The Sonic Sorcery of Joscelyn Wynter & Tom Riccioni
By: Salim Ghazi Saeedi
Joscelyn Wynter & Tom Riccioni performed at Ragtime Tavern in Preston, Melbourne on 16 Dec 2021. In the announcement they invited the audience to a “sonic sorcery”. In my opinion you couldn’t find an explanation for what they did better than “sorcery”! We are dealing with quite honest artists here.
Tom started the performance with his original compositions A Turning Sea, Orange Wild and Sunup and also cover songs The dreamer Tallest Man on Earth), Terminal Paradise (Big Thief) and Coming down (Bon Iver Anais Mitchell) on the piano and guitar. His flamboyant jacket, long single earring and strong articulated voice reminded me of the young portrayal of Elton John I recently watched in the “Rocketman” movie. Tom surely doesn’t seem to belong to the current era of mainstream caricaturised figures you are fed by the TV or 1 billion watched YouTube videos. He belongs to the generation of artists who genuinely invented their way and found their way by depending on their artistic abilities. I am talking about the generation of artists that many of us are missing. The artists that their lives seem like myths now. Myths but not less than Parsifal’s, “Green Man” of the Spring Festival or the Fool of the Tarot who walk fearlessly and “carelessly” with enormous genuinity. Artists that are capable of bringing an unimaginable change. To conquer the winter and bring the spring.
It was particularly amazing to watch Tom’s ability to control his voice in higher pitched screams he did very strongly. He is also quite an improviser. As a performer he was able to improvise with unexpected sounds and noises around him e.g. when a bus stopped close to the bar, he immediately improvised both lyrically and musically with the unexpected sounds around. It definitely needs a level of mastery to be able to keep focused while keeping the crowd entertained in such a situation.
After a short break, Joscelyn Wynter performed solo on the piano. She started with a classical style instrumental piece called “The Water Song” and then performed her original songs Two Minds, What I Get For Loving, My Sweet Idiot Heart, Your Love Can Do No Wrong and Black Rose.. She also covered God’s Song by Randy Newman.
To me her “Black Rose” immediately resonated with Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick style of singing in harmonic minor. Such a scale would immediately induce easter feelings but Jos successfully kept the western rock style dominant. This piece, Black Rose was a deeply emotional and heart-ripping piece but as elevated Jos was during the performance, near the end of the song – even a few seconds before the actual finishing – she started making jokes and memes to the audience. It amazed me how comfortable she was with the performance and how she was not bewitched by her own magic. She definitely knows where she is standing. This self-awareness is a rare gift.
At the end they performed Jeff Buckley‘s version of Just Like A Woman together. Ragtimes Tavern is a small bar with a revolving piano and the owners did their best in creating bubbles and smokes and flashing lights. It was obvious how passionate they were in contributing the soul to the performance. Such a cozy place and comfortable place to be!
Joscelyn Wynter & Tom Riccioni… Young Elton John meeting Grace Slick? What a wild and very sweet dream…
Joscelyn and her band will perform at Cactus Room on 28 Jan 2022 8pm. Don’t miss the opportunity to see her magic live! Tickets are available at here.