This is an extraordinary piece of work, and well deserves five stars.
Michael Leunig has beguiled us for many years with verses and drawings, each one of them churning our emotions and placing the duck squarely before us. Katie Noonan inspires with her soaring vocals, and diversity.
Gratitude and Grief brings these two artists together workshopping an album of parallel tracks – Michael reading his poem, then Elixir giving that poem a musical interpretation.
Over four years iconic Australian poet cartoonist Michael Leunig and the trio workshopped a selection of his work, it’s a truly collaborative album. Interpreting 10 iconic poems by Leunig, Elixir combine spoken word poetry, vocals and sublime jazz improvisation. Does it work? It’s calls to you and makes you stop in your tracks.
Elixir started in Brisbane in 1997. The trio is headed up by Katie Noonan, singer, songwriter, producer, pianist, mother and fierce champion of the arts. Zac Hurren is a truly unique and distinctive saxophonist, composer and improvisor and winner of the 2009 National Jazz Award. Melbourne-based Stephen Magnusson is regarded by many as one of Australia’s finest jazz guitarists.
I wouldn’t dare suggest a standout track, you will have to choose for yourself.
Kin Music dist. Universal
Reviewed by John “Dr John” Lamp