Pre-show entertainment at The Vanguard is usually a non-event. Dinner is being served and the rattling and clinking of culinary implements create cymbal-like accents within the cacophonic rabble. Ray Mann begins his solo show with “How Long Has This been Going On”, an exceptionally quiet piece that grabs an unusual bout of attention from his chattering audience. Looking visibly surprised with the response Ray continues on his softly spoken, unassuming tack singing “Just Another Night With You” and the original “Gettin’ Through” with a lyrical clarity that can often be obscured within his usual trio. As the audience buzz rises and falls in accord to the dynamic level of each song, Ray pulls off a difficult spot with simplicity and warmth.
By Donne Restom
Source: Drum Media, Sydney, 09.01.08