely compilation of songs that she and her band, which includes her brother, David Seidel on bass, have performed at the many residencies they have had at high-end hotel lounges and cocktail bars in Sydney and overseas.

This includes Sydney’s Sheraton Wentworth Hotel, Manly Pacific Hotel, Darling Harbour Park Royal, Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Boulevard Hotel, Adelaide Hilton and Terrace Hotel Adelaide.

Volume One has a romantic and sulky feel while Volume Two is more upbeat and makes you want to get up and dance.

Janet Seidel grew up listening and studying Jobin and Sergio Mendes and wonderful vocalist Lani Hall from Brazil 66, and she pays homage to this influence in her wonderful laid-back rendition of To Say Goodbye on Volume One.

A prominent walking bass by David Seidel helps give this song a nice groove.

Mas Que Nada (but that [is] nothing) has been one of Seidel’s favourites since she heard Brazil 66’s rendition years ago, and here she gives it a samba feel, which is just persuasive enough to make you want to get up and dance. The soulful voice of David McLeod creates a lovely mood.

Janet colour 2Seidel’s take on Gershwin classic, I’ve Got A Crush On You is languid and relaxed.

Her gentle voice is sultry and suggestive, and is beautifully accompanied by Kevin Hunt on an electronic keyboard.

Hunt also features in the duet, Fools Rush In, where the piano ebbs and flows beautifully with Seidel’s sensitive phrasing.

A big band intro sets the tone for a hypnotic Latin treatment of I Got Lost In His Arms by Irving Berlin, which conjures old world glamorous images of women with 50’s beehive hairdos dancing arm in arm with gents in tuxedos.

Gee Baby was made famous by the great Ella Fitzgerald and Louise Armstrong and Seidel brings a smokey jazz club feel to it by, including an electronic Hammond organ played by Col Nolan.

The song, ‘Black is the Colour‘ is a folk song based in the Appalachian tradition and is by John Jacob Niles. There’s many different arrangements and versions, but the melody and the poem are by John Jacob Niles.

David Seidel on bass and Jane Seidel at the pianoA lovely string accompaniment sounds like a rippling stream in the countryside, and creates a lovely cushion for the words, black is the colour of my true love’s hair…’

The wistful and lonely old cornet played by Tom Baker in Love for Sale was only possible after the band decided this song about love after dark needed its lonely call…so they waited in the studio until midnight for Tom Baker to come in and record it with them.

The result is a beautifully haunting song about the dark side of love of the night.

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Buckingham Palace, Special Summer Opening of the State Rooms

Flowers Buck House

Centrepiece in use during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace , courtesy Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

A Royal Welcome’ to The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace in London this Summer will be sure to please both locals and visitors to England at the same time.

Each year the Queen and her family welcome many visitors to the house for special reasons; private audiences, garden parties, Investitures, public receptions, visits by Heads of State and so forth.

This year for the first time, those visiting during the Palace’s summer opening program will be able to view special displays from the Royal Collection throughout the State Rooms.

The aim is to reveal the detailed preparations that go into preparing State Rooms for these very special occasions.

The Royal Collection is one of the largest most important fine and decorative arts collections in the world.

It is spread out over some 13 royal residences and former residences within the United Kingdom.

Each year The Queen as host welcomes some 110 Heads of State from all around the world who come on formal state visits to Britain.

These take some twelve months in the planning and involve staff at ever level.

Centrepiece, part of the Grand Service used at a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace., courtesy Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Centrepiece, part of the Grand Service used at a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace., courtesy Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Food and wine selection are as important as choosing what HRH will wear.

A selection of frocks and the jewellery worn by The Queen on some of these occasions will be an important aspect of the display.

State Banquet’s and great dinners are held in a variety of the Palace’s rooms.

For the summer the Palace’s Ballroom will see the preparations for a State Banquet by the use of time lapse film technology.

The great table will be shown gradually being dressed with glittering silver-gilt centrepieces and stunning candelabra plus all the accoutrement’s required for the meal, as well as the finished result.

Wonderful pieces from ‘The Grand Service’ on display including a stunning centerpiece and a pair of superb candelabra made by arguably one the greatest of the English goldsmith and silversmiths Paul Storr (1771-1844).

The centrepiece is one of a set of four that were acquired by George IV when he was Prince Regent and like the candelabra are knock your socks off in terms of quality, design and craftsmanship.

It has a central bowl in the form of a convolvulus flower, on a foliate stem with a wreath of flowers and four scroll branches.

They are entwined with flowers, terminating in similar bowls.

It’s a true delight.

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