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COOKIES & PRIVACY POLICY

MUSIC REVIEW: Bliss Art

Our reviewer enjoys an evening of energetic jazz in Brighton

Julia Thompson

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 13:33:14 GMT | Updated 2 years today

The intimate, candle-lit St Nicholas Church in Brighton feels a bit like the setting for a nativity play or a night of carol singing. It seems an odd choice then, for an evening of energetic jazz with charismatic lesbian jazz vocalist, Aneesa Chaudhry and her band, BLISS ART.  But a brown-haired girl, in a polka-dot shirt, Mojca Monte, soon begins to spice things up on piano with a catchy little number, accompanied by some melodic flute playing from Jana Cadez Amali, in a unique way of introducing the band. Opening with "Once upon a time on the Island of Lesbos", the song cleverly weaves in a few amusing sexual innuendos, with more than one reference to "finger picking" and "musicians making sweet music together".

Aneesa has an edgy elegance about her as she strides onto the stage, combining an eastern-inspired dress with a chic cropped haircut. Her tuneful tones instantly make me think of elegant champagne bars, with her jazzier trombone-based numbers conjuring up images of brass bands in a wintry Central Park.

The singer gets her intimate audience clicking along to her cover of Peggy Lee's classic Fever where she demonstrates excellent vocal range and really explores the depths to which her voice can go.
Aneesa proves herself to be a charming, bubbly character, making an effort to entertain her circle of fans at every opportunity. At one point revealing herself to be a "secret" Celine Dion fan, prompting a few reluctant grunts of agreement from her audience. Her moving rendition of Roberta Flak's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, also covered by Celine Dion had, dare I say it, even more depth to it than Celine's version.

The girls close the first half of their set with a standout Performance of Etta James's I Just Want To Make Love To You, which sees a few fans giving in to the irresistible urge to get up and shake their thangs.

The second half sees us plunged into darkness, the ominous sounds of Jana's flute coming from the back of the church in an opera-style performance which begins with the singer knelt on the floor like a small child, slowly becoming illuminated as she sings in Urdu, which, she tells us is an important part of her Pakistani heritage.

Aneesa treats us to a few more flawlessly performed covers including Eva Cassidy's Songbird, Adele's Make Me Feel Your Love and a fitting tribute to Whitney Houston, a performance of My Love Is Your Love which more than does the late singer justice.

It's their own songs that really make the night, however. The vibrant It's Alright has the audience chanting back the lyrics. The Heart of Sappho's Bosom was inspired by their time in Lesbos, and Guappa Chica, which she tells us is about a beautiful woman, is the perfect closer to the evening.

 

Although Aneesa's voice is a power in itself, the performance would not have been what it was without the incredibly talented flutist, Jana, who wrote the up-beat, You and the masterful pianist, Monti, who also wrote one of the songs, On the Edge. Monti's playing of the church's beautiful grand piano was flawless throughout the night.


After their set they dart around the room chatting to people, I manage to squeeze in a quick chat with Aneesa, in which she sums up their album On The Edge as "blissful, spicy and honest."

You can be sure to catch BLISS ART at one of the many women's festivals around the country this summer: they tell me that they want to raise their profile in the lesbian community and intend to play as many festivals as they can squeeze in.

 

reverbnation.com

 

BLISS ART are:

Flute: Jana Cadez Amali
Piano: Mojca Monte
Vocals: Aneesa Chaudhry

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Comments

  • Bliss Art Bliss Art - Wed, 07 Mar 2012 12:08:49 GMT -

    Report Abuse

    Huge thanks to DIVA magazine for your great review! Thanks to our fans for supporting us and Ladies, if you want BLISS ART to come and entertain at your parties, festivals & Civil Partnerships, get in touch: bliss.art@hotmail.com / 07957 395 293.

  • Bliss Art Bliss Art - Wed, 07 Mar 2012 13:21:24 GMT -

    Report Abuse

    Huge thanks to DIVA magazine for your great review! Thanks to our fans for supporting us and Ladies, if you want BLISS ART to come and entertain at your parties, festivals & Civil Partnerships, get in touch: bliss.art@hotmail.com / 07957 395 293.