10 March 2008

Season’s end at the George

It was a perfect day for jazz in a beer garden. The beer was English ale on tap; the band was Funky Fedoras with Angela Lount out front and one of the hardest swinging, and most capable, back lines in town.

I could only stay a short time, so I just heard the smooth dinner music set (for this, read standards and lounge) but they were lusciously performed, with Angela’s deep, rich rounded voice, rock steady swing, plenty of traded fours, and great solos from both Wayne and James. Wayne is always a great performer. This was a big change after hearing him as McCoy Tyner playing Love Supreme only days before, and it confirmed his versatility. This was chordal solos, octaves, block chords, and occasional modern interpolations. I was stunned by one passage that meandered off, sounding dangerously close to free, but fell back effortlessly to swing; lovely. James hinted at his spacious, funky Tuesday evening gigs at Trinity with fluent fretless solos, but this was more passing chords and cycles of fifths, rather than sparse, horizontal playing. But again, satisfying and comfortable. Chris had plenty of opportunities for swapping, and did that in his melodic, understated style. Angela’s rich, low pitched voice sat comfortably over this bubbling background with clear, sonorous vitality, and an easy stage presence. I can see why this is a busy corporate band around town.

Angela told us that Jazz at the George was closing up for the season. Given it was such a perfect day, it was doubly sad to hear, but it will presumably be back with the Spring. The Autumn/Winter period in Canberra is chilly at times, and the jazz retreats indoors, so this is not unexpected. But sitting with a beer in my hand on a perfect day, it did seem a loss.

The Funky Fedoras are Angela Lount (vocal), Wayne Kelly (piano), James Luke (bass) and Chris Thwaite (drums).

1 comment:

Andrew Swift said...

Nice to see Chris playing my old Camco kit!!