One of the great modern voices of Soul can be found in Sydney, if you keep your ear to the ground. Having the privilege of hearing Tina Harrod perform live is to be immersed in a wave of sound. Technical control and emotional expression feed into each other. Harrod always feels completely present in her performances, and when she is in full flight the power of her voice overwhelms.
Her heritage is Fijian and Welsh and, although born in New Zealand, she has made Sydney home for years now. Her exceptional creative partnership with bass player and band leader Jackie Orszaczky lasted until his death in 2008. They were married, with one daughter. I miss their incarnation as the Grandmasters (which was also the outfit that got saxophonist Andrew Robson started in Sydney). Playing as a team they knew how to take a collection of musicians with all kinds of styles and strengths and bring them together into a unified, living sound.
These days Harrod records as a solo artist, though not without collaboration with a selection of fine musicians. After an album of jazz-infused covers, Worksongs, in 2008, then originals on Temporary People in 2010, Harrod has just released The Revolution is Eternal. This is an album of original songs co-written with local bassist/composer Jonathan Zwartz and LA-based pianist and Hammond organ player Larry Goldings.
Rather than trying to write about her, it makes much more sense to put up some clips.
This is a cover of Feeling Good, at Bennett’s Lane in Melbourne.
This is her new one “The Revolution is Eternal”.
And this is a bit of bootleg footage someone took at a gig way back in 1998, that I couldn’t resist including because it gives the feel of what it’s like to hear her live in a small room. Also it warms the heart to see her duet with Jackie.
Categories: arts & entertainment