liking their own opinions since 1997



<isabell neuenfeld sings september songs von tom waits> <berlin, bebop bar> <21/02/2004>

Score the music for accordion and tuba, and suddenly Tom Waits becomes very Bertold Brecht.
I have often wondered what the German preoccupation with Tom Waits was, and now I know. Use the right instruments to back the right voice and the Brechtisch magic is there, as sardonic and haunting as it ever was. Hearing it in Berlin sent shivers down my spine, and I shall never listen to ' Alice' again without thinking of this place, these performers and their gentle, moving interpretations of the songs.

You can't get away with saying that anybody performs Tom Waits better than Tom Waits, but hearing his work through the medium of Isabell Neuenfeld's lovely cabaret club voice makes me wish that there was a CD available so that I could dip into this particular musical honey pot for ever.

I really can't understand why there isn't one, but desperately hope that one day there will be.
The beautifully crafted performance by these young musicians revealed new dimensions in Waits' music that I had never fully appreciated before.

Andreas Jos played Tuba, portable xylophone, an used crumpled newspaper to make a sound like brushed snare drum for 'Invitation To The Blues' in a way I wouldn't have believed possible had I not seen it. He also produced mood-setting backing sound for 'Time' that helped make the song an absolutely breathtaking finish to the set, leaving a real sense of regret that it was all over.

Bebop Bar is not a place for tourists; but make sure you go there when you're in Berlin. That might sound like a contradiction, but you know what I mean.


<jim gibbs>


this is not tv