Evelyne Weltlinger at the Camelot Lounge.

April 18, 2019 by Ben Apfelbaum
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There are not many women who have emerged as soloist singers late in their life Meet Evelyne Weltlinger…writes Ben Apfelbaum.

Evelyne Weltlinger: Photo: Ben Apfelbaum

Apart from Evelyne, the only woman who springs to my mind was Sharon Jones  who came to the fore at age 49 after years of being a prison guard. Her music was in a funky soul style in the manner of James Brown  who was the Godfather of Soul.
After years of performing in various choirs and vocal groups  Evelyne Weltlinger debuted as a soloist in 2012 at an age a  few years older than Sharon Jones.
Although their respective musical styles are a million miles apart they both seek to capture the soul in the music.
Appearing at the Django Bar in the Camelot Lounge to launch her debut CD, Evelyne’s song selection seemed to be based on the neshumah or soul in both the lyrics and the music. In this sense it is different from black soul which emphasises power. Rather the Jewish neshumah  appreciates the individuality and delicacy within a person’s spirit.

Daniel and Evelyne Weltlinger: Photo: Ben Apfelbaum

Evelyne’s set sought to evoke soul’s multi-faceted characteristics. There were songs of laughter, sadness, yearning and tenderness.  Laughter in such songs as Ich Vil Zich Shpiln (I Want To Have Fun). Sadness evoked in Goodbye To Love. Yearning felt in the song Liede der Flucht (Song of the Wanderer). Tenderness brought out in the song Leg Dayn Kop Af Maine Kni (Lay Your Head On My Lap). Evelyne traverses these and other emotions with grace and charm.

Her insightful introductions, be they about the context, meaning, the composer and the musical arrangements made one listen even more closely to each song, which added  extra resonance to the performance.
Each piece she sang was performed in English, French and Yiddish and several had Hebrew added. The skill with which she translated some of the lyrics with her ability to retain the essence of the original language version was truly remarkable. Furthermore by singing her selections in three different languages, she occasionally, either  by design or good fortune achieved three different moods & nuances in the one song

By performing long lost yiddish songs or those created by composers who were murdered in the Holocaust such as Avrom Brudno & Hannah Senesh, Evelyne does a great service in preserving precious  Jewish music history.  Aware of this mitzvah (good deed),  I found Evelyne’s emotionally soaked singing created a long lost world which went beyond her vocals.

She was ably accompanied by her brilliant violinist son Daniel Weltlinger who played ‘soulful’ gypsy jazz ( ziganer)  and is Berlin-based which was also where the CD was recorded. Although on the CD  Evelyne was backed by a trio, at the Django Bar she was accompanied by a talented quartet of musicians who capably  & nimbly followed Evelyne’s vocals ranging from joy to sadness.  Including Daniel, they were Cameron Jones on guitar, Mark Harris on the bass, and Marcello Maio on accordion.

As well as the originality of the multi-lingual lyric translations, some of the songs are totally her own compositions such as  Goodbye To Love, I Don’t Know Why and Love Me.

The CD and more information on Evelyne is available at her website www.evelyneweltlinger.com.

If you missed this worthwhile concert  you can catch her show at Hotel Blue, 18 Lurline Street, Katoomba on the 18th May at 6.30pm.  Bookings for this show are at http://www.hotelblue.com.au/entertainment or call  47826922.

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