As always, the pairing of Roger Wang and Mia Palencia as Double Take garners an appreciative crowd, writes Subhadra Devan
SABAH acoustic guitarist Roger Wang is always a treat in a live performance. An unassuming facade hides the 38-year-old’s intense and bold talent.
Wang recently performed with singer Mia Palencia at an almost full-house Bentley Music Auditorium in Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.
Wang and Mia, who perform together as Double Take, gave a 90-minute concert which marked a 12-year stage partnership. They last played in Kuala Lumpur in 2009 at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.
The Bentley Music Auditorium show was the last in the 2012 series of shows, which started in the duo’s hometown of Kota Kinabalu. The appreciative crowd hardly coughed during the 19-track repertoire, that saw Wang plucking on a few solos.
The jazziest had to be the Teresa Teng signature song, Yeh Liang Tai Piau Wo Di Shing which means The Moon Represents My Heart). The beautiful ballad got a fresh lease on its melody under Wang’s nimble fingers.
The cutest rendition was Rainbow Connection, with Kermit The Frog doing (on a video) a duet with Mia.
The most soulful from Mia was P. Ramlee’s Tunggu Sekejap, with her vocal stylings lending poignancy to Wang’s simple arrangement.
From the opening song, And I Love Her to the usual Double Take run — Tea for Two, My Baby, Time After Time, If You Love Somebody, Change the World, Route 66, Sir Duke/Superstitious — this pair lived up to its reputation of being among the best in the local jazz-pop music stage.
While Wang is intense in his obvious passion for the guitar, a drawback is Mia’s tendency to be a little strident in her higher registers. While her voice reminds me of Dame Cleo Laine, the high notes seem in need of more control. However, Mia’s vocal timing is impeccable.
Ultimately, it was an enjoyable outing, with Mia’s scatting livening the standards.
This was the last show scheduled this year for Double Take, as Mia returns to Tasmania to continue her studies.
Wang’s fans can catch him at the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival on June 16.
Go to www.nst.com.my for a short video on the show.